Meaning, Morals, and Purpose in the Age of Neuroscience
Edited by Gregg Caruso and Owen Flanagan
Reviews and Awards
"Caruso and Flanagan's edited collection neuroexistentialism provides a carefully considered selection of writings that discuss a broad range of themes pertaining to a contemporary discourse that is both fascinating, thought provoking and complex." -- Anna Westin, Metapsychology
"There's been lots of grounds for existential dread. First, God died in Nietzsche's arms. Then, the 20th century nearly drowned us in human carnage. Now, we are beset with what Caruso and Flanagan call the "third wave" of existential despair--what do we do as neuroscience shows that "mind" is solely a product of "brain," that "brain" is solely a product of an indifferent physical universe, and that free will is a myth? In this superb volume, some of the smartest people on earth wrestle with the implications of neuroexistentialism, including with the deepest question of all - how do we find meaning if we are merely the sum of our biology?" --Robert M. Sapolsky, Professor of Neuroscience, Stanford University
"This book brings together leading neuroscientists and philosophers to examine concepts such as free will, love, and morality through the lens of modern brain research, and will be indispensable to scholars interested in what neuroscience can tell us about human nature and selfhood." --Mo Costandi, Neurophilosophy blog, The Guardian, and author of Neuroplasticity (2016)
"Philosophy is indispensable in the effort to sort out the complexities of nature, especially human nature. The ability of the human brain to envision future existence gives us great advantages in planning our lives, but also allows us to worry, to be anxious about the future. The essays in Neuroexistentialism by leading philosophers and scientists offer fascinating perspectives on the human search for meaning at the present time, the age of the brain." --Joseph E. LeDoux, neuroscientist and author of Anxious: Using the Brain to Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety (2015).
"A splendid collection of papers that address (unflinchingly and from a variety of perspectives) anxieties - personal, social, and political - unleashed by recent advances in neuroscience that appear to undermine agency, responsibility, and human dignity...The book will serve as an indispensable resource for specialists and nonspecialists alike." --John Heil, Washington University in St. Louis and Monash University