The New York Times Magazine of January 22, 2006 contains an interview with Daniel Dennett on the subject matter of his new book, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. A couple of excerpts suggest it will have some similarities to Pascal Boyer’s Religion Explained:
We have a built-in, very potent hair-trigger tendency to find agency in things that are not agents, like snow falling off the roof.
When a person dies, we can’t just turn that off. We go on thinking about that person as if that person were still alive. Our inability to turn off our people-seer and our people-hearer naturally turns into our hallucinations of ghosts, our sense that they are still with us.
This article is archived.