Irreducible Mind
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Irreducible Mind

Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century
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Michael Grosso
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Practically every contemporary mainstream scientist presumes that all aspects of mind are generated by brain activity. We demonstrate the inadequacy of this picture by assembling evidence for a variety of empirical phenomena which it cannot explain. We further show that an alternative picture developed by F. W. H. Myers and William James successfully accommodates these phenomena, ratifies the common sense view of ourselves as causally effective conscious agents, and is fully compatible with contemporary physics and neuroscience.
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.
Preface and Acknowledgments

1. A View from the Mainstream: Contemporary Cognitive Neuroscience and the Consciousness Debates

2. F. W. H. Myers and the Empirical Study of the Mind-Body Problem

3. Psychophysiological Influence

4. Memory

5. Automatism and Secondary Centers of Consciousness

6. Unusual Experiences Near Death and Related Phenomena

7. Genius

8. Mystical Experience

9. Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century

About the Authors
Appendix: An Annotated Introductory Bibliography of Psychical Research