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In search of the soul. Part 1: Science

Désanne van Brederode en Midas Dekkers - foto Serge Ligtenberg
Désanne van Brederode en Midas Dekkers - foto Serge Ligtenberg

'Your soul is something holy, she has been breathed in by God and as she gets older she grows little hairs.' That's how the soul was thought of in the Middle Ages. But what is the present state of affairs, is she still breathed in by God, and if so: by which one? Can the soul be explained biologically, even if we can no longer count on it that she weighs 21 grams? Is the soul only to be found in art, or is it that devitalization yields better art? Writers, scientists, philosophers, religious experts and artists were in search of the soul. An expedition in three parts.

Strictly speaking there is no evidence whatsoever as to the existence of the soul. From three scientific disciplines a quest for the soul therefore is an impossible task. Midas Dekker lead the way. He did so with a story about body and soul which he has written specially for Winternachten. Douwe Draaisma, professor of the history of psychology and writer Désanne van Brederode did each react from their own field of study. The three of them came to a better understanding of the biological, neurological and ethical values of the soul. Dutch spoken.