Archive for April 1st, 2013

April 1, 2013

A theory of everything

by Neil Rickert

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am currently reading Thomas Nagel’s book, “Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False.” So I thought I would comment on a section of the book, as appropriate for today’s date.

Nagel leaves no doubt that he is troubled by reductive materialism.  I am not at all sure why.  It is my experience that most scientists are skeptical of reductionism.  And even those who claim to be materialist do not seem to as materialist as Nagel thinks they are.  As far as I can tell, the strongest statements of materialism and reductionism come from philosophers, not from scientists.  And when philosophers express a particularly strong view, one suspects that they are deliberately staking out an extreme position as a way of doing philosophy.

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