A new book on the nonexistence of the soul

I wasn’t aware of this new book, but it would seem to be a good complement to The Albatross. It’s by Julien Musolino, a professor of cognitive psychology and psycholinguistics at Rutgers, and is called The Soul Fallacy: What Science Shows We Gain by Letting Go of Our Soul Beliefs. It was published by Prometheus, came out on January 6, and you can get the paperback for only $13.16 on Amazon. There’s a foreword by Victor Stenger, who of course died last year.

I like it because, like a good New Atheist, Musolina takes a scientific approach, regarding the soul’s existence as a testable hypothesis. The Rutgers site gives a summary:

The soul hypothesis, Musolino contends, has had a good run for millennia, but it is time to put the idea to rest. Musolino argues that the soul hypothesis is a scientific claim that can be investigated using the tools and methods of rational inquiry. Moreover, he contends that soul beliefs, which are extremely common here in the United States, actually get in the way of progress and a more humane society.

“Belief in an immaterial, psychologically potent, and detachable soul that can function apart from the body after we die amounts to a series of claims about physics, biology and the sciences of the mind,” Musolino says, “Therefore, we should be able evaluate those claims based on science and reason.”

And for those who claim that most people aren’t dualists, there’s this (remember that Rutgers is a good school, and these are advanced undergraduates):

Musolino has probed around the edges of this question. In 2012, he surveyed students in the upper-level undergraduate psychology courses he teaches, and found that 80 percent of them believed in the soul. Seventy-three percent of those believers thought their souls would live on after they died. Experiments carried out in his lab with a broader population of undergraduate students revealed the same pattern.