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Mind and cosmos : why the materialist neo-Darwinian conception of nature is almost certainly false

Author: Thomas Nagel
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, ©2012.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
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.  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Mind and cosmos
(NL-LeOCL)355485273
Named Person: Charles Darwin; Charles Darwin; Charles Darwin
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Thomas Nagel
ISBN: 9780199919758 0199919755
OCLC Number: 772711849
Description: x, 130 p. ; 22 cm.
Contents: Introduction --
Antireductionism and the natural order --
Consciousness --
Cognition --
Value --
Conclusion.
Responsibility: Thomas Nagel.
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Abstract:

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.--Publisher description.

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Nagels arguments are forceful, and his proposals are bold, intriguing, and original. This, though short and clear, is philosophy in the grand manner, and it is worthy of much philosophical Read more...

 
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