An individual journeys up the stairway to heaven, transcending mortality and entering the afterlife. Ascending through celestial clouds. Generative AI
An individual journeys up the stairway to heaven, transcending mortality and entering the afterlife. Ascending through celestial clouds. Generative AI

Evaluating Popular Theories of the Mind-Brain Relationship

Mind Matters
Michael Egnor
Angus Menuge
Audio File (58.44M)

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the most common mind-brain theories? On today’s episode, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor concludes his conversation with Dr. Angus Menuge about the mind-brain relationship and the popular dualistic theories of Cartesian dualism and Thomistic dualism. Cartesian dualism posits that the mind and body are fundamentally different substances, with the mind being immaterial and the body being material. Thomistic dualism, on the other hand, sees the mind and body as one substance, with the mind being the form of a human being. Dr. Menuge presents some of the strengths and weaknesses of both theories. The conversation also touches on topics such as the unity of consciousness, near-death experiences, information realism, and the limitations of reductionist approaches in neuroscience. The interview emphasizes the importance of considering different perspectives and being open-minded in understanding the mind-brain relationship. This is Part 3 of 3.

Additional Resources

Angus J. L. Menuge

Chair of the Philosophy Department, Concordia University Wisconsin
Angus J. L. Menuge is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Concordia University Wisconsin. He was raised in England and became an American citizen in 2005. He holds a BA (Honors, First Class) in philosophy from Warwick University, and an MA and a PhD in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has written many peer-reviewed and popular articles on the philosophy of mind, philosophy of law, and the foundation of ethics. He is author of Agents Under Fire (Rowman and Littlefield, 2004) and editor of Legitimizing Human Rights (Ashgate, 2013; Routledge, 2016), and Religious Liberty and the Law (Routledge, 2017). He is co-editor with Jonathan J. Loose and J. P. Moreland of The Blackwell Companion to Substance Dualism (Blackwell, 2018) and, with Barry W. Bussey, of The Inherence of Human Dignity, volume I and II (Anthem Press, 2021). Menuge is past president of the Evangelical Philosophical Society (2012–2018).

Michael Egnor

Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics, State University of New York, Stony Brook
Michael R. Egnor, MD, is a Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at State University of New York, Stony Brook, has served as the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery, and is an award-winning brain surgeon. He was named one of New York’s best doctors by the New York Magazine in 2005. He received his medical education at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed his residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital. His research on hydrocephalus has been published in journals including Journal of Neurosurgery, Pediatrics, and Cerebrospinal Fluid Research. He is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Hydrocephalus Association in the United States and has lectured extensively throughout the United States and Europe.
Angus Menuge
Michael Egnor