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

Brainwashed Scientologist cannot honestly answer a simple question

According to Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard, a Scientologist who has attained the Scientology state of “Clear” has a perfect memory. In this video, a Scientologist who has reached this state admits that she does not have a perfect memory but is unable to admit one of the following rationally obligatory conclusions: 1) She is … 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.

Interested in the scientific study of meditation, mindfulness and contemplative practices?

Deric Bownds has provided a link to the Mind and Life Institute, which offers a quarterly bibliography with short descriptions of research done on the effects of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). I post these links here as well, for those interested in the science of meditation, mindfulness, and contemplative practices, as well as other bridges … Continue reading

The Cognitive Styles of Liberals and Conservatives

I just picked the January edition of Scientific American: Mind and over the next week or so will be reviewing many of the articles here. This a review #1. And it’s a short review for a short article by Siri Carpenter. In Left Brains vs. Right Brains, Carpenter discusses a difference in cognitive style between … Continue reading

Magic mushrooms inspire ‘spiritual’ experiences. The role of this finding in assessing the claims of organized religion.

In 2006, Roland Griffiths of Johns Hopkins Medicine found that psilocybin, or magic mushrooms, can elicit powerful mystical experiences. He asserts that this finding should not be viewed as a threat to religious belief. I disagree.

Materialism and Dualism: What is the Relationship Between Mind and Matter?

Are the mind and the body separate or is the mind simply what the brain does? This is the crux of the materialism-dualism issue. I argue that the answer is one of monism, but not as described by materialism.