Under the aegis of a Templetion Foundation project on “Global Perspectives on Science & Spirituality” (GPSS), scientists and humanities scholars from Japan, China, Korea, India, Russia, and the United States discuss the most recent discoveries in Brain Science and apply it to age-old questions of consciousness, mind, spirituality, and the self. The Japanese concept of kokoro-a broad concept that includes the rational workings of the “mind” and the emotional feelings of the “heart,” as well as the movings of the “spirit” and the impulses of the “will”-served as a foil for rethinking these issues and proposing new perspectives.
Can we create a new “science of mind”? Can we go beyond the dichotomy of rational vs. emotional? How can we avoid the twin extremes of absolute dualism and total reductionism? Can brain studies on spatial navigation teach us about “spiritual navigation”? Is the boundary between humans and other primates breaking down? How much can we learn about meditation and religious experience through neuroscience? What does it mean to say “I”?
The essays and discussions in this volume wrestle with these questions and more, and present a challenge for us to reexamine our assumptions concerning human experience.
All essays may be downloaded by clicking on the links below:
—Paul L. Swanson
- Cultivating the Mindful Heart: What We May Learn from the Japanese Philosophy of Kokoro
—Thomas P. Kasulis
- And Yet It Thinks…
- Consciousness and Spacial Navigation
—Ying-Shing Chan (with Ka-Pak Ng, Francisco N. Botelho, and Suk-King Lai)
- Metacognition: A New Method for Studying the Nature of the Mind
—Funahashi Shintarō (with Tanaka Akio)
- A Buddhist Critique of Cartesian Dualism in the Cognitive: Sciences: Naturalizing Mind and Qualia
—William S. Waldron
- Brain-Challenged Self and Self-Challenged Brain: The Central Impasse in Consciousness Studies
- Neurological Underpinnings of Zen Meditation and Christian Orison
—Bernard Senécal, S.J.
- Appendix: The 15th Nanzan Institute Symposium: Brain Science and Religion: Some Asian Perspectives