Soul Searching Project
Ogilvie (Daniel M.)
Source: Ogilvie's page on Rutgers Website
Paper - Abstract

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  1. This is a rather informal and prolix account of the genesis, motivation, aims and successes of a research project into beliefs about the soul, and the consequences of these beliefs. It also describes the genesis of courses at Rutgers based on the results of this research.
  2. Ogilvie is a partly retired psychologist and – if his appearances in "Ogilvie (Daniel M.) & Hamilton (Leonard W.) - Soul Beliefs: Causes and Consequences" are anything to go by – somewhat past his prime (a little bit embarrassingly so in my view, though maybe he always had a rather bumbling style).
  3. He is of a camp with the New Atheists – in particular the Four Horsemen (Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens).
  4. However, he thinks their confrontational “you bunch of idiots” approach is counter-productive.
  5. He set a group of research students to investigate1 the following problems (in a manner which is somewhere between sociology, psychology and experimental philosophy):-
    • the history of and current perspectives on mind/body dualism including the idea that children are natural dualists,
    • contemporary cognitive theories of religion,
    • the history of hominid evolution2 particularly the evolution3 of the hominid brain,
    • case studies of people who are born again and people who have lost their faith,
    • comparative religions, social and cultural conditions conducive to belief and disbelief, and
    • the onset of the "timetraveling self" in childhood.


See Link (Defunct).

In-Page Footnotes

Footnote 1: This investigation is sometimes genuine research, and sometime just to remedy areas of ignorance on Ogilvie’s part.

Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)

  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)

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