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Irreducible Mind [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Adam Crabtree
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16. November 2009
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.

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Irreducible Mind + The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory (Philosophy of Mind Series)
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  • Taschenbuch: 800 Seiten
  • Verlag: Rowman & Littlefield (16. November 2009)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1442202068
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442202061
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 22,9 x 15,2 x 5,3 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 27.864 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
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pp. 153 of Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife, Simon & Schuster, 2012 For those still stuck in the trap of scientific skepticism, I recommend the book Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century, published in 2007. The evidence for out-of-body consciousness is well presented in this rigorous scientific analysis. Irreducible Mind is a landmark opus from a highly reputable group, the Division of Perceptual Studies, based at the University of Virginia. The authors provide an exhaustive review of the relevant data, and the conclusion is inescapable: these phenomena are real, and we must try to understand their nature if we want to comprehend the reality of our existence. -- Eben Alexander, Author of Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife The authors have not only plausibly argued that the empirical and conceptual horizon of science, particularly the science of the human mind, is both capable and in dire need of expansion, but-and I use this strong term deliberately-they have proven it. -- Andreas Sommer, University College, London Journal Of Mind and Behavior [A] comprehensive review of empirical evidence that questions the assumption that 'properties of minds will ultimately be fully explained by those of brains.'... Kelly et al. deserve to be praised for their courage and scholarship in dealing with such a controversial topic. -- Alexander Moreira-Almeida & Harold Koenig, Duke University Journal Of Nervous and Mental Disease Thoroughly scientific, systematically reasoned and courageous... as exciting and enjoyable as it is provocative and profound! -- David J. Hufford, Professor Emeritus of Humanities and Psychiatry, Penn State College of Medicine Irreducible Mind is an enormous and daring enterprise. Its scholarship is impressive... and made me think long and hard about many issues. -- Etzel Cardena, Professor of Psychology, Lund University PsycCRITIQUES [A] must-read for anyone working in consciousness studies, psychology and the history of science. -- Jonathan Edelman, Oxford University [A] monumental work... Only a very resistant observer will remain unpersuaded that a proportion, as least, of all this carefully evaluated data presents a significant challenge to conventional views. -- Paul Marshall Journal Of Consciousness Studies [A] sustained, sophisticated, and empirically based critique of contemporary cognitive psychology and mainstream neuroscience... the implications for the study of mind, consciousness, and religion border on the unspeakable. -- Jeffrey J. Kripal, Rice University Religious Studies Review [B]rilliant, heroic and astonishing ... a scientifically rigorous and philosophically informed critique of various contemporary orthodoxies in mainstream psychology, especially the idea that the human mind (including consciousness and our sense of free will and personal agency) is nothing more than a material entity and can be fully explained in terms of brain processes. -- Richard A. Shweder, Professor, Department of Comparative Human Development, University of Chicago Irreducible Mind [is] yet another book on the mind-body problem. However, this book is different, very different, from all the rest... In the future history of the science of mind, Irreducible Mind may well prove a book of landmark significance, one that helped spark a revolution in the scientific investigation of the nature of consciousness... In the arena of neuroscience of mind, it is the most exciting reading to have crossed my path in years. -- David Presti, Professor of Neurobiology, University of California-Berkeley Irreducible Mind is well written, detailed, and passionately argued, and should be central to parapyschology for some years to come. Its great value is that it helps to close the gap between the conventional view of mind on the one hand, and on the other, responsible research into phenomena which are utterly antithetical to that view. In that sense, it greatly advances the process that Myers began more than a century ago, but was so rudely interrupted by behaviourism and the virtual outlawing of consciousness as a scientific entity. Journal Of The Society For Psychical Research, July 2009 The author's sincerity and the extent of their labors are beyond question. American Journal of Psychology, Summer 2010


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. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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5.0 von 5 Sternen ein Tribut an Myers und James 28. Oktober 2013
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1901 ist das Leben Frederic Myers' zum Ende gekommen. 2 Jahre später wurde sein Werk "Human personality and its survival of bodily death" posthum veröffentlicht, an dem er mehr als ein Jarhzehnt gearbeit hat. Ein 2 bändiges Werk. Thema: Psychologie.
schon zur damaligen Zeit war es unter Akademikern "chic" den Menschen als bio-Machine zu betrachten, denn... Psychologie wollte für sich den Status einer Naturwissenschaft beanspruchen, der sonst nur den auf Physik fundierten und limitierten Wissenschaften vorenthalten ist. metaphysische Konzepte wie die Seele haben da Platz. Naturalismus is der "Zeitgeist" von heute, wie auch von damals, zu Myers' Zeit. Und die Natur besteht nur aus Materie, die nach festen Gesetzen verläuft, und mit der richtigen Herangehensweise bis ins kleinste Teilchen genau beschreibbar und berechenbar ist.

Wenn die Physik keine Beweise für ein Bewusstsein außerhalb des Körpers erbringen kann, dann existiert sowas auch nicht. Alles was in der Psyche eines Menschen passiert, ist auf den Kopf limitiert. Das Gehirn erschafft das Bewusstsein. Nach dem Tod ist alles aus. Psi ist unmöglich, außerkörperliche Erfahrungen reine Träumerei, Mystik religöser Aberglaube, Reinkarnation ein Wunschgedanke.

seriöse Psychologen die was von sich halten, halten sich fern von solchen Themen.
Allerdings, was tun mit all den anekdotischen Berichten über Nah-tod-erfahrungen die von Menschen stammen deren Gehirne zeitweise offline waren, mit den Kleinkindern die fließend eine ausgestorbene Sprache sprechen und von einem früheren Leben berichten? mit Leuten die Visionen hatten die später genau so eingetroffen sind? einfach ignorieren.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen geniale denkansätze - halt auf englisch 5. Dezember 2013
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da ich lieber auf deutsch lese, bekommt das buch einen minuspunkt; als nichtwissenschaftler muß man nebenbei fast jedes wort bei z.B. nachschlagen, das ist sehr zeitaufwändig. aber insgesamt öffnet es einem die augen für eine wunderbare weltsicht: nämlich die der transzendenz. metaphysik ist kein märchen sondern realität, zwar nicht messbar aber semantisch ausdeutbar.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Brilliantly Insightful and Destined to be an Instant Classic 10. Januar 2007
Von Dr. Richard G. Petty - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I think that it was Carl Sagan who said, "You want to be open-minded, but not so open-minded that your brains fall out." This marvelous book shows that open-mindedness is entirely compatible with scientific rigor.

For the last century, the vast majority psychologists, psychiatrists and neuroscientists have believed that thoughts, emotions and consciousness are the product of physical processes in the brain. Just recently the editor of popular psychology magazine expressed the opinion that the whole of human behavior could be reduced to reflexes.

This book provides comprehensive and detailed empirical proof that this reductive, materialistic belief is not just incomplete but false. Sagan also said that extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence and this book is full of it. But far from being a catalogue, each piece of evidence and every idea is examined critically.

The book is broken into nine sections followed by an introductory bibliography of psychical research and exactly one hundred pages of references.

Chapter 1: A View from the Mainstream: Contemporary Cognitive Neuroscience and the Consciousness Debates
Chapter 2: F. W. H. Myers and the Empirical Study of the Mind-Body Problem
Chapter 3: Psychophysiological Influence
Chapter 4: Memory
Chapter 5: Automatism and Secondary Centers of Consciousness: - Chapter 6: Unusual Experiences Near Death and Related Phenomena
Chapter 7: Genius
Chapter 8: Mystical Experience
Chapter 9: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century

It begins with a short history of 20th-century psychology from behaviorism to present-day cognitive neuroscience. This section emphasizes the inability of these theories to account for many important aspects of mind and consciousness.

We then move to an introduction to the work of Frederick Myers the 19th-century English psychologist whose work supported the view -echoed throughout this book - that the mind is not generated by the brain but is instead limited and constrained by it.

The next sections present critical reviews of a number of highly reproducible and familiar phenomena including the placebo response, stigmata and hypnotic suggestion. Though well known they demonstrate the influence of mental states on the body. We then move into some less familiar phenomena including some of those produced by yogis and distant influences on living systems. This step-by-step approach is very appealing and leads us to the inescapable conclusion that many of these phenomena are simply inexplicable using a reductionist, materialist approach to the mind and the brain.

The book presents a strong critique of the notion that memories are ONLY potentiated pathways in the brain. Later sections discuss such disparate topics as memories that survive physical death, near death experiences, automatic writing and out-of-body experiences, apparitions and deathbed visions. I have only a minor quibble about the inclusion of multiple personality disorder, which is controversial and the evidence for it not strong.

There are some very strong sections on super-normal states and a good critique of some recent attempts to reduce altered states of consciousness - including experiences induced by prayer and meditation - to brain processes. The authors rightly point out many of the limitations of the approach.

This is an astonishing book that I hope will be widely read despite weighing in at around 800 pages.

I put it in the same class as Michael Murphy's The Future of the Body, Ken Wilber's Sex, Ecology and Spirituality and the less well-known Nature of Consciousness by Jerry Wheatley.

Very highly recommended.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Highly Recommended 30. April 2007
Von Kristen - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the "mind-body" or more precisely, "mind-brain" problem. It is quite an undertaking at close to 700 pages of writing but in my opinion it was well worth the effort. The authors did well in providing a contextual history and background for those not familiar with the field of psychology and its history.

The main premise is that mainstream psychology has not yet provided a satisfactory theory of mind. Particularly, the relation of mind to brain has been largely ignored because it has been dominated by a purely materialistic view of the brain which posits that consciousness is generated by processes occurring purely in the brain. The objective of the book is to "provide justification for revisiting the broader and deeper framework of psychology" and the authors use the contributions of F.W.H. Myers, in particular his book Human Personality (1903), as a guide. The first chapter of the book provides relevant background in modern cognitive science. The next chapter summarizes the contributions of Myers to empirical investigation of the mind-body relation which provides the framework for the rest of the book.

The authors state that much of the available empirical evidence (such as that of psi phenomena) is ignored because it is assumed a priori impossible and caution that scientists must look at all the relevant facts, not just those compatible with current mainstream theory. They argue that it is precisely the valid scientific evidence that seems to conflict with current theory that should "commend the most urgent attention." The authors state that, " order to get an adequate scientific account of the mind we must be prepared to take seriously all relevant data and to modify as necessary even our most fundamental theoretical ideas." A variety of specific empirical phenomena and aspects of mental life that have not been able to be understood in the current "physicalist conceptual framework" are identified and discussed in detail and make up the bulk of the book. These include: psychophysiological influences, memory, automatism, near death experiences and related phenomenon, genius, and mystical experiences. I must admit that I was one of those scientists who criticized the data supporting so called `anomalous experiences' (e.g., NDEs, OBEs, psi phenomenon, psychophysiological influences, etc.) a priori without actually researching the available scientific evidence. After reading the extensive summaries of empirical evidence provided in this book my viewpoint has certainly changed. It is obvious that there is a wide variety of evidence supporting these various phenomena and this is certainly an area of research that has been greatly neglected by modern day scientists.

In the final chapter, "Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century", the authors re-assess Myer's theory of human personality and provide a summary of implications of the evidence provided in this book for future research and psychological theory. They urge that psychology should return to the central problem of mind and utilize technological and methodological advances to further study in this field. They point out that most of Myer's theoretical ideas and the empirical phenomena used to support them are still valid today and have not been "disproven but simply displaced." The authors also point out some of the weaknesses in Myer's approach and provide discussions regarding opportunities for further investigation. It is pointed out that the relevance of quantum-theoretic considerations to brain research has not been recognized and research in this area should be pursued and a short discussion on how contemporary quantum physics and neuroscience could support a new theory of the mind is provided. They also briefly describe the theoretical directions in which they believe psychology should go in order to develop a more comprehensive theory of mind-brain interaction that incorporates all the relevant aspect of present-day science.

For those intrigued by the empirical evidence presented in the book and eager to read more, the authors includes a great Appendix listing serious literature sources with respect to psychical research. A perusal of the "Reference" section also leads to many great sources of information that are available for further reading.

This is a serious science book and hopefully it will inform young scientists that there is much yet to be learned about the mind and that there are vast areas of research, that have largely been ignored, that should be pursued if we are ever going to be able to develop a proper theory of the mind. As the authors state, scientists should not a priori ignore such empirical evidence because it does not fit within their current theoretical model. Hopefully, this book will encourage scientists to look more closely at the available evidence and promote future research into these much neglected areas.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The Best Mind/Neuroscience/Psychology Book I've Read 2. November 2010
Von Ben Bendig - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
As an advanced graduate student in cognitive psychology, and one very much interested in expanding academic psychology's rather limited approach to the mind (yes, irony), I find this book to be, well, quite amazing. I've read a number of other books on similar topics, but nowhere have I found such an even-handed, fair, and thorough commitment to the truth.

Chapters 3 and 5-8 are wonderful for truly fascinating phenomena, though that is not to say the other chapters are uninteresting. The whole book is exceptional.

There is a consistent emphasis on supporting F.W.H. Myer's views--the book is a tribute to his work, and modeled after Myers's Human Personality--which at times might seem a little much, but shouldn't. Myers is indeed a neglected genius, and deserves to be far more well-known than he is. Re-establishing him is an important task and aspect of the book.

It should definitely be required reading for anyone in or near psychology. For those not in academia, I think it's still worth reading, though is certainly not paced like a popular science book. But this is because it is far more rich and densely rewarding than most popular science books.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Fundamentalist Materialism Goes Down at Last! 6. Januar 2010
Von C. L. Vash - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I belong to both the American Psychological Association (APA)and the Association for Psychological Science (APS). When the more scientifically oriented psychologists abandoned APA and established APS, I considered going with them but was too busy with my work to have time to be active with either association so I just stayed put. After I retired (from administering both clinical and research programs for many years),I joined APS out of curiosity and found that I admire and despair over aspects of each organization, and maybe should have belonged to both for the whole 20 years in which both have existed.

In 1958 when a couple of my psychology professors at UCLA mentioned this book's deep! mentor ... FWH Myers, and they quickly tossed him aside as way too far out ... I thought he sounded ver-ry interesting. But, as a sensible grad student, I bought whatever they told me and went on without a word of protest. Probably a good idea because I got a couple of really good jobs later on that I might not have been offered if I'd been on record as admitting I liked that dead guy who'd started the Psychic Research Society in England!

All along I've been a non-theist who finds only "esoteric" religions interesting or useful because they are predominantly psychological and view Gods as simply personifications of natural, not supernatural, energy/matter/informational systems. Now the entire range of unusual, often "paranormal" phenomena analyzed in this book ... an amazing documentation of more than a century of philosophical speculations and respectable investigations ... has shown me that its six authors outrank the rest of us in their care, skill, precision, and ability to avoid slipping into personal belief preferences when they analyze phenomena most others want to cling to or deny. It's not just religious persons who want to deny ideas that don't match ancient notions in their scriptures and cling to their programmed-in beliefs. A number of scientists and philosophers are equally desperate to deny non-materialist possibilities and cling to modern science's "as-if working assumptions" which they have come to misconstrue as FACTS.

I HOPE that every member of APA and APS will read this book and join the people leading our field to enhanced ability to clarify the mechanisms by which we can learn HOW brains and minds learn and remember and retrieve information and take actions based upon it. We may eventually reclaim our honor rather as Lamarck did when the new field of epigenetics was suddenly recognized as being based on his century-old claim that acquired characteristics can be passed on to progeny. He wasn't the idiot everyone thought he was [although Darwin never agreed with that; he alone respected him!] Maybe a century from now the humbuggers who believe in mind functions that are now laughed away will have a new field that recognizes they were right, they just didn't know HOW the unusual things happened.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen It Can Be Overwhelming 28. Februar 2012
Von Amos Oliver Doyle - Veröffentlicht auf
Well, after a couple of months I finally got through "Irreducible Mind: Toward a Psychology for the 21st Century. Perhaps two of the authors, Edward Kelly and Michael Grosso, sum up the entire book in their chapter titled "Genius" where on page 479, discussing Carl Jung, they say "...and his writing has a tendency to dissolve into depths of obscurity which we like many others sometimes find impenetrable. Nevertheless, we feel there is much of value in his work...." And, I agree. There is much of value in this book and I think that serious students of the human condition, especially the human mind/brain dilemma, should at least have a copy in their library for reference. It's a ponderous tome of academic verbal tonnage written by a committee of erudite professorial psychologists, psychiatrists and philosophers who really should have tried to communicate to their readers rather than lecture to them. This is the kind of book that causes college students to groan when it is assigned reading and some probably skim through it or don't read it at all. It can be overwhelming.

Well I did read it all the way through and of course found some parts better than others. The first two chapters of the book were weighty and, for me, boring. Chapter 3, "Psychophysiological Influence" written by Emily Williams Kelly, was better, actually, probably the best chapter in the book in my opinion. Chapter 5, "Automatism and Secondary Centers of Consciousness" by Adam Crabtree was good too. As I continued through the rest of the book there was an ebb and flow of interesting sections. But I don't think that any of them equaled Emily Kelly's chapter.

This book needs to be read slowly and carefully so it takes a lot of time to get through it. Even though I think I have at least a 10th grade reading level as recommended by one of the other reviewers, I found that, in some sections, I had to read and reread sentences over and over to maintain some continuity of thought. It helped if I had a dictionary nearby to define many of the words for me. It is difficult for one person to equal the combined vocabulary of 6 very erudite (and verbose) college professors.

Sometimes readers have a tendency to skip introductions to books, perhaps, but with this book I suggest that it should be read carefully. It is nicely written, providing an overall summary or outline of the book and the intent of the authors which is to ask current behaviorist psychologists, I suppose, to go back a hundred plus years and reconsider the thoughts of Frederic William Henry Myers and William James regarding consciousness and the subliminal and supraliminal mind. One may perhaps learn as much from the introduction as from reading the entire book. The introduction also provides a link to an electronic version of F.W.H. Myers' book "Human Personality" available at the Esalen website.

I found Myers' `Human Personality" a somewhat easier read than "Irreducible Mind" and I thought that the Esalen on-line version was well done with easily accessible translations of the sections written in French. The paragraphs are numbered and referenced in Myers' outline of the book and it is very easy to jump to chapters and sections of interest.

Overall, not an easy book to read but one worth having as a reference in one's library.
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