Sure, I’d be happy to outline this unique field for you. Let’s name it “Cognitive and Spiritual Neuroscience: A Phenomenological Perspective” for more clarity.
Overview of the Field: Cognitive and Spiritual Neuroscience: A Phenomenological Perspective
This interdisciplinary field of study incorporates phenomenology, cognitive neuroscience, and spiritual studies to better understand human cognition and spirituality from both subjective and objective perspectives. It focuses on how the brain and nervous system influence and are influenced by spiritual experiences and practices, all viewed through the lens of phenomenology – a philosophical approach that emphasizes individual subjective experience and consciousness.
1. Cognitive Spiritual Neuroscience
2. Phenomenological Neuroscience
3. Consciousness and Spirituality
7. Transpersonal Psychology and Neuroscience
Important Thinkers and Contributors:
1. Francisco Varela: A biologist, philosopher, and neuroscientist, he introduced the concept of neurophenomenology, which combines neuroscience with phenomenology to explore consciousness and cognition.
2. Edmund Husserl: Considered the father of phenomenology, Husserl’s work can help frame how we approach cognition and spiritual experiences.
3. Maurice Merleau-Ponty: His work on embodied cognition and the intertwining of perception and consciousness is foundational for the phenomenological perspective in this field.
4. Antonio Damasio: A neuroscientist whose work on emotions, consciousness, and their biological basis has significant implications for this field.
5. Andrew Newberg: A pioneer in the field of neurotheology, his work studies the neurological basis of religious and spiritual experiences.
6. Michael Persinger: Known for his work on the “God Helmet,” exploring perceptions and neurological explanations for mystical experiences.
7. Stanislav Grof: A psychiatrist and one of the founders of transpersonal psychology, his research on non-ordinary states of consciousness has implications for understanding spiritual experiences.
8. Daniel Siegel: A clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA and a pioneer in the field of interpersonal neurobiology, Siegel’s work bridges the gap between neuroscience and spirituality.
9. Rudolf Steiner: A philosopher and clairvoyant who founded anthroposophy, Steiner’s insights into spiritual science can provide valuable context for studies in spiritual neuroscience.
10. David Chalmers: A philosopher known for his work on consciousness, especially the “hard problem” of consciousness, which is particularly relevant to cognitive and spiritual neuroscience.
11. Richard Davidson: A neuroscientist and founder of the Center for Healthy Minds, his work on emotion and the brain has strong implications for the connection between mind, body, and spirit.
This field is inherently compatibilist as it attempts to reconcile the subjective experiences of spirituality with objective neuroscientific findings. It acknowledges the possibility of determinism in the physical processes of the brain, while also accepting that the phenomenological experience of spirituality and consciousness may exceed these physical constraints. Through this framework, it allows for an exploration of consciousness and spirituality that is both scientifically rigorous and deeply human.