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

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Oxford University Press, Nov 22, 2012 - Philosophy - 130 pages
31 Reviews
In Mind and Cosmos Thomas Nagel argues that the widely accepted world view of materialist naturalism is untenable. The mind-body problem cannot be confined to the relation between animal minds and animal bodies. If materialism cannot accommodate consciousness and other mind-related aspects of reality, then we must abandon a purely materialist understanding of nature in general, 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. An adequate conception of nature would have to explain the appearance in the universe of materially irreducible conscious minds, as such. No such explanation is available, and the physical sciences, including molecular biology, cannot be expected to provide one. The book explores these problems through a general treatment of the obstacles to reductionism, with more specific application to the phenomena of consciousness, cognition, and value. The conclusion is that physics cannot be the theory of everything.
  

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

User Review  - Manny - Goodreads

I had trouble at first making sense of this controversial book, but after a while I thought of my autistic son Jonathan and it all came into focus. Jonathan has a number of behavioral patterns which ... Read full review

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

User Review  - Barry - Goodreads

I consumed this book as a novice on matters of philosophy of mind. Nevertheless, like many Americans, I watch with great interest the cosmic conflict unfold between religion and the New Atheist ... Read full review

Contents

1 Introduction
3
2 Antireductionism and the Natural Order
13
3 Consciousness
35
4 Cognition
71
5 Value
97
6 Conclusion
127
Index
129
Copyright

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About the author (2012)


Thomas Nagel is University Professor in the Department of Philosophy and the School of Law at New York University. His books include The Possibility of Altruism, The View from Nowhere, and What Does It All Mean?: A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. In 2008, he was awarded the Rolf Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy and the Balzan Prize in Moral Philosophy.

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