Is there a ghost in the machine?

Uploaded on Dec 06, 2011 / 208 views / 633 impressions / 3 comments


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The spirit or personality – the concept of a soul, self or mind distinct from our physical shell – has long been a cornerstone of our understanding of what it means to be human. Increasingly, however, scientific fields like neuroscience, genetics and psychology provide intricate explanations for human functioning, rooted in the tangible and the biological. Can we establish an empirically sound view of ourselves, without detracting from the importance of morality, responsibility, solidarity and freedom? The speakers in this contentious debate are Dr Stuart Derbyshire, reader in psychology, University of Birmingham; Martha Robinson, neuroscience PhD student; Richard Swinburne, emeritus professor, philosophy of religion, University of Oxford; Professor Raymond Tallis, fellow, Academy of Medical Sciences.


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