© 2015

Patterns of Rationality

Recurring Inferences in Science, Social Cognition and Religious Thinking

  • Provides readers with a detailed and realistic picture of cognition and rationality

  • Develops a new epistemological framework for analyzing scientific modeling, social cognition and religious thought

  • Adopts a trans-disciplinary perspective, covering biological research and philosophy, technology and ethics and evolutionary and cognitive studies


Part of the Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics book series (SAPERE, volume 19)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Science and Strategic Cognition

  3. Cognitive Niches and Social Cognition: Using Knowledge as a Tool

  4. The Eco-Cognitive Epistemology of Counterfactual Beliefs

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 273-278

About this book


The book is an epistemological monograph written from a multidisciplinary perspective. It provides a complex and realistic picture of cognition and rationality, as endowments aimed at making sense and reacting smartly to one’s environment, be it epistemic, social or simply ecological. The first part of the book analyzes scientific modeling as products of the biological necessity to cope with the environment and be able to draw as many inferences as possible about it. Moreover, it develops an epistemological framework which will be exploited in both the second part of the book, focusing on social cognition and cognitive niche construction, and the third part, dealing with the apparent irrationality of magical and religious belief. The book also discusses how both social networking and online religion influence cognition, rationality and irrational belief.


Abductive Reasoning Cognitive Niche Construction Eco-cognitive Epistemology Inferential Processes Internet Ethics Magical Thinking Natural Cognition Online Religion Scientific Modeling

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Humanities, Philosophy SectionUniversity of PaviaPaviaItaly

Bibliographic information