at the Annual Meeting:
Details for the Annual Meeting, April 17-18 in Pittsburgh
We have an exciting lineup for the Annual Meeting this April. The theme is “Mind and Brain” and will include the following talks:
J.P. Moreland, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
“The irrelevance of neuroscience for formulating and addressing the fundamental problems in philosophy/theology of mind.” In the first part of my talk, I will lay out the autonomy and authority theses in philosophy and identify the central questions in the four key areas of the mind/body problem. In the second section, I will show why neuroscience cannot even formulate, much less address these central questions. I will also clarify what it means to say that two or more theories are empirically equivalent and go on to argue that when it comes to the neuroscience of mirror neurons, (1) strict physicalism (2) mere property dualism and (3) substance dualism are empirically equivalent treatments of the scientific data. And an appeal to theoretical simplicity does not favor strict physicalism.In the third section, I will show that a simple soul is, but a complex brain is not the sort of thing that can acomodate 3 things we know about ourselves: (1) we are possibly such that we can exist in a disembodied state after death and NDEs have made this beyond reasonable doubt; (2) we possess a fundamentally unified consciousness; (3) we are continuants even though our bodies and brains undergo severe part replacement. I will conclude by point out that while philosophy/theology does not need neuroscience to address its central issues the converse is not true. Neuroscience needs philosophy to do its work.
Eric Jones, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology, Regent University College of Arts and Sciences and member of the executive board of the Society for Christian Psychology
“The ultimate purpose of the human brain: survival, mental continuity and human flourishing” Over the past twenty years the role of the brain has become progressively more central to the work of experimental psychology. Although the discovery and description of brain functions have exploded during this time, the strict adherence to evolutionary psychological perspectives among researchers has resulted in no realistic competing philosophical explanations for these discoveries. Given that brain function must be explained within an evolutionary context and as brain function is fundamentally involved in these processes, it is also assumed the purpose of the brain as a whole adheres to a survival orientation. This presentation reviews theory and research from the field of psychology as well as philosophy and theology from a Christian perspective to provide an alternative understanding of the function and purpose of the brain. It is proposed that the brain is not ultimately oriented toward the survival of individuals. Instead the brain appears to be better characterized within a relational ontological context leading to a strikingly different view of the person than contemporary psychology holds.
Angus Menuge, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy, Concordia University Wisconsin and President of the Evangelical Philosophical Society “Can a serious scientist believe in the soul?”
Many suppose that the soul has no place in a modern scientifically informed view of reality. The most common arguments for this opinion are that: (1) souls undercut the causal closure of the physical world, making it impossible to complete physical science; (2) souls violate the laws of physics, and especially the energy conservation law, because causal interactions require an energy transfer; and (3) souls are redundant, because there is nothing one can explain with souls that one cannot better explain by appeal to neurophysiology alone. I argue that all of these objections fail. Either they conflate empirical science with a dubious materialist philosophy or they overstate what the empirical data really show. I contend that: (1) we do not have good reason to accept the causal closure of the physical world; (2) souls need not violate the laws of physics, including the energy conservation law; and (3) souls are not redundant, but serve as the best explanation of the rational powers of agents presupposed by scientific inquiry. The scientist who embraces souls gains a coherent picture of the relation between the scientist and nature, which is unavailable to the materialist. Michael Egnor, M.D., Professor of Neurosurgery and Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Stony Brook University “Misconceptions in modern neuroscience” During the past century neuroscientists have have gained much understanding of molecular and cellular neurobiology. Yet a genuine scientific understanding of the biological basis for consciousness remains elusive. A primary reason for this is the materialist metaphysical predicate in which neuroscientific research is conducted. An understanding of this conceptual error, and replacement of materialist metaphysics with a hylemorphic metaphysical perspective, will deepen scientific insight into the mind and its biological substrate. More.
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3 Replies to “Brutally cold? Start thinking about the Christian Scientific Society speaker lineup April 17-18”
It’s quite telling if a society which calls itself “scientific” and calls for
uses a false picture of DNA to pretend scientificity of a meeting that shall deepen the scientific insight into the biological substrate that underlies the mind.
I was going to suggest it could be Z-DNA, but they managed to screw that up too.
Seems very interesting. And our interlocutors are, as usual, very pertinent by choosing to comment only about the DNA image… 🙂