Monday, August 19, 2013

Thomas Nagel says more things that will make the champions of Scientism mad

Thomas Nagel's book Mind and Cosmos has to have been one of the most hated books of recent years--hated, that is, by those who get red-faced every time someone challenges the dominant Religion of Science. Nagel, one of the great philosophers of the 20th century (and the first part of the 21st) takes the time, in the Times (NY) to restate his simple argument. I don't agree with his final conclusion, but his demarcation of the issues is mostly correct:
This is a brief statement of positions defended more fully in my book Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False, which was published by Oxford University Press last year. Since then the book has attracted a good deal of critical attention, which is not surprising, given the entrenchment of the world view that it attacks. It seemed useful to offer a short summary of the central argument ...
Read the rest here.


Singring said...

Nagel says:

'There are two ways of resisting this conclusion, each of which has two versions. The first way is to deny that the mental is an irreducible aspect of reality, either (a) by holding that the mental can be identified with some aspect of the physical, such as patterns of behavior or patterns of neural activity, or (b) by denying that the mental is part of reality at all, being some kind of illusion (but then, illusion to whom?). '

By 'conclusion' he means the idea that science cannot explain the 'mental aspects' of the world (whatever those may be).

So and later says about these options:

'But someone who finds (a) and (b) self-evidently false and (c) completely implausible need not accept (d) [...] It makes sense to seek an expanded form of understanding that includes the mental but that is still scientific — i.e. still a theory of the immanent order of nature.

That seems to me the most likely solution....'

So once again, educated, rational people who have spent years documenting the neural processes in the brain and who are able to manipulate subjective experiences by manipulating physical processes in the brain are told they are wrong...because...because...

...well because it's self-evident that they are wrong!

And yet, philosophers still wonder why they are not taken seriously by scientists?

How is anyone supposed to respond intelligently to someone who thinks that they're 'self-evidently' right? It boggles the mind that this kind of stuff gets published, let alone discussed in academia.

That's what I call unexplainable.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why this is no longer on the Family Foundation webpage:

Martin Cothran said...


I think it's a conspiratorial plot by the Creationist Illuminati who are trying to take over the world. Either that or they have been working on their website for about a month.

One or the other. I'm pretty sure.

Lee said...

Interesting take on the Thomas Nagel lynching, here...