The relationship between the non-physical mind and the physical brain has "over the centuries filled philosophers with frustration, desperation, almost panic" (Humphrey, 1992). Nevertheless, the majority of contemporary philosophers and scientists reject dualistic notions of the mind (e.g. Crick, 1979; Dennett, 1978), and neuroscientific findings continue to challenge the existence of a non-material mind that transcends the physiology of the brain (e.g. Libet et al., 1983; Soon et al., 2008; Fried et al., 2011). However, given the widely held religious, spiritual and paranormal beliefs that exist in society (Harris Poll, 2009), implicit dualistic beliefs appear common amongst the population more generally. Whilst the mind/body problem might be considered a "philosophical" one, our implicit beliefs about the issue can profoundly influence our behaviour. It is of course too simplistic to characterise the debate dichotomously as monism vs dualism, and this study uses Q methodology to explore a more complex set of beliefs about the materialistic/non-materialistic nature of the universe. College and university students were asked to indicate their level of agreement/disagreement with twenty seven statements, reflecting a continuum from Cartesian dualism at one end to mechanistic materialism at the other. Three distinct accounts emerged, which can be characterised as: irreducibly complex dualism, interactive dualism and explainable materialism.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Sept 2013|
|Event||29th Annual Q Conference - Amsterdam, Netherlands|
Duration: 5 Sept 2013 → 7 Sept 2013
|Conference||29th Annual Q Conference|
|Period||5/09/13 → 7/09/13|