Computer Modeling in Philosophy of Religion

F. LeRon Shults 1
  • 1 University of Agder, , Kristiansand, Norway


How might philosophy of religion be impacted by developments in computational modeling and social simulation? After briefly describing some of the content and context biases that have shaped traditional philosophy of religion, this article provides examples of computational models that illustrate the explanatory power of conceptually clear and empirically validated causal architectures informed by the bio-cultural sciences. It also outlines some of the material implications of these developments for broader metaphysical and metaethical discussions in philosophy. Computer modeling and simulation can contribute to the reformation of the philosophy of religion in at least three ways: by facilitating conceptual clarity about the role of biases in the emergence and maintenance of phenomena commonly deemed “religious,” by supplying tools that enhance our capacity to link philosophical analysis and synthesis to empirical data in the psychological and social sciences, and by providing material insights for metaphysical hypotheses and metaethical proposals that rely solely on immanent resources.

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Open Philosophy is an international Open Access, peer-reviewed academic journal covering all areas of philosophy. The objective of Open Philosophy is to foster free exchange of ideas and provide an appropriate platform for presenting, discussing and disseminating new concepts, current trends, theoretical developments and research findings related to the broadest philosophical spectrum.