Mind and Cosmos

Author: Thomas Nagel
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199919755
Format: PDF, ePub
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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. InMind 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.

Mind and Cosmos

Author: Thomas Nagel
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199977194
Format: PDF
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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.

Mind and Cosmos

Author: Thomas Nagel
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199919763
Format: PDF
Download Now
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.

What Darwin Got Wrong

Author: Jerry Fodor
Publisher: Profile Books
ISBN: 1847651909
Format: PDF, ePub
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Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, a distinguished philosopher and scientist working in tandem, reveal major flaws at the heart of Darwinian evolutionary theory. They do not deny Darwin's status as an outstanding scientist but question the inferences he drew from his observations. Combining the results of cutting-edge work in experimental biology with crystal-clear philosophical argument they mount a devastating critique of the central tenets of Darwin's account of the origin of species. The logic underlying natural selection is the survival of the fittest under changing environmental pressure. This logic, they argue, is mistaken. They back up the claim with evidence of what actually happens in nature. This is a rare achievement - the short book that is likely to make a great deal of difference to a very large subject. What Darwin Got Wrong will be controversial. The authors' arguments will reverberate through the scientific world. At the very least they will transform the debate about evolution.

Secular Philosophy and the Religious Temperament

Author: Thomas Nagel
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195394119
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This volume collects essays and reviews by Thomas Nagel in three controversial subject areas: first, religious belief and its relation to science and philosophy; second, the interpretation of liberal political theory, especially in an international context; third, the question of what it is to be human--the form of human consciousness and the source of human values.

The Last Word

Author: Thomas Nagel
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780195149838
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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"...[a] subtle, compact, and forceful book.... is a work of philosophical reflection...a significant contribution to the culture wars of our time."--New York Review of Books "...a ringing defense of the rationalist conception of reason...a book that should be read and pondered in this golden age of subjectivism."--Colin McGinn, The New Republic

Where the Conflict Really Lies

Author: Alvin Plantinga
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199812101
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In this long-awaited book, pre-eminent analytical philosopher Alvin Plantinga argues that the conflict between science and theistic religion is actually superficial, and that at a deeper level they are in concord.

Mortal Questions

Author: Thomas Nagel
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107604710
Format: PDF, ePub
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Thomas Nagel's Mortal Questions explores some fundamental issues concerning the meaning, nature and value of human life. Questions about our attitudes to death, sexual behaviour, social inequality, war and political power are shown to lead to more obviously philosophical problems about personal identity, consciousness, freedom, and value. This original and illuminating book aims at a form of understanding that is both theoretical and personal in its lively engagement with what are literally issues of life and death.

Equality and Partiality

Author: Thomas Nagel
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198023425
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Derived from Thomas Nagel's Locke Lectures, Equality and Partiality proposes a nonutopian account of political legitimacy, based on the need to accommodate both personal and impersonal motives in any credible moral theory, and therefore in any political theory with a moral foundation. Within each individual, Nagel believes, there is a division between two standpoints, the personal and the impersonal. Without the impersonal standpoint, there would be no morality, only the clash, compromise, and occasional convergence of individual perspectives. It is because a human being does not occupy only his own point of view that each of us is susceptible to the claims of others through private and public morality. Political systems, to be legitimate, must achieve an integration of these two standpoints within the individual. These ideas are applied to specific problems such as social and economic inequality, toleration, international justice, and the public support of culture. Nagel points to the problem of balancing equality and partiality as the most important issue with which political theorists are now faced.

Are You an Illusion

Author: Mary Midgley
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317341201
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In Are You an Illusion? today’s scientific orthodoxy, which treats the self as nothing more than an elaborate illusion, comes under spirited attack. In an impassioned defence of the importance of our own thoughts, feelings and experiences, Mary Midgley shows that there’s much more to our selves than a jumble of brain cells. Exploring the remarkable gap that has opened up between our understanding of our own sense of self and today’s science, she exposes some very odd claims and muddled thinking on the part of cognitive scientists and psychologists when they talk about the self and shows that many well-known philosophical problems in causality and free have been glossed over. Midgley argues powerfully and persuasively that the rich variety of our imaginative life cannot be contained in the narrow bounds of a highly puritanical materialism that simply equates brain and self. Engaging with the work of prominent thinkers, Midgley investigates the source of our current attitudes to the self and reveals how ideas, traditions and myths have been twisted to fit in, seemingly naturally, with science’s current preoccupation with the physical and, in doing so, have made many other valuable activities and ideas appear as anti-scientific. Midgley shows that the subjective sources of thought – our own experiences – are every bit as necessary in helping to explain the world as the objective ones such as brain cells. Are You an Illusion? offers a salutary analysis of science’s claim to have done away with the self and a characteristic injection of common sense from one of our most respected philosophers into a debate increasingly in need of it.