Links to books on Amazon





Writings

The End of War
Far from being ancient, innate and inevitable, war is a cultural phenomenon that culture can help us transcend.

War Is Our Most Urgent Problem. Let's Solve It
"Cross-check" (Scientific American blog), August 12, 2014.

"Will War Ever End?"
Review of Steven Pinker's "The Better Angels of Our Nature," Slate, October 3, 2011

No, War Is Not Inevitable.
A rebuttal of the deep-roots theory of warfare. Discover, June 2012. http://discovermagazine.com/2012/jun/02-no-war-is-not-inevitable

The Drones Come Home
Drones may soon become ubiquitous in U.S. skies. National Geographic, 2013.

The Consciousness Conundrum
The wetware that gives rise to consciousness is far too complex to be replicated in a computer anytime soon. IEEE Spectrum, June 2008.

The God Experiments
A survey of cognitive, evolutionary, genetic, neural and biochemical theories of mystical and religious experiences, Discover, December 2006.

The Final Frontier
Horgan examines how the arguments in his controversial 1996 book The End of Science have held up.

The Templeton Foundation: A Skeptic's Take
An essay that considers whether it is ethical for an agnostic to accept money from the Templeton Foundation, which seeks to reconcile science and religion.

The Forgotten Era of Brain Chips
An account of the pioneering research on brain implants in humans and other animals by Jose Delgado and others, Scientific American, October 2005.

In Defense of Common Sense
An essay arguing against the tendency of that some modern physicists and other scientists to denigrate common sense as a guide for judging theories. New York Times, August 12, 2005.

Can a Single Brain Cell Think?
Investigation of controversial "grandmother-cell" hypothesis. Discover, June 2005.

Keeping the Faith in My Doubt
An essay on whether atheists, agnostics, and other un-believers need their own movement. Published in the New York Times, oped page, Sunday, December 12, 2004.

The Myth of Mind Control: Will Anyone Ever Decode the Human Brain?
Explores whether scientists will ever have complete understanding of and control over the brain's neural code. Discover, October 2004.

Peyote on the Brain
Investigation of peyote use in Native American Church. Discover, February 2003.

Selected Articles, 1986-Present
An annotated list of articles, reviews, and essays written over the past two decades for Scientific American, The New York Times, Washington Post, Times Literary Supplement, Slate, and other magazines and newspapers.

Rational Mysticism Outtakes
(published here only)


Why I Gave Up On Zen
Horgan describes his trials and tribulations in a Zen class taught by a Japanese-American woman in his hometown.

The Psychedelic Sorcerer
A breakfast conversation in Basel, Switzerland, with the anthropologist Christian Ratsch.

The Anti-Gurus
Horgan talks to the authors of The Guru Papers about the dangers of cults, gurus, and spiritual authority.

A Modern Catholic Mystic
John Horgan visits the reclusive Benedictine monk Brother David Stendl-Rast, a former teacher at Esalen and leader in the effort to establish a Catholic dialogue with Buddhism, at a monastery in western New York.

Beyond Belief
John Horgan describes meeting Stephen Batchelor, author of The Faith to Doubt and Buddhism Without Beliefs.

The Myth of the Totally Enlightened Guru
John Horgan describes his meeting with the guru Andrew Cohen, founder of the journal What Is Enlightenment? and advocate of the myth of the totally enlightened guru. This article includes brief digressions on Yogi Bhajan, popularizer of kundalini yoga, and Amrit Desai, founder of Kripalu.

Books


Rational Mysticism: Dispatches from the Border Between Science and Spirituality
John Horgan seeks out experts from a wide range of fields, ranging from neurochemistry to theology, in an effort to get to the bottom of mysticism. Can mysticism be reconciled with science, and, more broadly, with reason? If so, what sort of truth would a rational mysticism give us? What sort of consolation? These are the questions that Rational Mysticism addresses. "A marvelous book... Horgan tackles this impossible subject journalistically --critically but with an open heart." Dick Teresi, New York Times Book Review, March 23, 2003.

The End of Science: Facing the Limits of Science in the Twilight of the Scientific Age
"[In this] intellectually bracing, sweepingly reported, often brilliant and sometimes bullying book, John Horgan makes the powerful case that the best and most exciting scientific discoveries are behind us." Natalie Angier, New York Times Book Review, front page review

The Undiscovered Mind: How the Brain Defies Replication, Medication, and Explanation
In this followup to The End of Science, John Horgan offers an in-depth critique of psychiatry, neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, artificial intelligence, and other fields of science that attempt to explain us to ourselves.

Selected Works

War
McSweeney's Books, paperback edition, 2014.
"Cross-check" (Scientific American blog), August 12, 2014.
Review of Steven Pinker's "The Better Angels of Our Nature," Slate, October 3, 2011
A rebuttal of the deep-roots theory of warfare. Discover, June 2012.
Drones may soon become ubiquitous in U.S. skies.
Brain and Mind
Don't hold your breath for the Singularity. IEEE Spectrum, June 2008.
Article on scientific explanations of religious experiences, Discover, December 2006.
Profile of Jose Delgado, pioneer of brain implants, Scientific American, October 2005.
Investigation of controversial "grandmother-cell" hypothesis. Discover, June 2005.
Investigation of peyote use in Native American Church. Discover, February 2003.
Misc.
Tenth-anniversay update of The End of Science. Discover, October 2006.
Chronicle of Higher Education, April 7, 2006.
New York Times, August 12, 2005
New York Times, December 12, 2004
A list of articles written for Scientific American and other publications.
Rational Mysticism Outtakes
An account of Horgan's efforts to achieve satori in a Zen class.
A profile of the German anthropologist and authority on shamanism Christian Ratsch.
A profile of Diana Alstad and Joel Kramer, authors of The Guru Papers.
A profile of the Benedictine monk Brother David Steindl-Rast.
A profile of the British Buddhist Stephen Batchelor.
A profile of the guru Andrew Cohen, founder of What Is Enlightenment?
Books