No Drugs to Build Character

We have pills and injections (dangerous and illegal, mostly) to build bodily strength. We have pills and injections to treat mental fatigue, mood disorders, bad habits, psychoses, and other mental deficiencies. But we have no drugs to build character strength, or virtue. Why is that? Oxytocin can enhance openness, generosity, and trust, but not in […]

Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos: Not Quite Real Enough

Book Review Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False by Thomas Nagel Fact: Human consciousness is real. Fact: Human rationality is real. Fact: Human value judgments refer to real truths. Fact: All of this is impossible on a materialist Neo-Darwinian conception of nature. So says Thomas Nagel, the highly […]

Immaterialism Has Little To Fear

The current Philosophia Christi (14:1) includes Michael Tooley's “strongest argument for materialism,” specifically the belief that there is no soul, no immaterial mind, nothing to explain human mental and behavioral conditions except the physical brain. His explanation of that argument begins here: One can treat the proposition that humans have immaterial, rational minds as a […]

Zombies: The Movie

Paul, frequent commenter here, sent me this link by email: Overcoming Bias: Zombies: The Movie. Some excerpts: DOCTOR: David! David Chalmers! Can you hear me? CHALMERS: Yes. NURSE: It’s no use, doctor. CHALMERS: I’m perfectly fine. I’ve been introspecting on my consciousness, and I can’t detect any difference. I know I would be expected to […]

Mind and Brain: Philosophy or Science?

Denyse O’Leary was the co-author (with Dr. Mario Beauregard) of a book on mind and brain I reviewed in the April issue of Touchstone magazine: The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul. Beauregard has published research (see links from here) challenging some neuroscientists’ view that spiritual experiences can be explained […]

“Dementia diagnosis brings relief, not depression”–Why?

This made absolutely no sense to me at first: ‘The major finding is that both patients and their families feel relief, not increased anxiety, upon learning the [Alzheimer’s] diagnosis,’ says study co-author John C. Morris, M.D., the Harvey A. and Dorismae Hacker Friedman Distinguished Professor of Neurology and director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centre. […]

“How thoughts arise”

Science Centric has a report on a new, more effective approach to simulating neural networks: In their doctoral theses, Arvind Kumar and Sven Schrader have simulated large neuronal networks that, for the first time, take this neuronal feature into account. Especially in the neocortex, neurones are intensely interconnected, i.e. they receive many input signals that […]