Solving The Mind-Body Problem in Five Minutes

What is the relationship between mind and matter? Materialism holds that the mental is a product of the physical – the mind is what the brain does. By contrast, dualist accounts are consistent with our common sense notion that the mental is fundamentally different from the physical. How much does a thought weigh? a dualist … Continue reading

Scientology Psychobabble: The brain & mind according to Hubbard

In this video, a Scientologist makes a number of apparently absurd and/or far-fetched L. Ron Hubbard-based claims. Firstly, he (i.e., the speaker; though “he” could just as easily refer to Hubbard, as this person is clearly well indoctrinated into Hubbard’s dogmatic cult of personality) claims that the function of the brain is to act as a shock absorber for the … Continue reading

The impact of language on cognition: New findings

Deric Bownds posted on interesting new research showing that language can affect even low-level more hard-wired aspects of our cognition, including colour perception and memory. Language as a vehicle of culture may be even more influential on our cognition than previously suspected. Read on for discussion of the findings and broader issues in cognition.

Why do people believe in Gods? Oxford to launch a $4 million research program on religious belief.

Associate Press (via AZ Central) reports that the University of Oxford is about to embark on a nearly $4 million research program investigating why mankind believes in God(s). The US-based John Templeton Foundation providing the financial resources that will enable the Oxford-based Ian Ramsey Center for Science and Religion to gather anthropologists, theologians, philosophers and other academics together … Continue reading

Cafe Inquiry: Can we be good without God?

The next University of Toronto Secular Alliance event is this coming Wednesday. The event is a part of the ongoing program entitled Cafe Inquiry. Cafe Inquiry is modeled after Cafe Scientifique, a grassroots endeavor to provide an opportunity for citizens both within and especially outside of the university community to learn about and discuss important issues … Continue reading

Does belief in free will affect moral behaviour? Can we reconcile free will and determinism?

Deric Bownds profiles a study by Vohs and Schooler of the University of British Columbia, which found that the presenting arguments for determinism increases the likelihood of selfishness and cheating.