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This book contains the substance of the first series of Gifford Lectures which I was privileged to give in the University of Edinburgh in the period 1966–68. I have combined with this the Hobhouse Memorial Lecture ‘Dreaming and Experience’ given in London in 1967 and my Presidential Address to the Aristotelian Society in 1962 ‘Mind and Body’. Although offered to a more limited public already these papers with appropriate changes of detail seemed sufficiently relevant to the main purpose of the present work to warrant their inclusion as separate chapters at the point where I have placed them.

I am grateful to the Athlone Press Board and the Aristotelian Society for permission to reproduce the papers which they have already published.

I am also very glad to have this opportunity of publicly thanking the Principal and the Senatus of Edinburgh University for the honour they did me in asking me to give the Gifford Lectures. Of the kindness of the audiences which attended the lectures and of the warmth of the personal hospitality extended to my wife and myself during our several visits to Edinburgh it is hardly possible to write adequately in so impersonal a context as the preface to a book. Our hosts will know already how much we treasured their kindness. Nor can anyone who has been fortunate enough to spend several months in the city of Edinburgh break away easily from the sense of enchantment the spell which is cast on those who spend their time as agreeably as we did in this delightful and historic place.
Much of this book is concerned with the problem of mind and body. I pass in review some well-known and much admired examples of ways of dealing with this problem today beginning with those which seem to me least attractive and proceeding to positions which concede more to the points I myself consider essential to a satisfactory treatment of the problem. On the basis of my discussion of the work of Professor Sydney Shoemaker with whose views I am in many ways in close agreement I set forth in outline in chapter XI the main features of the position I wish to take up myself; and I bring out the bearing of this in the remaining chapters on some of the issues in philosophy and religious thought to which they have most relevance and which have most affinity with the matters discussed in earlier chapters. In the sequel to this book I set out more exhaustively the themes of chapter XI of the present work and relate them to further issues in religious thought and ethics along the lines indicated very briefly in the closing chapter of this book.
I am much indebted to two of my friends Professor C. A. Campbell and Dr A. C. Ewing for reading the whole of my typescript and making very helpful suggestions. The proofs were read for me by Dom Illtyd Trethowan and by my gifted former pupil Mr Anthony Ellis. Mr Ellis also made the Index. I am grateful to all these gentlemen for their help and encouragement.

From the book: