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At Mind Matters News: Neuroscientist: Mind is not just brain? That’s career limiting!

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Neuropsychologist Mark Solms and neurosurgeon Michael Egnor agreed that clinical experience supports a non-materialist view of the mind but that the establishment doesn’t:

Now, Solms talks about the reality that discussing the fact that the brain is not the mind can be a career-limiting move.

The bigger point is, if you do address these big questions, you’re in trouble… What is the relationship between me and my body? These are fantastically important questions. And so, one pursues a career in neuroscience. You would think that’s one of the obvious places to go if you’re wanting to understand questions like this.

But my experience, upon entering the graduate program in order to pursue these questions, [was that] my professors — kindly they thought — counseled me not to ask questions like this. “It’s bad for your career.” And so, you get the sense of wonder, the naive wonder, which makes us become scientists and neuroscientists in particular in the first place, you get a beaten out view. [00:28:00]

And I’m not sure how many people realize that, that science is an incredibly rigid… sort of… it’s like a mafia. You have to go along with the rules of the Don, otherwise you’ve had it. So that’s the big thing I wanted to say in response to what Michael was saying: He’s expressing hard-won conclusions that he has come to as a result of struggling with the biggest questions that there are. And it’s not universally admired to do that. It’s considered… It’s something worse than a maverick, that’s it’s sort of unscientific even anti-scientific to express opinions based on the evidence on these big questions. And so when he said… that in neuroscience we have tons of answers, but we’ve forgotten what the questions are… nothing could be closer to my own experience than that statement. [00:29:30]

News, “Neuroscientist: Mind is not just brain? That’s career limiting!” at Mind Matters News

Takehome: Mark Solms: “science is an incredibly rigid… sort of… it’s like a mafia. You have to go along with the rules of the Don, otherwise you’ve had it.”


  1. Here’s the first portion of the debate, where neuropsychologist Mark Solms shares his perspective: Consciousness: Is it in the cerebral cortex — or the brain stem? In a recent discussion/debate with neurosurgeon Michael Egnor, neuropsychologist Mark Solms offers an unconventional but evidence-based view, favouring the brain stem. The evidence shows, says Mark Solms, author of The Hidden Spring, that the brain stem, not the cerebral cortex is the source of consciousness.

And Michael Egnor responds:

  1. Neurosurgeon and neuropsychologist agree: Brain is not mind Michael Egnor tells Mark Solms: Neuroscience didn’t help him understand people; quite the reverse, he had to understand people, and minds, to make sense of neuroscience. Egnor saw patients who didn’t have most of their frontal lobes who were completely conscious, “in fact, rather pleasant, bright people.”

You may also wish to read: Your mind vs. your brain: Ten things to know

2 Replies to “At Mind Matters News: Neuroscientist: Mind is not just brain? That’s career limiting!

  1. 1
    BobRyan says:

    Pursuit of science should not be found only in the realms of schools. There was a time when scientific endeavor happened outside the university. Edison did not open a university, but a private business, to employee people in pursuit of breakthroughs. He paid more than anyone else in exchange for his getting credit.

    The more control the universities have over science, the fewer advancements are achieved.

  2. 2
    KRock says:

    Is it me, or has the scientific establishment become the Catholic Church of the Renaissance Period, where heretics (anyone who dares to deviate from the status quo) are routinely harassed and sometimes even canceled?!

    Science, it would seem, has become a science ruled by tyranny!

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