Dr Dirckx is well qualified to investigate the question that forms the title of her book. She illuminates the widespread reductionist notion that the brain and the mind are the same and shows that it depends more on a presupposed naturalist or materialist philosophy, than it does on actual science. The author introduces us to the intriguing yet difficult problems of the nature of consciousness, free will and determinism and convincingly demonstrates that naturalism does not have the explanatory power that the Christian worldview possesses. This book is for the open minded, and will enrich the reader whatever their worldview. I whole heartedly recommend it.
Laying out the arguments in her usual very readable style, Sharon makes a compelling case for why the answer to her books title [spoiler alert!] is No. Whether you agree with her conclusions or not, this whistle-stop tour of the hottest issues in neuroscience is a helpful, clear and concise summary of the different philosophical and theological positions, and the latest scientific data.
The inner life a window into our deepest fears and desires. The core of who we are as people. You want to know who I am? Forget my shoes come and spend a day in my head. But with many rejecting the idea of God has come, the idea that matter physical stuff is all there is. And so that inner life
what is it?
Are we nothing more than the atoms of which we are made? Can humans be reduced to just the lump of grey matter between our ears? Are we, as the famous neuroscientist Francis Crick claimed, Nothing but a pack of neurons? This isnt just a scientific question but one with huge implications, not least for what it means to be a person. In Am I Just My Brain?, Sharon Dirckx draws upon her doctoral work in the sciences together with her years of experience explaining the Christian faith, to help the reader think their way through this crucial question and to respond, with clarity and compassion, to the increasingly shrill voices in our culture that want to explain away what really make us human. Whether youre a Christian who wants to respond intelligently to new questions from neuroscience, or a seeker who suspects that the secular story isnt the whole story, Am I Just My Brain? will help you get not just your headbut also your heart, mind and everything else that makes you youaround this fascinating topic.
This is a well written book which explores the relationship between neuronal activity and consciousness. It starts by looking at evidence for and against Francis Cricks Astonishing Hypothesis; namely that You, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behaviour of a vast assembly of nerve cells; and their associated molecules. Dr Dirckx then considers such difficult questions as: whether we are just machines; whether belief in the soul is still valid today; and the contribution of the brain to religious beliefs.Books on such topics are often written by experts in philosophy and they can be very difficult for the average reader to understand. This volume is written by a neuroscientist (an expert on brain imaging) and is intended for non-specialists. It has features such as a glossary and summary diagrams, which should make it accessible to a greater number of people. I found the presentation to be both enjoyable and thought provoking, and warmly commend it to you.
Why can you think? Because your neurons are firing. End of the story. Is this really so? Sharon Dirckx argues brilliantly that this is not the end of the story. Am I Just my Brain? is a popular-level book for those who want to understand the insights of modern neuroscience. The author combines her professional expertise with the clarity of the teacher to explain that we are more than machines. She claims, furthermore, that the question Am I just my brain? is not simply for the neuroscientist and philosopher. It has implications that affect all people. Consequently she gives compelling reasons why we should take the Christian message seriously. This work provides excellent food for the mind as much as for the heart. It certainly comes to meet a great need.
There's a portion of Christendom who've been feeding the same fire they're trying to extinguish! Brilliantly, while treading the same territory, this book charts a new path. It jumps the normal critique (how can we be expected to believe science, and be a Christian?) and gets to the root, showing how the perceived gap between God and the brain doesn't have to be a blockand can actually be a signpost. Are you just your brain? Do youspecificallyhave a religious brain? Sit at the learned feet of an experienced Christian neuroscientist and discover...
Sharon Dirckx has written an excellent primer on the challenging subject of human consciousness. In this marvellous little book she has defined and discussed the major topic points with clarity, and skilfully makes difficult concepts easier to understand. The result is a solidly presented case for our minds being more than just our physical brains. It examines questions that neuroscience cant answer such as why we can think, and how this ultimately points us to the reality of a creator God. I love the way the book ends with an exhortation to ask questions and points to useful resources to help seek answers. Thoroughly recommended!
Fresh, clear, and helpful, Dirckx opens up a key part of what has been called ' the most important conversation of our time. Is freedom only a fiction? Is human dignity merely a form of "speciesism"? Are we no more than our brains? The answers to such questions affect us all, and it is vital that we all explore them.
This excellent book provides a wonderfully engaging and timely introduction to that most important of questions: Am I just my brain? Many scholars today answer with a firm no! and In less than 150 pages Sharon Dirckx provides a rich and informative sampling of the reasons why. Fascinating philosophical, theological and scientific issues are made accessible and are thoughtfully applied to some of the most important issues of the day, from artificial intelligence to gender identity and much besides. While celebrating the wonderful complexity of the brain as revealed by recent scanning techniques, Dirckx shows us that this is not inconsistent with celebrating the ultimate value of each human person as revealed by a Christian worldview. The reader will be inspired to explore both.
Am I just my brain? answers the question quickly and with ease in the first few chapters. No, Dirckx argues, I'm not just my brain. But it leads to further questions. If I am more than my brain, what am I? What is my mind? How does my mind interact with my brain?