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Episode 119 Am I Just My Brain with Sharon Dirckx

Am I Just My Brain? (2019) is a book by Sharon Dirckx dealing with an ancient and modern question.  Are we more than our brains? 

Are humans self-aware only because of neuro-chemical reactions or electrical activity or are we something more?

Dr. Dirckx lives in Oxford with her husband and two children.  She is a speaker, author, and adjunct lecturer for OCCA (The Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics). 

She earned her PhD in brain imaging at Cambridge University and spent more than a decade researching brain function. 

She joins David Capes on “The Stone Chapel Podcasts” to talk about her book and to summarize her upcoming lecture.

To see and hear the lecture that took place in fall 2022, click here

The question of human identity is an ancient one, but it is one that fascinates modern minds as well. 

At the heart of it is a question: what exactly is a human being?  Are we advanced apes? Are we machines?  Are we brains on sticks?

In fact, we can address those questions without having to leave the realm of neuroscience.  But we are more than our brains. 

We have a brain.  But we also have a mind.  We have thoughts, feelings, and memories and a sense of self that appears unique in the world. 

Human consciousness remains a mystery but there are aspects of it that neuroscience can address. 

Dr. Capes and Dr. Dirckx talk about human experience, functional MRIs, data analysis, the question of soul and consciousness among animals, and the data sets from near death experiences.  

If you want more information about Dr. Sharon Dirckx as a speaker and author follow her on Twitter @sharondirckx or you can email her at

In an earlier book, Why?, she addressed the question of evil and suffering.  Her next book, entitled Broken Planet, deals with  natural disasters and finding a way through them.

For more Stone Chapel Podcasts, click here.

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