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Brain Wars: The Scientific Battle Over the Existence of the Mind and the Proof That Will Change the Way We Live Our Lives Hardcover – April 24, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-0062071569 ISBN-10: 0062071564 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062071564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062071569
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #544,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Brain Wars explains why the prevailing brain-mind paradigm is falling apart and why we are increasingly being forced to reconsider the nature of consciousness. The consequences of this paradigm shift are profound, and Mario Beauregard does a magnificent job in explaining why.” (Dean Radin PhDCo-Editor-in-Chief, Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing Senior Scientist Institute of Noetic Sciences)

“Mario Beauregard shows convincingly that the materialistic philosophy of the 19th century is an impoverished framework incompatible with contemporary science, from physics to psychology. The concepts he develops in Brain Wars are required reading for scientific literacy in today’s world.” (Bruce Greyson, M.D. Research psychiatrist, University of Virginia. Co-author of Irreducible Mind)

“In this ground-breaking work, neuroscientist Mario Beauregard cites a range of scientific studies challenging many widely held materialistic assumptions about the relation between the mind and brain.” (B. Alan Wallace, Ph.D.President, Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies)

“The assumption that the brain makes consciousness, like the liver makes bile, and that human consciousness is confined to the brain and body, will not endure because it is unscientific, and cannot account for how consciousness manifests in the world. In this important book, Dr. Mario Beauregard shows why.” (Larry Dossey, MDAuthor of Reinventing Medicine and The Power of Premonitions)

“Dr. Beauregard describes that our mind/consciousness has a fundamental and irreducible nature, and that it sometimes can be experienced independently from the body because it is not limited to our brain. Brain Wars clearly announces the end of physicalism, reductionism, materialism and objectivism in science.” (Pim van Lommel, cardiologist, author of Consciousness beyond Life)

Provocative and accessible, this book is ultimately less about hard science and more about the mind-body problem and philosophy of materialistic science. (Library Journal)

From the Back Cover

The brain can be weighed, measured, scanned, dissected, and studied. The mind that we conceive to be generated by the brain, however, remains a mystery. It has no mass, no volume, and no shape, and it cannot be measured in space and time. Yet it is as real as neurons, neurotransmitters, and synaptic junctions. It is also very powerful.
—from Brain Wars

Is the brain "a computer made of meat," and human consciousness a simple product of electrical impulses? The idea that matter is all that exists has dominated science since the late nineteenth century and led to the long-standing scientific and popular understanding of the brain as simply a collection of neurons and neural activity. But for acclaimed neuroscientist Mario Beauregard, Ph.D., along with a rising number of colleagues and others, this materialist-based view clashes with what we feel and experience every day.

In Brain Wars, Dr. Beauregard delivers a paradigm-shifting examination of the role of the brain and mind. Filled with engaging, surprising, and cutting-edge scientific accounts, this eye-opening book makes the increasingly indisputable case that our immaterial minds influence what happens in our brains, our bodies, and even beyond our bodies. Examining the hard science behind "unexplained" phenomena such as the placebo effect, self-healing, brain control, meditation, hypnosis, and near-death and mystical experiences, Dr. Beauregard reveals the mind's capabilities and explores new answers to age-old mind-body questions.

Radically shifting our comprehension of the role of consciousness in the universe, Brain Wars forces us to consider the immense untapped power of the mind and explore the profound social, moral, and spiritual implications that this new understanding holds for our future.

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book to anyone in psychology.
MN
In the end, I'd say he/we should work to clarify what we can reasonably use to understand each other and our social interaction better.
R.Vanderkam
Beauregard tackles the Mind / Consciousness argument as well as many other issues.
Elocutus55

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Giordany Orellana on May 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Healing yourself with only your thoughts, placebos more effective than big pharma, and influencing matter at the quantum level.

This book covers all of these fascinating subjects, and then some. The book is easy to read and paced very well. It never gets bogged down with heavy explanation, and it's always just enough to keep reading to learn more.

He covers out-of-body experiences, Near-death-experiences, experiments with placebos, the debate of conciousness and the mind, and several other unexplained phenomena that has something to do with the brain.

All of his examples are scientifically backed, and he holds his judgement until the very end. For most of the book, he presents you the facts, and lets you decide for yourself.
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful By eddn on April 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have recommended this book many times since reading it because I think it is important for people today to understand the brain wars going on in our culture, and the implications of the battles. Dr. Beauregard's book is an excellent and well-documented statement that the materialist and reductionist points of view are inaccurate, incomplete, and insulting to the human spirit. Each of us is much more than a measurable mass, more than chemical processes in a brain.

Being reminded that our lives are not determined by the processes of our brains inspires us, gives us hope, obliges and frees us to make wise decisions about how we live, love, work, and play. This book is an eloquent reminder of our freedom and the rights and responsibilities that come with it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By St. Corbinians's Bear on October 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had read the author's Spiritual Brain he co-authored with Denyse O'Leary and had high expectations. Brain Wars was a quick, interesting read, but I had read most of the stories before. Surely something has happened since the last book? Yes, the story of the surgical patient that had her blood drained and was clinically dead while floating around the operating room is fascinating, but I have seen it before. Likewise the Buried Yogi and the Placebo Problem.

This would be a five-star book for someone just beginning to learn about the mind-brain controversy. It has that "popular overview" feel. I hope Dr. Beauregard follows it with another book that brings us up to date and delves a little deeper.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By MN on May 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book, well written and chalk full of evidence demonstrating the inadequacies of our current mind-brain relationship theory. I highly recommend this book to anyone in psychology.

The reason this book does not get a 5-star from me is two-fold. First, Dr Mario Beauregard has done much research of his own on the subject of NDEs and has published a paper in the journal Resuscitation regarding a retrospective study that contained an NDE very similar to that of Pam Reynolds. Unfortunately, it was not mentioned in this book which is disappointing to say the least. Second, the book is essentially "Irreducible Minds, Towards a Psychology for the 21st Century" for dummies. The two are quite similar, and as I had already read "Irreducible Minds", I found this book to be quite repetitive which was also a little disappointing.

With all this in mind, the 4 star rating is a mix of how much I enjoyed the book (a 3) and the book itself (a 5) and I certainly highly recommend it!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Edward Bolton on May 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
His first book, The Spiritual Brain, does an excellent job introducing the current conflict in neuroscience. This book, Brain Wars, is basically in the trenches blow by blow. Most people who read books will someday have read both of them and, indeed, both of them are excellent and informative reading.

In The Spiritual Brain two points that clearly believed are
1) Psyches exist even while being parts of no living brain.
and
2) Psyches need not become reduced to a secondary role in a physical system.
Neither point is proven in that book. The second book proves both points beyond all doubt. However, the second book is sloppy and importantly inaccurate.

The usage of 'mind' is to refer to what one thinks with and it certainly should not be used interchangeably with 'psyche' the philosophical self or soul. This in turn is most certainly not the referent of 'consciousness'. If you are asked, "What is eight time five?", you find the answer is in consciousness, but the answer to this, and all similar questions, is most certainly not somehow usually in awareness. Such "descriptively unconsious" memories are yet very clearly a part of the psyche.

Similarly the idea of reality as only information and that none local is nonsense. Dr. Beauregard accepts as reality both precognition and clarvoyance which leads to this odd idea. However, to say the future can change the present just is to say the same thing as to say the present can change the past. It is notorious that while historians must change history every couple of years, God does not get to change it. Whether the good guys or the bad guys declared independence from Britain in 1776 may still be deiceded, but John Hancock's name just plain is on the document.
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15 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A reader on April 20, 2014
Format: Paperback
This entire book reflects a logical fallacy. The author quotes William James's maxim that "[i]f you wish to upset the law that all crows are black, you must not [that is, need not] seek to show that no crows are, it is enough if you prove the single crow to be white." James was right. The problem is that nothing in this book really proves a single crow to be white.

Anomalous cases, even some very interesting double-blind experiments, which the current state of scientific knowledge arguably cannot explain, call for further research, thought, and investigation; they don't prove tendentious conclusions. They don't, without more, prove the existence of the single white crow.

To cite just one example, the author describes (Ch. 7) the case of Pam Reynolds. She reportedly had a near-death experience in which, while clinically brain dead, she saw, heard, and otherwise sensed certain events. She remembered them upon being revived. The events she said she sensed could also be empirically, independently verified by others. This is indeed fascinating if it's true. To my knowledge, it cannot be explained by current, general consensus scientific views, e.g., about the dependence of mental events upon physical events in the brain. But we cannot therefore draw the conclusion that, as Huxley and some others believed, the mind acts as a filter for a transcendental unified consciousness, or that life and perception survive brain death. These are hypotheses.

True, it would be dogmatic to dismiss these cases because they can't be explained by a materialistic worldview. Further evidence of this sort might well require that we revise that worldview. The author's right to critique *dogmatic* skepticism. Dogmatic materialism is as bad as any other dogma.
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More About the Author

Dr. Mario Beauregard, PhD., is Associate Research Professor at the Departments of Psychology and Radiology, and the Neuroscience Research Center, Université de Montréal. He is the co-author of The Spiritual Brain and more than 100 publications in neuroscience, psychology and psychiatry.

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Brain Wars: The Scientific Battle Over the Existence of the Mind and the Proof That Will Change the Way We Live Our Lives
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