MSNBC - How to Think About the Mind
How to Think About the MindNeuroscience shows that the 'soul' is the activity of the brain Sept. 27 issue - Every evening our eyes tell us that the sun sets, while we know that, in fact, the Earth is turning us away from it. Astronomy taught us centuries ago that common sense is not a reliable guide to reality. Today it is neuroscience that is forcing us to readjust our intuitions. People naturally believe in the Ghost in the Machine: that we have bodies made of matter and spirits made of an ethereal something. Yes, people acknowledge that the brain is involved in mental life. Modern neuroscience has shown that there is no user. This resistance is not surprising. The disconnect between our common sense and our best science is not an academic curiosity. Prozac shouldn't be dispensed like mints, of course, but the reason is not that it undermines the will. To many, the scariest prospect is medication that can make us better than well by enhancing mood, memory and attention.