Anima e neuroscienze: verso un riavvicinamento?
Neuroscience and the soul: is it time to make peace?

published in January - June 2017 - pH - issue n.1
Flavio Keller, Nicola Di Stefano

Some readers may be amused by the title of this paper. For the term “soul” has been banned from the scientific lexicon for at least three centuries for various reasons: first, because the soul, as an immaterial entity, eludes measurement or quantification, thus remaining well outside the domain of empirical science; second, because the concept of soul as a spiritual substance distinct from the body inevitably leads to the problem of dualism, which in turn is difficult to resolve in scientific terms; and finally, because the shifting meanings that have defined the term “soul” over time have not allowed for the formulation of one clear and stable definition, which would be required as the fundamental starting point for a scientific discussion of the term.