Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780226699820 Will Publish August 2020
Cloth $105.00 ISBN: 9780226699790 Will Publish August 2020
E-book $35.00 Available for pre-order. ISBN: 9780226699967 Will Publish August 2020

Making Spirit Matter

Neurology, Psychology, and Selfhood in Modern France

Larry Sommer McGrath

Making Spirit Matter

Larry Sommer McGrath

Publication supported by the Bevington Fund

280 pages | 12 halftones, 1 table | 6 x 9 | © 2020
Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780226699820 Will Publish August 2020
Cloth $105.00 ISBN: 9780226699790 Will Publish August 2020
E-book $35.00 ISBN: 9780226699967 Will Publish August 2020

The connection between mind and brain has been one of the most persistent problems in modern Western thought; even recent advances in neuroscience haven’t been able to solve it satisfactorily. Historian Larry Sommer McGrath’s Making Spirit Matter studies how a particularly productive and influential group of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century French thinkers attempted to answer this puzzle by showing the mutual dependence of spirit and matter. The scientific revolution taking place during this moment in history across disciplines, from biology to psychology and neurology, located our spiritual powers in the brain and offered a radical reformulation of the meaning of society, spirit, and the self. Tracing connections among thinkers such as Henri Bergson, Alfred Fouillée, Jean-Marie Guyau, and others, McGrath plots alternative intellectual movements that revived themes of agency, time, and experience by applying the very sciences that seemed to undermine metaphysics and theology. In so doing, Making Spirit Matter lays out the long legacy of this moment in the history of ideas and how it might renew our understanding of the relationship between mind and brain today.


Chapter 1 The Formations of French Spiritualism
Chapter 2 Measuring the Machinery of the Brain
Chapter 3 Science and Spirit in the Classroom
Chapter 4 Locating Selfhood in the Brain
Chapter 5 The Institutions of the Intellect, or Spirit contra Kant
Chapter 6 Struggles for Spirit’s Catholic Soul


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