The Mindful Hack is a Web log of Denyse O'Leary, co-author of The Spiritual Brain: A neuroscientist's case for the existence of the soul (HarperOne August 2007). The Mindful Hack publishes information of interest on the relationship between the mind and the brain. O'Leary also publishes the Post-Darwinist, which keeps up with the intelligent design controversy.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Letters from readers: Wonderful source of continuing education!
Recently, I've been hearing from readers of The Spiritual Brain on people who have inspired and/or intrigued them. Thanks to all, and in your honour I would like to draw attention to
perennial philosopher Mortimer Adler. (A perennial philosopher does not think that the really important things in life depend on who wins the Superbowl this year or where hemlines are going. Perennial = lasts through the years) Here are some
quotes from his writings, and if you like those, you can try to find some of his works.. Here is a free overview of his ideas. And here is the Mortimer Adler archive.
Benjamin Libet, who has studied consciousness and free will:
Libet, who says that when young he was convinced of the truth of determinist materialism, no longer believes that conscious mental activity is explainable by or reducible to, neuronal activity, although it certainly requires it. He is not, at the same time, advocating any kind of dualism or spiritual theory: instead (and rather obscurely, I think) it seems that his proposed CMF is an emergent phenomenon: something that arises from the combination of active neurons but amounts to something distinctively more than, and different from, the sum of brain activity.