Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century
Rowman & Littlefield, 2007 - Philosophy - 800 pages
Current mainstream opinion in psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy of mind holds that all aspects of human mind and consciousness are generated by physical processes occurring in brains. Views of this sort have dominated recent scholarly publication. The present volume, however, demonstrates_empirically_that this reductive materialism is not only incomplete but false. The authors systematically marshal evidence for a variety of psychological phenomena that are extremely difficult, and in some cases clearly impossible, to account for in conventional physicalist terms. Topics addressed include phenomena of extreme psychophysical influence, memory, psychological automatisms and secondary personality, near-death experiences and allied phenomena, genius-level creativity, and 'mystical' states of consciousness both spontaneous and drug-induced. The authors further show that these rogue phenomena are more readily accommodated by an alternative 'transmission' or 'filter' theory of mind/brain relations advanced over a century ago by a largely forgotten genius, F. W. H. Myers, and developed further by his friend and colleague William James. This theory, moreover, ratifies the commonsense conception of human beings as causally effective conscious agents, and is fully compatible with leading-edge physics and neuroscience. The book should command the attention of all open-minded persons concerned with the still-unsolved mysteries of the mind.
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A door long welded shut by those in the field of Psychology behaving like Christianity's response to Copernicus has been opened by the work and attitudes of these authors. The whole of the book can be boiled down to the single message: "We have work to do and this is where we begin." but its 800 pages of getting that message across is delightful and adventurous reading. Let the scientists do their work.
It would help if the DEA would remove the restrictions that can now be seen to be unreasonable.
Fresh, creative thinking supported by sober research. Dense, substantial, changed the way I look at the world. I'd recommend it to anyone.