I’m reading Keith Ward’s More than Matter? and found it interesting to learn that two of Ward’s teachers were the Oxford philosophers Gilbert Ryle and A.J. Ayer. Ryle was famous for characterizing Cartesian dualism as “the ghost in the machine,” and Ayer was the famed proponent of logical positivism. Ward says that he came to believe that neither Ryle’s quasi-behaviorist “ordinary language” philosophy nor Ayer’s logical positivism provided a satisfying explanation of the nature of the human person. (Or, by extension, the nature of reality more generally.) The book goes on to defend a version of idealism–the view, broadly speaking, that mind or spirit is the most fundamental reality upon which everything else depends.
Here’s Ward discussing his move from atheism to Christianity and the celebrity culture surrounding the debates over the new atheism: