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Bodies and Souls

Bodies and Souls

Chapter:
(p.1) One Bodies and Souls
Source:
Coming to Mind
Author(s):
Lenn E. GoodmanD. Gregory Caramenico
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226061238.003.0001

Goodman and Caramenico speak of souls not to name a quasi-physical or pseudo-physical entity. They ground their argument on the premise that what acts is what is real. And souls do act – and feel, perceive, experience and understand, plan, intend, remember and hope. (So the distinction of soul from mind is not just semantic). Consciousness stakes out its ground to constitute itself as an identity, a subject or self, reflexive and reflective, situated in the world and responsive to the risks and opportunities we encounter. The reductive project, aspiring to erase the very idea of the soul in favor of the brain and its processes, runs aground here: As science increasingly succeeds in correlating brain processes with the acts and experiences of our inner life, the facts of subjecthood do not melt away. They remain undescribable in sheerly physical terms, and unexplainable in such terms alone. The agenda here is not separability. This book is not about immortality or ensoulment. The argument is much more direct: that human souls think and feel, believe and choose, reason and discover, not despite the body but by way of its remarkable capabilities. The chief organ, locus, and vehicle of souls is the brain.

Keywords:   Emergence and reduction, Persons, Complexity, Mind and Body, Thought and Emotion, Aristotle, Lucretius, William James, Jaegwon Kim, Philip Clayton

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