David Brooks’s op-ed, “The Neural Buddhists,” is premised on a variety of conceptual confusions that are worth trying to clear up, although the widespread nature of some of these confusions says something quite interesting about innate human cognitive biases. I think he is mistaken about the precise character of the cultural impact of recent neuroscientific work, but the kinds of mistakes he makes points toward ways in which the contemporary neuroscientific model of the self continues to be misunderstood. […]Read the rest of Let’s get clear about materialism.
Edward Slingerland is Associate Professor of Asian Studies at The University of British Columbia, where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Chinese Thought and Embodied Cognition. His most recent book is What Science Offers the Humanities: Integrating Body and Culture. Professor Slingerland's research focuses on Chinese thought in the Warring States period and cognitive approaches to the study of religion.