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Whatever Happened to the Soul? Scientific and Theological Portraits of Human Nature Paperback – November 4, 1998
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About the Author
Nancey Murphy is Professor of Christian Philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary. She is an internationally known author and speaker in the field of religion and science.
Top Customer Reviews
Much recent work in the field of neurology points to an increasing correlation between the physical and the mental. Though work in this area is embryonic and far from definitive, it does raises important theological and philosophical questions. In particular, how does this growing physical-mental relationship impact the classic theistic view of man? In popular writing the mind-body issue has traditionally been framed as a dichotomy between either Cartesian substance dualism (brain and soul interact but are distinct substances) or reductive materialism (ultimately everything can be reduced to physics). Both of these approaches have there challenges.
With regard to dualism, the oft-cited question of how two distinct substances interact is not as troublesome to me as the implications of an increasing correlation between the physical brain and the mind (soul) - e.g. impact of injury, disease and the genetic-personality link. Despite dualism's difficulties, however, reductive materialism is even less satisfactory. For example, reductionism fails to account for free will, the nature of consciousness or the veracity of rationality - not minor problems.
The current text argues for what is known as non-reductive materialism. In this model, the soul is tied to the brain but an emergent quality that is not explainable by reductionism. I find this approach to have its own challenges. On the positive side the authors do a good job of dispelling the overstated popular conception of Christianity as necessarily entailing Cartesian dualism.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent coverage of the question of souls. I remain unconvinced that "non-reductive physicalism is a useful name, but the theory provides great insights into how one can be... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Lucas Mix
This book is about a puzzle: how our souls are connected to our bodies. The book's answer is called nonreductive physicalism. Read morePublished on October 6, 2002 by Kurt W. Norlin
Quite simply, this is an extremely useful book.
It is a decidely Christian rejection of substance dualism, something that has been wanting in a popular yet still academic... Read more
This book is a clear example of the materialist or pantheist apostasy that is growing in liberal theology. Read morePublished on August 27, 1999