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The Substance of Consciousness

In The Substance of Consciousness: A Comprehensive Defense of Contemporary Substance Dualism, two philosophers deliver a unique and powerful defense of contemporary substance dualism, which makes the claim that the human person is an embodied fundamental, immaterial, and unifying substance. Multidisciplinary in scope, the book explores areas of philosophy, cognitive science, neuroscience, and the sociology of mind-body beliefs. 


The authors present the most comprehensive, up-to-date, and rigorous non-edited work on substance dualism in the field, as well as a detailed history of how property and substance dualism have been presented and evaluated over the last 150 years. Alongside developing new and updated positive arguments for substance dualism, they also discuss key metaphysical notions and distinctions that inform the examination of substance dualism and its alternatives.  

"This book is a tour de force on the topic of consciousness. The authors offer a depth of analysis that interacts with the latest and best work on this topic in recent years." 

- Joshua Rasmussen, Associate Professor of Philosophy,

Azusa Pacific University

The Conscious Mind Unified: The Failure of Physical of the  Reality of the Bodily Soul

The first book-length argument for the reality of the human soul from the philosophy and neuroscience of the unity of consciousness.


Consciousness research is at an impasse. The hard problem of consciousness—explaining the existence of consciousness from non-conscious reality—and the binding and unity problems—explaining how unified consciousness arises from the parts of a system—remain as difficult to solve as ever. In The Conscious Mind Unified, Brandon Rickabaugh reveals the source of these problems as the assumption that subjects of consciousness are comprised of distinct parts, such as the brain, the body, or computational neural networks. 

Through examining the philosophy and neuroscience of consciousness, and computer science, Rickabaugh reveals the inability of the major naturalist perspectives—physicalism, panpsychism, and emergentism—to explain the subject of phenomenally unified consciousness. Rickabaugh offers an alternative path: the most viable route is the paradigm of contemporary substance dualism, where conscious entities are deeply integrated immaterial substances or bodily souls, transcending conventional brain, body, and neural network boundaries. 



What is Consciousness?
An Introduction to Minds, Brains, Machines, and Souls 

The fundamental nature of conscious beings is the most crucial issue of the twenty-first century. Yet, there is little work on the nature of consciousness and subjects of consciousness from a robustly informed Christian perspective. What is Consciousness? offers an introduction to the philosophy of mind from a contemporary analytic and analytic phenomenological perspective that takes core Christian ideas and doctrines seriously. 


While all leading introductions to the philosophy of mind ignore or fail to take seriously the significant contemporary work defending traditional Christian views (e.g., substance dualism and hylomorphism), this text gives these views their due attention. 


Each chapter addresses the most significant primary readings for each subject, including research in neuroscience, psychology, and computer science.  



Book Chapters
Graphic Spiral


“Virtue Formation and The Sanctifying Work of the Holy Spirit.”
With Steven L. Porter

“Against Emergent Dualism” 

“Dismantling Bodily Resurrection Arguments Against Mind-Body Dualism” 

“Neuroscience, Spiritual Formation, and Bodily Souls: A Critique of Christian Physicalism”
With C. Stephen Evans

Graphic Spiral


Academic Articles

Philosophy of Mind & Consciousness

“The Primacy of the Mental: From Russellian Monism to Substance Dualism”

“Intentionality Contra Physicalism: On the Mind’s Independence from the Body.”
With Dallas Willard

“The Argument from Reason, and Mental Causal Drainage: A Reply to van Inwagen”
With Todd Buras

“What Does it Mean to Be a Bodily Soul?”
With C. Stephen Evans

Ontology of the Human Person

“Responding to N. T. Wright’s Rejection of the Soul”

“Alister McGrath’s Anti-Mind-Body Dualism: Neuroscientific and Philosophical Quandaries for Christian Physicalism”

Philosophy of Religion

“Normative Reasons, Epistemic Autonomy, and Accountability to God”

“Natural Theology, Evidence, and Epistemic Humility”
With Trent Dougherty

“Who You Could Have Known: Divine Hiddenness, Epistemic Counterfactuals, and the Recalcitrant Nature of Natural Theology.”
With Derek McAllister

Virtue Theory

“Living Accountably: Accountability as a Virtue”
With C. Stephen Evans 

Spiritual Formation

“Being-Thrown or Being-Guided into Spiritual Timekeeping: Smith and Willard, Heidegger and Husserl”

“Virtue Formation and The Sanctifying Work of the Holy Spirit.”
With Steven L. Porter

“Eternal Life as Knowledge of God: An Epistemology of Knowledge by Acquaintance and Spiritual Formation”

“The Sanctifying Work of the Holy Spirit: Revisiting Alston’s Interpersonal Model”
With Steven L. Porter

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