Philosophy and Ideas

What Makes a Human Being?

 Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness from the Modern Myth of the Self, by Marilynne Robinson; Yale University Press, 2010, 176 pages, US$15. Marilynne Robinson has written three prize-winning novels: Housekeeping (1980), Gilead (2004) and Home (2008). Her latest book, Absence of Mind (2010), publishes her 2009 Terry Lectures, a series dedicated to religion in the light of science and philosophy. She’s in distinguished if eclectic and contentious company, as past lecturers include Paul Tillich, Eric Fromm, John Dewey, Jacques Maritain, Carl Jung, Paul Ricoeur, Hans Kung, John Polkinghorne, Mary Douglas, Peter Singer and Terry Eagleton, to name a few. The…

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