David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Zygon 38 (2):377-392 (2003)
The article begins at the intellectual fissure between many statements coming from neuroscience and the language of faith and theology. First I show that some conclusions drawn from neuroscientific research are not as firm as they seem: neuroscientific data leave room for the interpretation that mind matters. I then take a philosophical-theological look at the notions of soul, self, and freedom, also in the light of modern scientific research (self-organization, neuronal networks), and present a view in which these theologically important notions are seen in relation both to matter (brain) and to God. I show that religious insights expressed with soul and free will bear a remarkable resemblance to certain insights from neuroscience and the science of complex, self-organizing systems, including emphasis on corporeality and emphasis on organization as a form of that corporeality, and that they also show an interesting parallel --- albeit described in different terms --- concerning the crucial role of a valuation principle that generates attraction. With that, the common-sense idea that freedom simply is the same as indeterminism is refuted: freedom primarily means self-determination. I bring to the fore that the self is not a static thing but a “longing.‘ Such longing springs from something, and it is the relationship to this source that constitutes the self. The main concern is to point out the crucial role of attraction with respect to being and to life, and to draw attention not only to the astonishing parallel on this point between Thomas Aquinas and Alfred North Whitehead but also to a surprising --- albeit more implicit --- analogy between these philosophical-theological views and scientific theories of self-organization (such as those concerning neuronal networks). In short, being attracted toward what appears as “good‘ is what constitutes us as selves and what thereby signifies the primary meaning of our freedom
|Keywords||Brain Faith Freedom Neuroscience Philosophy Self Soul|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Katrina Sifferd (2011). Neuroethics. In Vilayanur Ramachandran (ed.), Encyclopedia of Human Behavior, 2e. Elsevier.
Owen J. Flanagan (2003). The Problem of the Soul: Two Visions of Mind and How to Reconcile Them. Basic Books.
M. A. Persinger & S. A. Koren (2007). A Theory of Neurophysics and Quantum Neuroscience: Implications for Brain Function and the Limits of Consciousness. International Journal of Neuroscience 117 (2):157-175.
Andrew Brook (2005). Making Consciousness Safe for Neuroscience. In Andrew Brook & Kathleen Akins (eds.), Cognition and the Brain: The Philosophy and Neuroscience Movement. Cambridge University Press. 397.
Nicholas Maxwell (1985). Methodological Problems of Neuroscience. In David Rose & Vernon Dobson (eds.), Models of the Visual Cortex. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Matthew C. Eshleman (2008). The Misplaced Chapter on Bad Faith, or Reading Being and Nothingness in Reverse. Sartre Studies International 14 (2):1-22.
Andrew Brook & Kathleen Akins (eds.) (2005). Cognition and the Brain: The Philosophy and Neuroscience Movement. Cambridge University Press.
Harry Francis Mallgrave (2010). The Architect's Brain: Neuroscience, Creativity, and Architecture. Wiley-Blackwell.
Stewart Goetz (2011). A Brief History of the Soul. Wiley-Blackwell.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads74 ( #18,147 of 1,098,965 )
Recent downloads (6 months)27 ( #4,182 of 1,098,965 )
How can I increase my downloads?