Am I just my brain?

A wise and learned philosopher once said, “We are living in a material world, and I am a material girl”. OK, those were the lyrics to Material Girl by Madonna – but, whether she realised it or not, I think she was onto something: many people today, especially within science, do think we are quite literally living in a material world. Many scientists (and, indeed, people from other fields such as history) presume methodological naturalism – the idea that the best explanation for anything is always a naturalistic one. ‘Supernatural’ explanations are discounted a priori.

This kind of attitude seems to have become standard fare in many scientific circles. Although I don’t usually read the magazine, back in 2012 my wife kindly bought me a copy of the New Scientist special edition “The God Issue”. The editorial on the front page talked scornfully about religion: “Religious claims still wither under rational scrutiny and deserve no special place in public life.” Ouch! This kind of attitude was evident most of the way through the magazine.

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I’ve written a review of Sharon Dirckx’s book “Am I just my brain?” for Ian Paul’s blog Psephizo.

Read the rest of the review on his blog.

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