Neuroscientific findings in the light of Aquinas' understanding of the human being

Saša Horvat

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/SetF.2017.021

Abstract


Neuroscience is one of the most propulsive of all sciences and very often, directly or not, it tries to answer the question: What is man? However, neuroscientific research does not acknowledge the concept of man as a unity of body and soul. The modern scientific research paradigm therefore rests on physicalism, while theologians are turning towards non-reductive physicalism. In this paper, we will highlight a few key points of the theory of philosopher and theologian Nancey Murphy, which is based on the deconstruction of Aquinas's thought about the human soul and its reduction to the physical. We aim to show that she neglected the full scope of Aquinas teachings. In the second part of this paper, for the scientific paradigm of humans we shall propose new-old hylomorphism, and try to complement certain points of such a system with modern neuroscientific views. The aim of this work is to offer advice for the interdisciplinary cooperation between neuroscience, philosophy and theology alongside the guidelines of Aristotelian-Thomistic hylomorphism.

Keywords


Thomas Aquinas; Nancey Murphy; hylomorphism; physicalism; neuroscience

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References


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