Mind and Cosmos | Livre audio

Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False

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The modern materialist approach to life has conspicuously failed to explain such central mind-related features of our world as consciousness, intentionality, meaning, and value. This failure to account for something so integral to nature as mind, argues philosopher Thomas Nagel, is a major problem, threatening to unravel the entire naturalistic world picture, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology.

Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history, either. An adequate conception of nature would have to explain the appearance in the universe of materially irreducible conscious minds, as such. Nagel's skepticism is not based on religious belief or on a belief in any definite alternative.

In Mind and Cosmos, he does suggest that if the materialist account is wrong, then principles of a different kind may also be at work in the history of nature, principles of the growth of order that are in their logical form teleological rather than mechanistic. In spite of the great achievements of the physical sciences, reductive materialism is a world view ripe for displacement. Nagel shows that to recognize its limits is the first step in looking for alternatives, or at least in being open to their possibility.

©2012 Oxford University Press (P)2014 Audible Inc.

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    Bobleckridge 24/06/2016
    Bobleckridge 24/06/2016 Membre depuis 2015
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    "Stimulating and inspiring"

    I found this captivating. We need good, intelligent, rigorous challenges to present accepted orthodoxies. Indeed it can be argued Socrates, the father of Western philosophy, claimed this is exactly the purpose of philosophy - to refuse to accept the "given" explanations and beliefs and challenge them to see if they stand up, even if you have little or no idea what a better explanation would be. It's from these very challenges that our understanding deepens and our creative imagination is called into play to come up with better models, ideas and explanations.
    This is one of the strongest challenges to reductionist materialism I have encountered so far.

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