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Mind and Emergence: From Quantum to Consciousness

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199291434
ISBN-10: 0199291438
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Editorial Reviews


`Review from previous edition Endorsement: Philip Clayton provides here a carefully considered and closely argued defence of the idea of strong emergence in relation to both the natural sciences and the human mind. The erudite argument is well-grounded in the relevant literature and solidly related to the evolutionary process whereby complexity has come into being. The book will be an indispensable reading for those concerned with the `big questions' related to the human mind, such as issues of agency and freedom.' George Ellis, University of Cape Town

About the Author

Philip Clayton is Ingraham Professor, Claremont School of Theology; Professor of Philosophy and of Religion, Claremont Graduate University.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (June 29, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199291438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199291434
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.7 x 5.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Philip Clayton is the Dean of Claremont School of Theology and Provost of Claremont Lincoln University. He also holds the Ingraham Chair at CST. Clayton earned a joint PhD in Religious Studies and Philosophy from Yale University and has held visiting appointments at Harvard University, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Munich. He has published over 20 books and hundreds of academic and popular articles.

Over the course of 25 years of teaching and researching, Clayton's interests migrated gradually from philosophy through the science-religion debate to constructive theology. Explanation from Physics to Theology: An Essay in Rationality and Religion (Yale 1989) and several dozen articles explored similarities and differences in how knowledge and explanations function across the disciplines. The Problem of God in Modern Thought (Eerdmans 2000) and a series of accompanying articles explored the fall and rise of theistic metaphysics in the modern era. Clayton then moved into a variety of leadership positions in the international debate on the science-religion relationship, including Principal Investigator of the Science and the Spiritual Quest program. He has been an outspoken advocate for multi-cultural and multi-religious approaches to the field. Clayton has written or edited over a dozen books in this field and spoken on the topic in almost every continent. Recent works include Adventures in the Spirit (Fortress 2009), In Quest of Freedom (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2009), The Predicament of Belief (Oxford 2012, with Steven Knapp), and Religion and Science: The Basics (Routledge 2012).

A series of events precipitated the most recent turn: leading the Ford Foundation grant "Rekindling Theological Imagination" with Marjorie Suchocki; lecturing around the country on emergent Christianity; organizing the "Theology After Google" event; and launching the "Big Tent Christianity" movement with Brian McLaren, Tony Jones, Tripp Fuller, and others. Transforming Christian Theology: For Church and Society (Fortress 2009) argued that seminaries should help prepare Christian leaders for an unheralded transformation in the church, which has already begun in our culture. Soon thereafter the invitation came to help lead Claremont School of Theology as it becomes the Christian member of an interreligious consortium of schools known as Claremont Lincoln University. The offer was too tempting to refuse.

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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Max Johnson on April 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
Philip Clayton's "Mind and Emergence" is a brilliant synthesis of emergent/complexity theory, contemporary philosophy, and constructive theology. As usual, Clayton really treats us to TWO books in one: a concise introduction to the various forms of emergence theory and some of the theory's major players (ala "The Emergence of Everything," by Harold Morowitz); AND a tentative but boldly original proposal for an emergentist "Theology of Mind," both individual and, yes, Transcendent/Cosmic. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the leading edge of the science and religion dialogue.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John R. Robison on April 30, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A good book introducing the concept of Emergence in both epistemic and religious terms. Clayton breaks down the subject of Emergence and it's applicators to the Mind in several steps, all carefully outlined. If nothing else, it helps serve as a push back against the reductionist, physicalist takes that are so fashionable in some quarters. This is not a text to be tossed aside without careful examination, and it requires a considerable amount of careful reading. There are those who will, no doubt, chuck it aside as it will fail to meet the narrow dogmatism of their world views, but to do so is to risk missing the points it raises. It is dense, and not for someone who is not familiar with philosophy, quantum physics, the history of science, and trends in modern thought. It's not really for "beginners" but is an excellent resource for those interested in the field.
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22 of 41 people found the following review helpful By L.J. Stars on January 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is fine if you are a philosopher and interested in the concept of emergence. But if you are looking for a readable book, this is not for you. Phillip Clayton can write in an understandable way, but in this book he uses a very hard to understand style.

The book indicates that the concept of emergence is not well defined and the reader is likely to feel as confused after reading it as they did before. I would only recommend this book for an academic with a background in philosophy who is pursuing emergence as a concept. For the rest of us, it can be used as a sleep aid.
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