Matter and Mind: A Philosophical Inquiry / Edition 1

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Overview

This book discusses two of the oldest and hardest problems in both science and philosophy: What is matter?, and What is mind? A reason for tackling both problems in a single book is that two of the most influential views in modern philosophy are that the universe is mental (idealism), and that everything real is material (materialism).

Most of the thinkers who espouse a materialist view of mind have obsolete ideas about matter, whereas those who claim that science supports idealism have not explained how the universe could have existed before humans emerged. Besides, both groups tend to ignore the other levels of existence-chemical, biological, social, and technological.

If such levels and the concomitant emergence processes are ignored, the physicalism/spiritualism dilemma remains unsolved, whereas if they are included, the alleged mysteries are shown to be problems that science is treating successfully.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
From the reviews:

“Bunge provides a masterful survey of key ideas in physics and conceptions of matter including theories of relativity, quantum physics and thermodynamics, inter alia. Every page is an encyclopaedic survey of concepts, theories and their history and, therefore, the book defies easy summary. … Bunge’s belligerent, take-no-hostage style is a welcome change from the usual passionless treatises on these subjects. Bunge’s no-nonsense approach is to be commended … . the book is precisely because it engages deeply with most interesting intellectual issues.”­­­ (Peter Slezak, Science & Education, November, 2011)

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Part I Matter

1 Philosophy as Worldview 3

1.1 World and Worldview 4

1.2 Monism and Pluralism 6

1.3 Metaphysics: Commonsensical, Speculative, and Scientific 8

1.4 Determinism and Contingency, Causation and Chance 12

1.5 Epistemology: Skepticism, Subjectivism, Realism 13

1.6 The Epistemology-Ontology Connection 15

1.7 Practical Philosophy 19

1.8 The Political Connection 21

Closing Remarks 22

2 Classical Matter: Bodies and Fields 23

2.1 Traditional Concepts and Principles: Mechanism 24

2.2 Further Features of the Classical Picture 29

2.3 The Decline of Mechanism: Fields 31

2.4 Aditional Decline: Thermodynamics 33

2.5 Special Relativity 35

2.6 Gravitation 38

Closing Remarks 38

3 Quantum Matter: Weird But Real 41

3.1 Meet the Quanton 43

3.2 Loss of Individuality 45

3.3 Loss of Vacuum and Stability 47

3.4 Neatness Lost 49

3.5 Irreducible Chance 54

3.6 Paradoxes 56

3.7 Materialism vs. Idealism 57

Closing Remarks 59

4 General Concept of Matter: To Be Is To Become 61

4.1 Energy 62

4.2 Information 66

4.3 Digital Metaphysics 68

4.4 What's Out There 69

Closing Remarks 72

5 Emergence and Levels 73

5.1 Physical Matter 75

5.2 Chemical Matter 78

5.3 Living Matter 81

5.4 Thinking Matter 84

5.5 Social Matter 84

5.6 Artificial Matter 85

5.7 Emergence 86

5.8 Levels 89

5.9 Epistemological Partner 91

Closing Remarks 92

6 Naturalism 93

6.1 Spiritualism 95

6.2 Naturalism 96

6.3 Phenomenalism 102

6.4 Physicalism 103

6.5 Biologism 104

6.6 Naturalism's Three Musketeers 108

6.7 Psychologism 110

6.8 Naturalized Linguistics, Axiology, Ethics, Law, and Technology 112

6.9 Neuro This and Neuro That 117

Closing Remarks 118

7 Materialism 121

7.1 Classical Materialism 122

7.2 Dialectical Materialism 124

7.3 Historical and Australian Materialisms 127

7.4 Scientific Materialism: Emergent, Systemic, and Science-Based 131

7.5 Materialist This and That 134

7.6 Hylorealism 138

7.7 Spirituality in a Material World 139

Closing Remarks 139

Part II Mind

8 The Mind-Body Problem 143

8.1 Introductory Dialogue 145

8.2 Science, Philosophy, and Religion Intersect 146

8.3 Classical Psychoneural Dualism 148

8.4 Mind Over Matter? 151

8.5 Dualism is Hazardous 154

8.6 Explaining Subjectivity Objectively 156

Closing Remarks 157

9 Minding Matter: The Plastic Brain 159

9.1 Pychoneural Identity 160

9.2 Supervenience and Emergence 162

9.3 The Plastic Brain 163

9.4 Localization-Cum-Coordination 166

9.5 Advantages of Psychoneural Monism 171

9.6 The Qualia Objection to Psychoneural Identity 172

9.7 Reduction and Merger 176

Concluding Remarks 180

10 Mind and Society 181

10.1 Development 182

10.2 I and Us 185

10.3 From Bonding Hormones to Mirror Neurons to Morals 187

10.4 Evolution: Preliminaries 189

10.5 Evolution: Biocultural 192

10.6 What Makes Us Human 195

Closing Remarks 198

11 Cognition, Consciousness, and Free Will 201

11.1 Cognition and Knowledge 201

11.2 Hebb's Hypothesis 203

11.3 Thought, Proposition, Sentence 205

11.4 Consciousness: The Holy Grail 206

11.5 Kinds of Consciousness 209

11.6 The Neuroscientific Approach 213

11.7 The Dual Role of Consciousness 214

11.8 The Self 217

11.9 Free Will 220

11.10 Explanation by Causes and by Reasons 224

Closing Remarks 225

12 Brain and Computer: The Hardware/Software Dualism 227

12.1 Do Computers Reason? 228

12.2 The Computer Metaphor 230

12.3 Criticism 233

12.4 Software is Rather Hard 234

12.5 Machine vs. Man? 235

Closing Remarks 237

13 Knowledge: Genuine and Bogus 239

13.1 Science and Pseudoscience 240

13.2 Philosophical Matrix of Scientific Progress 242

13.3 Pseudoscience 246

13.4 Immaterialism in the Study of Matter 247

13.5 Exploring the Unconscious: Fact and Fancy, Science and Business 248

13.6 Speculative Evolutionary Psychology 250

13.7 Borderline Minefields: Proto and Semi 253

13.8 The Pseudoscience-Politics Connection 255

13.9 Mercenary Science 259

13.10 Philosophy: Genuine and Bogus, Proscience and Antiscience 260

Closing Remarks 264

Part III Appendices

14 Appendix A Objects 267

14.1 Individuals and Properties 267

14.2 Material Objects 269

14.3 Emergence and Levels 271

14.4 State and Process 272

14.5 Ideal Objects 274

Closing Remarks 275

15 Appendix B Truths 277

15.1 Ontological Concept of Factual Truth 278

15.2 The Correspondence Functions 279

15.3 Methodological Concept of Truth 281

15.4 Partial Truth 281

15.5 The Problem is Still Open 284

Closing Remarks 285

References 287

Index 305

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