Stewart Goetz and Mark C. Baker’s: The Soul Hypothesis

A Must Read 300This week my schoolwork led me to a fascinating little book:  Stewart Goetz and Mark C. Baker’s The Soul Hypothesis: Investigations into the Existence of the Soul. The book is made up of several essays and articles, each by prominent figures in the area of philosophy of mind. Just so you know what you are getting into, philosophy of mind deals with questions pertaining to the nature and existence of the soul, consciousness, and any interplay between the physical and questionably immaterial. Unlike some of the other philosophical works I have reviewed, this one doesn’t really argue a specific point. It contains chapters from substance dualists (the soul is an immaterial entity working in tandem with a physical body), physicalists (the mind is a purely physical thing), and all spectrums of arguments between these. This actually makes the book an excellent introduction to philosophy of mind, or philosophy in general, as well as providing those more versed in the subject with a satisfying sampling of generally well-organized arguments. Don’t come to this book looking for answers: come with questions. Due to the nature of the book, reviewing the actual content would be pointless, unless I was to breakdown each entry, each of which could be the prompt for several research papers. I can say that, for the most part, each argument is one of the best possible points for the view that it represents, and no specific viewpoint is going to seem “tacked on” or ignorant (barring the reader’s personal bias, of course). If you are philosophically or theologically minded, or find some of the above content interesting, then you will probably enjoy this book greatly. In fact, if asking these questions disturbs you, I still challenge you to read the book: it may just surprise you how you approach such difficult questions.

Source: Jake Depew, Assistant Editor