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Contemplative Science: Where Buddhism and Neuroscience Converge (Columbia Series in Science and Religion)
by B. Alan Wallace (Goodreads Author)
Science has long treated religion as a set of personal beliefs that have little to do with a rational understanding of the mind and the universe. However, B. Alan Wallace, a respected Buddhist scholar, proposes that the contemplative methodologies of Buddhism and of Western science are capable of being integrated into a single discipline: contemplative science.
The science ...more
The science ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Columbia University Press
(first published September 29th 2006)
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This book's primary argument, simplified, is that modern neuroscience should take more seriously the first-hand experience of high-level buddhist contemplatives, or meditators. As someone who knows a little about modern western science and absolutely nothing about Buddhism's meditative practices, I found Mr. Wallace's presentation to be informative and interesting. At the same time, the organization of the text cries out for the services of a hard-hearted editor wielding a large red sharpie.
I really wanted to like this book, and looked for it for some time, but it just wasn't the book I had hoped it would be. The author starts from a position of religion and then argues about the flaws of science, rather than starting from "how can we study this aspect of religion scientifically", which is the book I wanted. So his whole first chapter where he's proposing a contemplative science provoked a "THAT'S NOT SCIENCE, THAT'S NOT HOW YOU DO SCIENCE, YOU NEED A TESTABLE HYPOTHESIS AT THE LEA ...more
Other Books in the Series
Columbia Series in Science and Religion (10 books)