Beyond Physicalism: Toward Reconciliation of Science and Spirituality
The rise of modern science has brought with it increasing acceptance among intellectual elites of a worldview that conflicts sharply both with everyday human experience and with beliefs widely shared among the world’s great cultural traditions. Most contemporary scientists and philosophers believe that reality is at bottom purely physical, and that human beings are nothing more than extremely complicated biological machines. On such views our everyday experiences of conscious decision-making, free will, and the self are illusory by-products of the grinding of our neural machinery. It follows that mind and personality are necessarily extinguished at death, and that there exists no deeper transpersonal or spiritual reality of any sort.
Beyond Physicalism is the product of an unusual fellowship of scientists and humanities scholars who dispute these views. In their previous publication, Irreducible Mind, they argued that physicalism cannot accommodate various well-evidenced empirical phenomena including paranormal or psi phenomena, postmortem survival, and mystical experiences. In this new theory-oriented companion volume they go further by attempting to understand how the world must be constituted in order that these “rogue” phenomena can occur. Drawing upon empirical science, metaphysical philosophy, and the mystical traditions, the authors work toward an improved “big picture” of the general character of reality, one which strongly overlaps territory traditionally occupied by the world’s institutional religions, and which attempts to reconcile science and spirituality by finding a middle path between the polarized fundamentalisms, religious and scientific, that have dominated recent public discourse.
Contributions by: Harald Atmanspacher, Loriliai Biernacki, Bernard Carr, Wolfgang Fach, Michael Grosso, Michael Murphy, David E. Presti, Gregory Shaw, Henry P. Stapp, Eric M. Weiss, and Ian Whicher
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Abhinavagupta actual occasions Advaita Vedānta aspects Atmanspacher brain capacity causal Chapter clairvoyance classical cognitive concept consciousness contents correlations creative described dimension divine dream dual-aspect empirical ence example existence explain F. W. H. Myers function fundamental human Iamblichus idea imagination James James’s Kelly Leibniz material matter mental metaphysics mind mind–matter monadology monads Myers Myers’s mystical experience nature nature’s Neoplatonic nondual normal notion objects observed ochēma one’s ordinary panentheism paranormal Parapsychology PataŮjali’s Pauli Peirce Peirce’s perception personality phenomena philosophical physical world physicalist Plotinus possible potentially precognition present principle psychedelic Psychical Research psychokinesis psychology psychophysical puruṣa quantum mechanics quantum theory reality Sāṃkhya scientific sciousness sense siddhis Society for Psychical sort soul space spacetime specious present spiritual Stapp structure subliminal subtle body supernormal supraliminal survival Tantric telepathy theoretical things tion traditions Trans University Press vision Whitehead Yoga York