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Tuesday, 24 June 2014

"Mind as an Intrinsic Property of Matter"
-- a paper by Jussi JylkkÀ (Senior researcher, University of Turku, Finland):

Monday, 16 June 2014

Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized

By James Ladyman and Don Ross.

This book looks interesting. From the description and reviews on the Amazon site:

"Taking science metaphysically seriously, Ladyman and Ross argue, means that metaphysicians must abandon the picture of the world as composed of self-subsistent individual objects, and the paradigm of causation as the collision of such objects."

"According to this view, our best physical theories tell us only about structure - not entities - because there are no entities. In other words, at the fundamental level, there are no things (hence the title)."

"Perhaps the most important role for philosophy of any sort is questioning the fundamental assumptions that underlie our thinking. This book exemplifies this virtue by asking, "Is the world really made up of smaller and smaller things? Or is this merely a prejudice carried over from our experience with the world of everyday experience?" "

"The surprising upshot of all of this is that physicalist reductionism -- the idea that all the special sciences and their objects of study will eventually reduce to physics and its objects of study -- is out of the question. And it is out of the question because of a metaphysics (ontic structural realism) that is based on the best physics available! [...] This has all sorts of implication for those increasingly popular (and, I think, annoying) statements about determinism and reductionism that we keep hearing. Turns out that they are based on bad physics and worse metaphysics. There is no fundamental determinism for the simple reason that there is no fundamental causality, and that "cause" is a conceptual tool deployed by the special sciences that has no counterpart in fundamental physics, and so it cannot be reduced to or eliminated by the latter."