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What We Talk About When We Talk About The Soul, Stephen Asma May 2010

What We Talk About When We Talk About The Soul, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

The author discusses the popularity among college students of the concept of the soul, and attempts to place it in its proper context. He dispenses with orthodox theological arguments and New Age arguments as scientifically untenable. He takes a so-called Wittgensteinian approach, noting soul's linguistic significance. He analyzes expressions which use the concept of soul and concludes that they are qualitatively different from testable factual expressions. He notes that soul talk is about hopes and aspirations, inspiration, or feelings deeper than friendship. He assigns it meaning outside of scientific concepts. He likens expressions of soul to creative and ethical ...


Why I Am A Buddhist, Stephen Asma Feb 2010

Why I Am A Buddhist, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

Profound and amusing, this book provides a viable approach to answering the perennial questions: Who am I? Why am I here? How can I live a meaningful life? For Asma, the answers are to be found in Buddhism.

There have been a lot of books that have made the case for Buddhism. What makes this book fresh and exciting is Asma's iconoclasm, irreverence, and hardheaded approach to the subject. He is distressed that much of what passes for Buddhism is really little more than "New Age mush." He loudly asserts that it is time to "take the California out ...


Green Guilt, Stephen Asma Jan 2010

Green Guilt, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

The essay discusses the more neurotic aspects of environmentalism, involving guilt over failure to recycle or turn off the lights. It notes that those most prone to these sensibilities are those who have left traditional religion. It quotes philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who states that religious emotions such as guilt and indignation are still present in a post-Christian world. The essay argues that we should certainly save the planet but avoid the neurosis that often accompanies it.