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Brain Wars: The Scientific Battle Over the Existence of the Mind and the Irrefutable Proof that Will Change the Way We Live Our Lives Hardcover – Apr 16 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (April 16 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1443407062
  • ISBN-13: 978-1443407069
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 2.3 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #142,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Brain Wars explains why the prevailing brain-mind paradigm is falling apart and why we are increasingly being forced to reconsider the nature of consciousness. The consequences of this paradigm shift are profound, and Mario Beauregard does a magnificent job in explaining why.” (Dean Radin PhDCo-Editor-in-Chief, Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing Senior Scientist Institute of Noetic Sciences)

“Mario Beauregard shows convincingly that the materialistic philosophy of the 19th century is an impoverished framework incompatible with contemporary science, from physics to psychology. The concepts he develops in Brain Wars are required reading for scientific literacy in today’s world.” (Bruce Greyson, M.D. Research psychiatrist, University of Virginia. Co-author of Irreducible Mind)

“In this ground-breaking work, neuroscientist Mario Beauregard cites a range of scientific studies challenging many widely held materialistic assumptions about the relation between the mind and brain.” (B. Alan Wallace, Ph.D.President, Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies)

“The assumption that the brain makes consciousness, like the liver makes bile, and that human consciousness is confined to the brain and body, will not endure because it is unscientific, and cannot account for how consciousness manifests in the world. In this important book, Dr. Mario Beauregard shows why.” (Larry Dossey, MDAuthor of Reinventing Medicine and The Power of Premonitions)

“Dr. Beauregard describes that our mind/consciousness has a fundamental and irreducible nature, and that it sometimes can be experienced independently from the body because it is not limited to our brain. Brain Wars clearly announces the end of physicalism, reductionism, materialism and objectivism in science.” (Pim van Lommel, cardiologist, author of Consciousness beyond Life)

Provocative and accessible, this book is ultimately less about hard science and more about the mind-body problem and philosophy of materialistic science. (Library Journal)

From the Back Cover

A Neuroscientist Offers Evidence of Where the Brain Ends and Consciousness Begins

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brendan on May 11 2012
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Beauregard's book is a masterpiece of modern neuropsychology and neurophilosophy. Using strongly founded scientific evidence to back up his case he makes an intriguingly compelling argument for the undeniable existence of the 'mind'. Where other books of the genre cautiously steer clear of any overt statements ' instead settling for implications and insinuations ' Dr. Beauregard firmly stands his ground and argues his case, and he does so brilliantly and concisely. This book is an absolute must for any person in the humanities: medical, psychological, philosophical or otherwise, and for anyone who as ever 'thought about thinking'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TetyanaYam on Aug. 2 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
One of the best books I have read in a while! It is very positive, uplifting and easy to read. I do enjoy the style of the author as he cut to the point and made things very clear.
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By Jizzler on April 8 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Incredible experiments that tells a lot about the world is changing with neurosciences. However, your life wont change unless you have a bunch of scientists working on or for you! Seriously, who as the resources to biofeedback themselves with expensive prototype machines? But it is possible, but I doubt it in real everyday life...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 39 reviews
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating and Exciting Brain stuff! May 12 2012
By Giordany Orellana - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Healing yourself with only your thoughts, placebos more effective than big pharma, and influencing matter at the quantum level.

This book covers all of these fascinating subjects, and then some. The book is easy to read and paced very well. It never gets bogged down with heavy explanation, and it's always just enough to keep reading to learn more.

He covers out-of-body experiences, Near-death-experiences, experiments with placebos, the debate of conciousness and the mind, and several other unexplained phenomena that has something to do with the brain.

All of his examples are scientifically backed, and he holds his judgement until the very end. For most of the book, he presents you the facts, and lets you decide for yourself.
26 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Valuable Book April 25 2012
By eddn - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have recommended this book many times since reading it because I think it is important for people today to understand the brain wars going on in our culture, and the implications of the battles. Dr. Beauregard's book is an excellent and well-documented statement that the materialist and reductionist points of view are inaccurate, incomplete, and insulting to the human spirit. Each of us is much more than a measurable mass, more than chemical processes in a brain.

Being reminded that our lives are not determined by the processes of our brains inspires us, gives us hope, obliges and frees us to make wise decisions about how we live, love, work, and play. This book is an eloquent reminder of our freedom and the rights and responsibilities that come with it.
20 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Is it (really) a white crow? April 20 2014
By A reader - Published on
This entire book reflects a logical fallacy. The author quotes William James's maxim that "[i]f you wish to upset the law that all crows are black, you must not [that is, need not] seek to show that no crows are, it is enough if you prove the single crow to be white." James was right. The problem is that nothing in this book really proves a single crow to be white.

Anomalous cases, even some very interesting double-blind experiments, which the current state of scientific knowledge arguably cannot explain, call for further research, thought, and investigation; they don't prove tendentious conclusions. They don't, without more, prove the existence of the single white crow.

To cite just one example, the author describes (Ch. 7) the case of Pam Reynolds. She reportedly had a near-death experience in which, while clinically brain dead, she saw, heard, and otherwise sensed certain events. She remembered them upon being revived. The events she said she sensed could also be empirically, independently verified by others. This is indeed fascinating if it's true. To my knowledge, it cannot be explained by current, general consensus scientific views, e.g., about the dependence of mental events upon physical events in the brain. But we cannot therefore draw the conclusion that, as Huxley and some others believed, the mind acts as a filter for a transcendental unified consciousness, or that life and perception survive brain death. These are hypotheses.

True, it would be dogmatic to dismiss these cases because they can't be explained by a materialistic worldview. Further evidence of this sort might well require that we revise that worldview. The author's right to critique *dogmatic* skepticism. Dogmatic materialism is as bad as any other dogma. But 90%+ of scientists are not believers in materialism, or the dependence of mental upon physical events in the brain, based on blind faith or dogma; it's a question of the weight of the evidence. A genuine scientist would indeed remain open-minded to the kind of evidence the author relates. That surely does not mean they must accept the author's conclusions.

The way empirical data, including double-blind experiments, prove a hypothesis is by establishing more than that the data would explain a given phenomenon. The data must show that it genuinely *does* explain that phenomenon either (1) to the exclusion of other proposed hypotheses, or at least (2) better, which is to say more consistently and logically, than other hypotheses.

In other words, if one person says she saw a white crow, but everyone else has seen only black crows, presumably we should ask questions like: Did the person really see a white crow? Or can the anomalous events be explained by an equally compelling hypothesis that would also explain why others have only seen black crows? Perhaps the white crow was an albino of sorts. Or perhaps the person's eyes were defective. Or perhaps the person lied. And so forth. This is true even if hundreds of people over the course of history claim to have seen white crows (and even if a handful of double-blind experiments are consistent with the existence of white crows) -- because trillions of others throughout history have not seen white crows, and most double-blind experiments do not validate white crows. That doesn't mean none exist. It does mean scientists justifiably remain skeptical about their existence at present, i.e., given everything else we currently know based on the scientific method.

Yes, there are many reported cases of apparent near-death, out-of-body, mystical, psychic and other experiences. For the sake of argument at least, let's grant that there're too many, or at least enough, of these "white crows," such that it would be misguided to dismiss, without further investigation, the existence of white crows as "pure nonsense" -- that is, it would be misguided to dismiss them merely because they're inconsistent with the best current scientific worldview based on the rest of the evidence and research to date. But the case of Pam Reynolds is fascinating, if true, precisely because it's inconsistent with the rest of what we think we know.

What the author has done is report many very interesting case studies, and the results of some -- perhaps well-designed (I'm in no position to judge) -- experiments. These seem to me compelling enough to call for further research and to counsel an open mind. But they don't show that the white crows were really white.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Five-Star Book If You're New to the Topic Oct. 18 2014
By St. Corbinians's Bear - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had read the author's Spiritual Brain he co-authored with Denyse O'Leary and had high expectations. Brain Wars was a quick, interesting read, but I had read most of the stories before. Surely something has happened since the last book? Yes, the story of the surgical patient that had her blood drained and was clinically dead while floating around the operating room is fascinating, but I have seen it before. Likewise the Buried Yogi and the Placebo Problem.

This would be a five-star book for someone just beginning to learn about the mind-brain controversy. It has that "popular overview" feel. I hope Dr. Beauregard follows it with another book that brings us up to date and delves a little deeper.
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Exactly as Advertised, Paradigm Shifting Book. May 31 2012
By MN - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent book, well written and chalk full of evidence demonstrating the inadequacies of our current mind-brain relationship theory. I highly recommend this book to anyone in psychology.

The reason this book does not get a 5-star from me is two-fold. First, Dr Mario Beauregard has done much research of his own on the subject of NDEs and has published a paper in the journal Resuscitation regarding a retrospective study that contained an NDE very similar to that of Pam Reynolds. Unfortunately, it was not mentioned in this book which is disappointing to say the least. Second, the book is essentially "Irreducible Minds, Towards a Psychology for the 21st Century" for dummies. The two are quite similar, and as I had already read "Irreducible Minds", I found this book to be quite repetitive which was also a little disappointing.

With all this in mind, the 4 star rating is a mix of how much I enjoyed the book (a 3) and the book itself (a 5) and I certainly highly recommend it!