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Coming to Mind

The Soul and Its Body

How should we speak of bodies and souls? In Coming to Mind, Lenn E. Goodman and D. Gregory Caramenico pick their way through the minefields of materialist reductionism to present the soul not as the brain’s rival but as its partner. What acts, they argue, is what is real. The soul is not an ethereal wisp but a lively subject, emergent from the body but inadequately described in its terms.

Rooted in some of the richest philosophical and intellectual traditions of Western and Eastern philosophy, psychology, literature, and the arts and the latest findings of cognitive psychology and brain science—Coming to Mind is a subtle manifesto of a new humanism and an outstanding contribution to our understanding of the human person. Drawing on new and classical understandings of perception, consciousness, memory, agency, and creativity, Goodman and Caramenico frame a convincing argument for a dynamic and integrated self capable of language, thought, discovery, caring, and love.

304 pages | 1 line drawing | 6 x 9 | © 2013

Cognitive Science: General Works

Philosophy: Philosophy of Mind

Political Science: Political and Social Theory


“We live at a time that is notable for the polemical nature of discussions about identity, consciousness, rationality, agency, memory, and feeling. ‘New atheists’ and reductive materialists conduct gladiatorial debates against defenders of faith and enemies of reductionism. Lots of heat is produced, but, alas, little light is shed. How marvelous it is, then, to see this fine new book by Lenn E. Goodman and Gregory Caramenico. Here is a learned, illuminating, and decidedly non-polemical treatment of the classic questions of soul, mind, and brain—an exemplary work of scholarship.”

Robert P. George | coauthor of Body-Self Dualism in Contemporary Ethics and Politics

“This profound study clearly summarizes and evaluates the essential philosophical and theological as well as psychological discourses concerning the human body and soul down through the ages and provides, in the process, a new way of defining and understanding the human soul aided by the more recent discourses of neuroscience and ethology. The authors convincingly demonstrate how the human soul may be understood as utterly real and natural without requiring belief in a divine basis—although the book also addresses religious understandings of the subject with both wit and wisdom.”

Frederick Mathewson Denny | Professor Emeritus, University of Colorado at Boulder

“By reinvigorating the classical but nowadays distrusted idea of a human soul at work behind the physical machinations of man Coming to Mind dares to go where few currently venture to tread. Yet it grounds its deliberations in a deep understanding of the intellectual tradition of the West, both in its cultural dimension and in its scientific engagement with the natural world. Most admirably, its persuasive and instructive deliberations are set out in lucid and accessible prose. All in all, a rare achievement.”

Nicholas Rescher | University of Pittsburgh

“Drawing sophisticated connections between contemporary emergence theory and Aristotelian ontology, Lenn E. Goodman and Gregory Caramenico employ a range of philosophical arguments and scientific detail to argue for the reality of the soul in an original and congenial style. High marks.” 

Philip Clayton | Claremont School of Theology

Table of Contents

ONE / Bodies and Souls
TWO / Perception
THREE / Consciousness
FOUR / Memory
FIVE / Agency
SIX / Creativity
AFTERWORD / God and the Soul

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