History of the Soul

History of the Soul
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Mind, Body, and Questions of Consciousness
Episode 1 of Mind-Body Philosophy
The 3.5 pounds of gray matter in your skull processes all the information you need to live and thrive - from the functioning of your physical body to your relationships with loved ones. But how can the physical matter of the brain create the subjective experience of your life? That…
Mind and Body in Greek Philosophy
Episode 2 of Mind-Body Philosophy
Humans have been asking this question for thousands of years: exactly how are we related to the world around us? Learn what modern Western thought inherited from the Greeks and how the theories of Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle still affect our thinking and questioning today.
Eastern Perspectives on Mind and Body
Episode 3 of Mind-Body Philosophy
Western philosophers want to understand how the physical brain produces the reality of subjective experience. But Hindu and Buddhist traditions don't recognize that same dualism. Unlike the Western attempt to discover the truth of how things are, Eastern philosophy takes a more practical line of inquiry, examining how to best…
Using the Body to Shape the Mind
Episode 4 of Mind-Body Philosophy
We tend to think of the mind being in charge of, and giving instructions to, the body. But is it possible for the body to direct the mind? Learn how the Eastern practical disciplines of yoga and meditation and Western habits of physical exercise can affect the brain and the…
How Descartes Divided Mental from Physical
Episode 6 of Mind-Body Philosophy
How can you know with absolute certainty that you exist? Rene Descartes famously answered: "I think; therefore I am." He also suggested a complete split between the mind and the physical body. The vast and sharply divided responses to Descartes' dualism still influence the ways in which we address the…
Mistakes about Our Own Consciousness
Episode 7 of Mind-Body Philosophy
One thing we know we can count on is the validity of our everyday experiences. After all, we know what we see, hear, feel, and think on a daily basis, right? You'll be surprised to learn how wrong we can be even about the realm of experience itself and our…
Strange Cases of Consciousness
Episode 8 of Mind-Body Philosophy
The study of individuals with unusual brains - e.g., those with split brains, color-blindness, face-blindness, synesthesia - has revealed brain modularity, differentiation, blending, and other mechanisms of consciousness. Do we really see with our eyes? Learn how the brain's organization affects even our most basic perception of the world around…
Altered States of Consciousness
Episode 9 of Mind-Body Philosophy
Learn what dreams, lucid dreams, hallucinations, and other altered states teach us about brain structure and function. Why do so many hallucinations include the same geometric shapes? And after thousands of years of inquiry, do we finally understand the purpose of our dreams? Do dreams help us remember - or…
Memory, Mind, and Brain
Episode 10 of Mind-Body Philosophy
Philosopher John Locke suggested it is your continuous sequence of memories that allows you to be "you." But what is memory and how is it related to our emotions and dreams? Learn about the many different ways in which the brain stores the information we later retrieve and experience as…
Self-Consciousness and the Self
Episode 11 of Mind-Body Philosophy
Throughout the centuries, philosophers and scientists have tried to come to a definitive understanding of the self and self-consciousness - and failed. The exciting intellectual journey through these theories and experiments will lead you to a new way of seeing yourself and the world around you.
Rival Psychologies of the Mind
Episode 12 of Mind-Body Philosophy
William James, Sigmund Freud, and Wilhelm Wundt all aimed for a science of consciousness in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, differing significantly in ideas and methodology. Learn why Wundt left the strongest mark on contemporary psychology, with the neuroscience revolution of the early 21st century picking up where…
The Enigma of Free Will
Episode 13 of Mind-Body Philosophy
Our daily experiences tell us we are acting with a free will. But you'll be surprised to learn what quantum mechanics and the latest studies in readiness potential reveal about our decision making. Is it possible that scientific inquiry is just not germane to the ongoing philosophical conundrum of free…