Until quite recently, mind-body dualism has been regarded with deep suspicion by both philosophers and scientists. This has largely been due to the widespread identification of dualism in general with one particular version of it: the interactionist substance dualism of Réné Descartes. This traditional form of dualism has, ever since its first formulation in the seventeenth century, attracted numerous philosophical objections and is now almost universally rejected in scientific circles as empirically inadequate. During the last few years, however, renewed attention has begun to be paid to the dualistic point of view, as a result of increasing discontent with the prevailing materialism and reductionism of contemporary scientific and philosophical thought. Awareness has grown that dualism need not be restricted to its traditional form and that other varieties of dualism are not subject to the difficulties commonly raised against Descartes' own version of it.
Interest in these alternative versions of dualism is growing fast today, because it seems that they are capable of capturing deep-seated philosophical intuitions, while also being fully consistent with the methodological assumptions and empirical findings of modern scientific work on the human mind and brain. The object of this book is to provide philosophers, scientists, their students, and the wider general public with an up-to-date overview of current developments in dualistic conceptions of the mind in contemporary philosophy and science.
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Alessandro Antonietti is the director of the Master Creativity and Personal Empowerment through Drama Methodologies program at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan. Antonella Corradini is associate professor of philosophy of social sciences at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan. E. Jonathan Lowe is professor of philosophy at the University of Durham.Review:
This book is clearly distinguished from others in its field by the fact that its contributors do not limit themselves to reconstructing the history of dualism or to discussing competing points of view... rather, they propose and defend their own versions of dualism in a dialectical confrontation with other positions in the philosophy of mind and science. This volume offers a rich panoply of ways to approach the vast and deep questions that arise when we explore the difficulties arising from the subjectivity of the mental. This is a very useful collection of essays for professional academics and researchers of various disciplines. I heartily recommend this book to any educated reader who has an interest in exploring questions concerning the human mind. (Kamuran Godelek, Mersin University Metapsychology Online Reviews)
Antonietti, Corradini, and Lowe have put together a compact and accessible overview of the mind-body problem. It elegantly integrates scientific and philosophical perspectives and gives a cogent overview of the current state of the field. The method of presentation nicely recapitulates the interactive nature and open-minded spirit of inquiry that this subject matter demands. This book genuinely advances us toward the goal of a coherent understanding of the relationship between psychic and material realities. (Jeffrey M. Schwartz, author of The Mind & the Brain)
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