Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century
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Current mainstream opinion in psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy of mind holds that all aspects of human mind and consciousness are generated by physical processes occurring in brains. Views of this sort have dominated recent scholarly publication. The present volume, however, demonstrates empirically that this reductive materialism is not only incomplete but false. The authors systematically marshal evidence for a variety of psychological phenomena that are extremely difficult, and in some cases clearly impossible, to account for in conventional physicalist terms. Topics addressed include phenomena of extreme psychophysical influence, memory, psychological automatisms and secondary personality, near-death experiences and allied phenomena, genius-level creativity, and 'mystical' states of consciousness both spontaneous and drug-induced. The authors further show that these rogue phenomena are more readily accommodated by an alternative 'transmission' or 'filter' theory of mind/brain relations advanced over a century ago by a largely forgotten genius, F. W. H. Myers, and developed further by his friend and colleague William James. This theory, moreover, ratifies the commonsense conception of human beings as causally effective conscious agents, and is fully compatible with leading-edge physics and neuroscience. The book should command the attention of all open-minded persons concerned with the still-unsolved mysteries of the mind.
scale. She did have a high score on the schizophrenia scale of the MMPI, but her high scores were primarily attributable to items about experiences that the American Psychiatric Association now considers nonpathological, such as religious and mystical visions (Margnelli, 1999, p. 479). 21. Related to this phenomenon may be that of the secretion of bloody sweat under emotional circumstances, of which there have also been a few reports, usually among persons who were not religious stigmatics
what he calls the manifestations of the subliminal self" (Sidis, 1898/1906, pp. 2-3). Starting in the 1830s, physiologists who studied human behavior were concerned to explain the lack of connection between the ordinary waking state and the somnambulistic state. Specifically, they wanted to find out how individuals could perform intelligent actions of which they had no awareness. Some took their cue from experiments, originated by Eduard Pflüger, which were being carried out with decapitated
mental functioning, is essentially unable to deal with the data of psychological automatism. In fact, the commentary on Velmans's article confirms that many cognitive theorists have an almost superstitious fear of the notion of ordinary consciousness itself, and if they are so spooked by this "ghost in the machine" (see "Damn! There goes that ghost again," Stanovich, 1991, pp. 696-697), they respond to the possibility of secondary centers of consciousness as to a veritable band of demons. A case
dots each i and crosses each t "with absolute precision and great rapidity" (p. 44). It was noted that writing can sometimes be produced by both hands simultaneously, and on different topics (HP, vol. 2, p. 420). It may be written with words in reverse order, or with the order of their letters reversed, or in pure mirror-image form, even starting from the bottom right and continuing to the top left of each page (James, 1889), or upside down so as to be read in the normal way by an observer facing
as a woman in childbirth who reported being out of her body and seeing her mother in the waiting room smoking a cigarette; according to the daughter, the mother (a non-smoker) "admitted much later that she had 'tried' one or two because she was so nervous!" (Cook [Kelly] et al., 1998, p. 391). Additionally, Ring and Cooper (1997, 1999) reported 31 cases of blind individuals, nearly half of them blind from birth, who experienced during their NDEs quasi-visual and sometimes veridical perceptions of