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

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en Limba Engleză Hardback – 22 Nov 2012
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.

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Specificații

ISBN-13: 9780199919758
ISBN-10: 0199919755
Pagini: 144
Dimensiuni: 145 x 211 x 16 mm
Greutate: 0.3 kg
Editura: Oxford University Press
Colecția OUP USA
Locul publicării: New York, United States

Recenzii

Mind and Cosmos is ... extraordinarily ambitious. Nagel proposes not merely a new explanation for the origin of life and consciousness, but a new type of explanation: 'natural teleology.'
Nagels book is provocative, interesting and important
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 discussion.
This is a challenging text that should provoke much further reflection. I recommend it to anyone interested in trying to understand the nature of our existence.
[This] troublemaking book has sparked the most exciting disputation in many years... I like Nagel's mind and I like Nagel's cosmos. He thinks strictly but not imperiously, and in grateful view of the full tremendousness of existence.
A sharp, lucidly argued challenge to today's scientific worldview.
Nagel's arguments against reductionism should give those who are in search of a reductionist physical 'theory of everything' pause for thought... The book serves as a challenging invitation to ponder the limits of science and as a reminder of the astonishing puzzle of consciousness.
Mind and Cosmos, weighing in at 128 closely argued pages, is hardly a barn-burning polemic. But in his cool style Mr. Nagel extends his ideas about consciousness into a sweeping critique of the modern scientific worldview.
[This] short, tightly argued, exacting new book is a work of considerable courage and importance.
Provocative... Reflects the efforts of a fiercely independent mind.
Challenging and intentionally disruptive... Unless one is a scientific Whig, one must strongly suspect that something someday will indeed succeed [contemporary science]. Nagel's Mind and Cosmos does not build a road to that destination, but it is much to have gestured toward a gap in the hills through which a road might someday run.
A model of carefulness, sobriety and reason... Reading Nagel feels like opening the door on to a tidy, sunny room that you didn't know existed.
Fascinating... [A] call for revolution.
The book's wider questions — its awe-inspiring questions — turn outward to address the uncanny cognizability of the universe around us... He's simply doing the old-fashioned Socratic work of gadfly, probing for gaps in what science thinks it knows.
[Attacks] the hidden hypocrisies of many reductionists, secularists, and those who wish to have it both ways on religious modes of thinking ... Fully recognizes the absurdities (my word, not his) of dualism, and thinks them through carefully and honestly.
This is an interesting and clearly written book by one of the most important philosophers alive today. It serves as an excellent introduction to debates about the power of scientific explanation.
... reading this book will certainly prove a worthwhile venture, as it is certain to have an inspiring effect on the reader's own attitude towards mind and the cosmos.

Notă biografică

Thomas Nagel is University Professor of Law and Philosophy at New York University.