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Abstract

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The Mysterious Matter of Mind
Arthur C. Custance

with a response by
Lee Edward Travis

 

Abstract

   One's view of the origin and nature of mind is of crucial importance, both for an assessment of human worth and in the formation of a truly healthy philosophy of life.
   Carefully examining historical outlooks on mind and brain, the author reviews various explanations which have been offered for the ascendancy of the mechanistic approach. He then presents the experimental findings of recent research which have led some of the most renowned scientists in the field to conclude that mind is more than matter and more than a mere by-product of the brain.
   Such a conclusion provides a basis for rejecting the view that man is "nothing but" a machine, without in any way minimizing how remarkable this machine is.

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

  Preface
 Chapter One: The Mind / Brain Problem
  
The problem of distinguishing mind from brain and the historical concepts of the relationship between the two are reviewed.
 Chapter Two: Cartesian Dualism: Mind & Brain Interaction
  
René Descartes' view of dualistic interactionism is reviewed, and factors leading to its rejection are explored.
 Chapter Three: Whence Came Mindedness?
  
Animal and human consciousness are viewed in a continuum to seek an explanation for the mind's origin. Did mind appear "from nowhere" as a kind of direct creation, or was it always (but imperceptibly) resident in living systems?
Chapter Four: A Theory Too Small
  
A survey of dualistic thinking in the twentieth century, with special reference to the work and thought of Charles Sherrington, the father of modern understanding of brain function. The development of the mechnistic approach from a methodology to a persuasive outlook on all of life is traced.
Chapter Five: Laying the Experimental Foundations
  
From Sherrington to Penfield and his observations of "relived" memories which were caused by electrode stimulation of the temporal lobes of fully conscious patients.
Chapter Six: The Return of the Whole Person
  
A review of the published dialogue between Popper and Eccles, philosopher and neurophysiologist respectively. By different routes, both men arrive at a basic belief in interactionism, although they disagree on the origin and the destiny of mind or soul.
Epilogue: Beyond Philosophy
  
A consideration of the origin and the destiny of mind, looking beyond scientific enquiry to biblical revelation and theology. A centuries-old biblical view is weighed beside modern views of dualistic interactionism.
Response
  Further Reading

1980 published by Probe Ministries (Texas) with Zondervan Publishing Co.
1997 first online edition
2001 2nd Online Edition – corrected and in revised format

Copyright © 1988 Evelyn White. All rights reserved

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: The material in the ARTHUR CUSTANCE ONLINE LIBRARY is copyrighted and can be reproduced with permission from Doorway Publications c/o Dr. R. Gary Chiang, 346 Southcote Rd, Ancaster, ON, L9G 2W2, Canada. Telephone: 905-648-8491. E-Mail:doorway.publications@gmail.com Permission is granted to download for personal use and for distribution for non-profit or non-commercial use, such as study groups or classroom use.



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