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Keywords:

  • critical realism;
  • folk psychology;
  • generic Cartesianism;
  • pragmatism;
  • Timothy van Gelder

Pragmatism and critical realism are different vocabularies for talking about the cognitive value of religion and science. Each can be, and has been, used to make the case for cognitive parity between religious and scientific discourse. Critical realism presupposes a particular form of cognitive psychology that entails general skepticism about the external world and forecloses scientific inquiry in the name of a preconceived idea of what the nature of human cognition must be. Thus, of the two, pragmatism is the better vocabulary for fostering mutual understanding between religion and science.