Commenced in January 2007
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Heterogeneity of Thinking: Religious Beliefs and Logical Concepts

Authors: Alisa Rekunova

Abstract:

According to the theory of word meaning structure developed by Lev Vygotsky (and later modified by Aaro Toomela), there are several levels of thought: sensory-based concepts, situation concepts, logical concepts, and structural-systemic concepts. There are differences between people who have relatively easy access to logical thought compared to those who mostly tend to think in everyday concepts. Religious beliefs are connected with unprovable concepts (Christian Jesus’s ascension or Pagan energy) that cannot be non-controversially related to scientific concepts. However, many scientists in the research are believers of some kinds. Religious views can be different: there are believers, non-believers (atheists), and undecided (we can call them agnostics). Some of the respondents say that scientific or professional and religious spheres do not overlap. Therefore, we can assume they do not see any conflict. Some of them, on the contrary, hesitate to answer and we can conclude they see the conflicts, but they do not want (or do not believe they are able to) to solve it. Finally, the third category of respondents says that religious beliefs and scientific concepts cannot coexist in the human mind. It can be expected that the third category of respondents should have higher education (or even work in the scientific field) but many scientists in the research answer that religious and scientific spheres do not overlap. Therefore, there are other things besides the level of education that is connected with resolving conflicts.

Keywords: conflicts in thinking, cultural-historical psychology, heterogeneity of thinking, religious thinking

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