In many human cultures, supernatural entities are regularly associated, in the lexicon or in speeches, to phenomena such as shadows, reflection or photographs. If this proximity has been noted long ago, it has since been largely ignored by anthropology. We advocate in this article the following idea: the lexical association between supernatural entities and perceptual phenomena such as shadow, reflection and photography is likely to increase the relevance and improve the memorisation and transmission of narratives describing how it is possible, theoretically, to perceive supernatural entities. The argument is based on an ethnography of the learning process of the concept of supernatural entity among Sharanahua (a Panoan people of Western Amazonia) and on a series of psychological experiments studying the understanding of shadows, reflections and photographs by children.
Pour citer cet article :Déléage Pierre (2018/1-2). Learning to Think About Supernatural Entities. In Monier Cyril & Sarti Alessandro (Eds), Neuroscience In The Sciences of Cognition - between Neuroenthusiasm and Neuroskepticism, Intellectica, 69, (pp.371-385), DOI: n/a.