Michael A. Arbib

Your soul is a distributed property of the brains of yourself and others

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Soul; Interpersonal Relations; Afterlife; Social Neuroscience; Mirror Neurons; Person-Reality.

In contrast to ancient Greek theories and diverse religious views of the soul, the paper outlines a perspective based on the social neuroscience of interpersonal relations. Special attention is given to the role of mirror neurons in recognizing the actions of others, including the communicative actions of language. This is complemented by a brief examination of neural correlates of religious experience and trust in others. In summary, the soul of an individual is viewed as a distributed property of the brains of that individual and others - consistent with the familiar view that one lives on in the memory of other people, not through some divine mechanism. The argument is placed in perspective by examining how person-reality changes in the light of science, with the Copernican revolution in our understanding of the place of the Earth in the universe offering inspiration for a similar recasting of the person-reality of mind and soul.

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