Buddhists & Brain Science

Statue of the Buddha; from Wikimedia Commons user: Sethuramrajesh65

The vision of humanity presented by modern brain sciences deprives our lives of deeper meaning by reducing our emotional states, individual preferences, and (ostensibly) free choices to so many electrical impulses and molecular interactions. At least this is the view held by many humanists.

Anne Harrington, Professor of the History of Science, challenges this perspective in her article Buddhist Brains: A Case Study in the Reenchantment of the Brain Sciences. Examining studies on the effects of Buddhist meditation on the brains of advanced practitioners, Prof. Harrington suggests that "the brain sciences themselves allow for a more optimistic vision" for the future of human values.

You can find a complete list of Prof. Harrington's work in DASH here.