Brain, Mind, and Spirit—A Clinician’s Perspective, or Why I Am Not Afraid of Dualism

  • James W. Jones


Physicalism reigns supreme. Even theologians have rushed to embrace it. Not the “greedy” (Dennett) reductionistic physicalism of yore but a new, kindler, gentler physicalism called (of course!) “nonreductive physicalism.” Rather than the militantly antireligious drive of earlier reductive materialists, the new nonreductive types insist that theirs is a position fundamentally affirming of the religious and moral life (Brown et al. 1998). Rather than eliminating the features of human life on which religion depends, this form of physicalism affirms that “consciousness and religious awareness are emergent properties and they have top–down causal influence on the body” (Murphy 1998, p. 131).“The long-banned subjective states and qualities are now put up front—in the driver’s seat as it were...,” enthuses one of this position’s most famous spokesman, the Nobel laureate Roger Sperry (1991, p. 244). I fail to share this enthusiasm. Not because I am an eliminative materialist


Behavioral Medicine Emergent Property Causal Power Mental Property Conscious Experience 
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© Kelly Bulkeley 2005

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  • James W. Jones

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