non-materialistic and scientific literature about neuroscience

#1
Hi there.
I recently got quite interested in neuroscience and every kind of theory that they came up with to explain the different 'functions' of our brain. I read a whole bunch of stuff from scientists that are doing the research and materialists. Especially things like the memory (where neuroscience seems to be capable of explaining that the connections between neurons are responsible) are a thing im really interested in.

So, to make that view on those theories more complete i need some opinions/reviews of people that are not materialistic. If you know some sort of books or papers from scientists that are taking a dualistic/idealistic (or similiar) stance - i would be grateful if you could tell me about them. If you know some sort of criticism on the current theories about that stuff (neuroscience in general), i'd be happy to read them too :)
 
#2
I'd look into the work of Sir John Eccles and Wilder Penfield. They both worked on the brain extensively and their work eventually led them to both accept a form of dualism. I think Eccles has a book that he wrote with Popper on this exact subject.

In regards to actual titles, I'd recommend Irreducible Mind.
 
#3

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#5
Two good books written from a dualist point of view are The Mind And The Brain and Brain Wars. Brain Wars is a little bit more layperson friendly and covers a range of topics while the Mind and the Brain sticks to the topic of neuroplasticity. Both of the authors have interviews on the Skeptiko podcast.

While neither confirming nor denying materialism, How God Changes Your Brain is also an interesting read. It's an examination of what is going on in the brain when people are having spiritual experiences.

Also, the short (13 minute) video I posted at the top of the thread 'Has Anyone Considered Idealism?' approaches the topic from a neuroscientific perspective. If you go to the original link for that video on youtube, all of the scientific papers cited are linked in the description under the video.
 
#7
After reading through a bit of all that stuff, i got to say that its all pretty interesting.

Eccles is someone that had some great thoughts about all those things. I tend to believe that he propably knew a hell of a lot more about all of this then i ever will since he directly worked on the subject (the brain).
Stapp and Hamerhoff are also quite amazing to read about; i find it especially interesting that Stapp is capable of defending himself against all sorts of criticism. That man knows his field.

The Mind and The Brain and Brain Wars seem to be two good books. I actually didnt have a chance to read them till now. But i read some reviews. Well, to be perfectly honest there are quite a few negative ones about them out there. I read the words 'pseudo science' more then once regarding those books. The actual research seems to be legit (especially the stuff from Schwarz), i dont know about the conclusions though. Need to read it to say more about that.

Tallis...erf. I would like to say something about him too, but im actually not really sure what he is writing about. I cant understand that man at all. That stuff is way to abstract and complicated for me. Is there some sort of ... well, easy understandable summary on his papers?

And do you guys know anyone else out there who made some sort of papers that could be related to non-materialistic neuroscience?
 
#9
You'll find a lot of stuff from all points of view - including the aforementioned Tallis - here: http://www.closertotruth.com/
Well ty for the link. The thing with all points of view, i can see that - they're promoting Blackmore and Shermer there. Im having a hard time giving those people credit. Blackmore seems to me like a woman that just wanted to get some fame and money, since she wasnt popular until after she went sceptic(Reminds me a bit of Eben Alexander; just the opposite of him. He turned to a proponent for well...rather doubtful reasons). She also seems like someone that lost hope just because she didnt find anything that gave her a ultimate answer(That may be way too much speculation, but i always get the impression that life broke her in some way). Propably needs to realize that there isnt anything like that; accepting materialism isnt getting her anywhere closer to something like that. But idk.
And Shermer... you know, the words scientific scepticism makes me cringe. That guy is just out there to "debunk" everything that isnt fitting in the system. His whole sceptic agenda isnt just there to be sceptical in a traditional sense - hes basically just defending the current system(if you say hes doing otherwise, could be that i misunderstood him quite a lot. But well, im just a layman afterall). It makes me wonder everytime why people like him get a regular way to express themselves in a medium like the scientific american. But what do i know.

There is also some good stuff there, dont get me wrong, but its hardly understandable why the esp-section(that is labeled as consciousness for whatever reason) got people like them there. But i kinda get what the intention of that is anyways - since the articles there already are based on the premise that esp and life after death are just wishful thinking. They consider if it can be true in some of their interviews, but i can already see where this is going. Its the same with the religion-section. The creators of that website got a clear agenda behind it. No doubt about that. Just like me, i know that though :) I dont think that there shouldnt be anything that is arguing esp at all - its good to have something like that too. But those 2? Meh.

The cosmos-section seems to be a bit more reasonable though. Havent found Tallis yet.
 
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#10
Well ty for the link. The thing with all points of view, i can see that ...
Actually, there was a specific show about the nature of the brain and the mind that I wanted to link you to but I couldn't find it when I went looking. It had a bunch of different people: David Eagleman, Richard Swinburne, Raymond Tallis, a few others.... Though they all have their own points of view, I don't think I would class any of those people as hardline skeptics with an agenda.

I have just gone back for a better look. Here is the link: http://www.closertotruth.com/episodes/are-brain-and-mind-the-same-thing Full episodes that are available to view changes periodically but for now it is still available.
 
#11
Actually, there was a specific show about the nature of the brain and the mind that I wanted to link you to but I couldn't find it when I went looking. It had a bunch of different people: David Eagleman, Richard Swinburne, Raymond Tallis, a few others.... Though they all have their own points of view, I don't think I would class any of those people as hardline skeptics with an agenda.

I have just gone back for a better look. Here is the link: http://www.closertotruth.com/episodes/are-brain-and-mind-the-same-thing Full episodes that are available to view changes periodically but for now it is still available.
I couldn't seem to get to watch all of this (it kept coming up with error messages after a couple of minutes). I was interested in the little bit I heard from Eagleman and tracked this down:


I don't agree with everything he says (e.g. he doesn't seem aware of the large body of scientific literature relating to psi), but he strikes me as a guy one could have a productive conversation with, and "possibilianism" is a definite improvement on either ideological atheism or religious fundamentalism. If all scientists were like that, I think there'd be more productive dialogue going on.
 
#12
I couldn't seem to get to watch all of this (it kept coming up with error messages after a couple of minutes). I was interested in the little bit I heard from Eagleman and tracked this down:


I don't agree with everything he says (e.g. he doesn't seem aware of the large body of scientific literature relating to psi), but he strikes me as a guy one could have a productive conversation with, and "possibilianism" is a definite improvement on either ideological atheism or religious fundamentalism. If all scientists were like that, I think there'd be more productive dialogue going on.
While he self identifies as a materialist, he has a section at the end of his book Incognito that summarizes the 'brains as radios' theory as he calls it and goes on to state there is nothing in current neuroscience that contradicts it. That was enough to make me take notice, as most materialists do not seem that open minded.
 
#13
While he self identifies as a materialist, he has a section at the end of his book Incognito that summarizes the 'brains as radios' theory as he calls it and goes on to state there is nothing in current neuroscience that contradicts it. That was enough to make me take notice, as most materialists do not seem that open minded.
Yeah, it's very hard not to like the guy. He's sharp and funny and way more open minded than many who would self-identify as atheists. It's worth listening to this:

http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2009/06/aim_20090620.mp3

I post that because in parts, by happy synchronicity, it seems to link in with Bucky's recent post about DID:

http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/the-woman-with-20-personalities-in-one-body.1502/#post-46189

I don't have Incognito: do you happen to have a link to his opinion about the "radio" idea of consciousness mentioned in that section?
 
#14
Yeah, it's very hard not to like the guy. He's sharp and funny and way more open minded than many who would self-identify as atheists. It's worth listening to this:

http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2009/06/aim_20090620.mp3

I post that because in parts, by happy synchronicity, it seems to link in with Bucky's recent post about DID:

http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/the-woman-with-20-personalities-in-one-body.1502/#post-46189

I don't have Incognito: do you happen to have a link to his opinion about the "radio" idea of consciousness mentioned in that section?
I can quote it here. Kind of strapped for time right now though; maybe tomorrow. I will check the links then too.

EDIT: Actually, I've just find an article by a skeptic that quotes the majority of it: http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/?p=4362
 
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