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Regular version of the site
Russian Sociological Review: Social Order and Art Sources of Imaginations

Edited by: A. F. Filippov, N. Farkhatdinov.

Higher School of Economics, National Research University, 2020.

Georg Simmel and Semyon Frank: from Kant to Lebensphilosophie

Aleksandr Begrambekov.

Russian Sociological Review. 2022. Vol. 21. No. 4. P. 57-81.

Book chapter
The State in the International Legal Order

Alexander Filippov.

In bk.: The Future of the State. NY: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2020. Ch. 2. P. 39-64.

Working paper
Abductive theory of meaning

Shumilina V.

Humanities. HUM. Basic Research Programme, 2020

Soul Beliefs: Causes and Consequences

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Delivered by:
School of Philosophy
Elective course
2 year, 1-3 module


Course Syllabus


Throughout history, the vast majority of people around the globe have believed they have, however defined, a “soul.” While the question of whether the soul exists cannot be answered by science, what we can study are the causes and consequences of various beliefs about the soul and its prospects of surviving the death of the body. Why are soul and afterlife beliefs so common in human history? Are there adaptive advantages to assuming souls exist? Are there brain structures that have been shaped by environmental pressures that provide the foundation of body/mind dualism that is such a prominent feature of many religions? How do these beliefs shape the worldviews of different cultures and our collective lives? What is the role of competing afterlife beliefs in religion, science, politics, and war? This course explores several facets of this relatively unexplored but profoundly important aspect of human thought and behavior
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Understands history of beliefs in the soul as well as a modern scientific view of the problem
  • Knows why these views are so common and whether they offer any advantages
  • Knows difference between beliefs in the immortality of the soul between different religions
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Понимает ключевые традиции определения души в религиях мира
  • Может назвать основные социальные функции религии
  • Способен объяснить ключевые сложности, с которыми религии сталкиваются в начале 21 в.
  • Знает основные подходы к решению "Mind-Body" проблемы
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Religions Under Attack
    Значение религий меняется со временем. Что такое секуляризация?
  • Functions of Religion in Ancient & Modern Times
    Какую роль играла религия в прошлом и какую играет сейчас?
  • The Mind-Body Problem
    Вопрос о соотношении души и тела позволяет иначе взглянуть на проблему души.
  • Historical Foundations of Soul Beliefs
    Our task is to consider the history of beliefs in the soul as well as a modern scientific view of the problem
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking домашние задания
  • non-blocking тест
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (3 module)
    0.4 * домашние задания + 0.6 * тест


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Социология религии : учеб. пособие для вузов, Гараджа, В. И., 2005

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Richardson, T., Hendrix, H., & Stelling, L. (2012). The Turn of the Soul : Representations of Religious Conversion in Early Modern Art and Literature. Leiden: Brill. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=429973