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Owen Flanagan, Ph.D. (born 1949) is the James B. Duke Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Neurobiology at Duke University. Flanagan has done work in philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of social science, ethics, contemporary ethical theory, moral psychology, as well as Buddhist and Hindu conceptions of the self.
Flanagan earned his Ph.D from Boston University and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University. He taught for many years at Wellesley College before moving to Duke.
Flanagan has written extensively on consciousness. He has been realistic about the difficulty of consciousness as a scientific and philosophical problem, but optimistic about the chance of solving the problem. One of the problems in a study of consciousness is the hidden way in which conscious states are dependent on brain states. Flanagan has proposed that there is a "natural method" to go about understanding consciousness that involves creating a science of mind. Three key elements of this developing science are: 1) paying attention to subjective reports on conscious experiences, 2) incorporating the results from psychology and cognitive science, and 3) including the results from neuroscience that will reveal how neuronal systems produce consciousness. Flanagan is also responsible for bringing attention to the relevancy of empirical psychology on the way we think of moral psychology. His efforts spawned the modern field of moral psychology.
Flanagan was also one of the first moral philosophers to see the relevance of developments in social psychology to ethics.
Flanagan is currently on the Editorial Board of Greater Good Magazine, published by the Greater Good Science Center of the University of California, Berkeley. Flanagan's contributions include the interpretation of scientific research into the roots of compassion, altruism, and peaceful human relationships. He is also an active member of the Center for Pragmatic Buddhism's (CPB) Advisory Council.
- The Science of the Mind-(MIT press, 1984; 2nd edition, 1991)
- Identity, Character, and Morality: Essays in Moral Psychology - (MIT Press, 1990)
- Varieties of Moral Personality: Ethics and Psychological Realism - (Harvard University Press, 1991)
- Consciousness Reconsidered - (MIT Press, 1992)
- Self Expressions: Mind, Morals, and the Meaning of Life - (Oxford University Press, 1996)
- The Nature of Consciousness - (MIT Press, 1998)
- Dreaming Souls: Sleep, Dreams, and the Evolution of the Conscious Mind - (Oxford University, 1999)
- Narrative and Consciousness: Literature, Psychology, and the Brain - (Oxford University Press, 2002)
- The Problem of the Soul: Two Visions of Mind and How to Reconcile Them - (Basic 2002)
- The Really Hard Problem: Meaning in a Material World - (MIT Press 2007)
- The Bodhisattva's Brain: Buddhism Naturalized - (MIT Press 2011)
See also 
External links 
- ^ Flanagan, Owen, Varieties of Moral Personality, Harvard University Press, 1991.
Naturalism and Its Implications
Owen Flanagan and Alex Rosenberg discuss naturalism and whether it repudiates all purpose, value, and meaning from the universe. They also discuss the possib...
Owen Flanagan - Human Flourishing / Eudaimonics - Part 1 of 2
Owen Flanagan Human Flourishing/Eudaimonics October 4, 2008 Owen Flanagan is James B. Duke Professor of Philosophy at Duke University. He also holds appointm...
Defining Compassion, Empathy & Altruism, Economic, Philosophical & Contemplative Perspectives
Defining Compassion, Empathy & Altruism Scientific, Economic, Philosophical & Contemplative Perspectives, which took place March 4th to 5th 2009, was put on ...
Moving Naturalism Forward: Day 2, Morning, 2nd Session
Discussion at the Moving Naturalism Forward workshop, October 2012. Participants include Sean Carroll, Jerry Coyne, Richard Dawkins, Terrence Deacon, Simon D...
Partially Examined Life podcast - Interview with Owen Flanagan
This is an excerpt from a prior episode of The Partially Examined Life podcast, interviewing Professor Owen Flanagan, author of The Bodhisattva's Brain: Budd...
Lives Without Selves: Owen Flanagan
Owen Flanagan of Duke speaks at the Lives Without Selves session for the Narrative Self, Lyric Self, Absent Self: Literary, Psychological, and Philosophical ...
7. Panel: Human Flourishing and Eudaimonics - Beyond Belief 2008
With Sonja Lyubomirsky, Owen Flanagan, Guven Guzeldere, Anthony Grayling, and George Koob and moderated by Roger Bingham. -- This is from the Beyond Belief 2...
4. Owen Flanagan - Beyond Belief 2008
Owen Flanagan is James B. Duke Professor of Philosophy at Duke University. He also holds appointments in Psychology and Neurobiology and is a Faculty Fellow ...
Conscious Robots and Free Will - Roy Baumeister, Paul Bloom and Owen Flanagan
The New York Academy of Sciences - February 23, 2011 Quid Pro Quo: The Ecology of the Self Roy Baumeister, Paul Bloom and Owen Flanagan discuss with host Ste...
Waterloo Brain Day Lectures 2013: Owen Flanagan (Duke University)
Title: Why the hard problem of consciousness is not so hard The brain is a horrendously complex and poorly understood system that poses both an immense chall...
Fall River Herald News
Wed, 22 May 2013 09:40:48 -0700
The Raiders (12-6) took the remaining two doubles matches thanks to the teams of Keagan Rego/Randy Srey (6-2, 6-7 , 6-2 over Amy Thornton/Owen Flanagan) and Fred Schobel/Gabe Vigil (3-6, 6-0, 6-2 over Rachel Mauricio and Rebecca Mauricio).
Sat, 27 Apr 2013 16:14:37 -0700
Such communication barriers have pushed the humanities to the sideline of Duke's curriculum, said Owen Flanagan, James B. Duke professor of philosophy and professor of neurobiology. He added that there is a need to reiterate the value of a humanities ...
Kingston Daily Freeman
Wed, 24 Apr 2013 00:21:56 -0700
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — Marist College's Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies will present a lecture by Owen Flanagan Jr., a professor of neurobiology and philosophy at Duke University, at 5 p.m. Friday. His lectured, “Flourishing: Lessons From ...
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