Behavioral and Brain Sciences



Open Peer Commentary

No evidence of a specific adaptation


Ilkka Pyysiäinen a1
a1 Academy of Finland/Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki, FIN-00014 Helsinki, Finland. ilkka.pyysiainen@helsinki.fi www.mv.helsinki.fi/home/ipyysiai/

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Abstract

Bering's findings about the mental representation of dead agents are important, although his opposition between “endemic” and “cultural” concepts is misleading. Endemic and cultural are overlapping, not exclusive categories. It is also diffcult to see why reasoning about the dead would require a specific cognitive mechanism. Bering presents no clear evidence for the claim that the postulated mechanism is an adaptation.