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Another woo woo bullshit boook

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

Read Do You Only Have a Brain? On Thomas Nagel review on this book. 

It is way better than mine. 


1. Nagel rejected theoretical reduction-ism, which is not something happening in the science community. It is more or less act as a straw-man. 

"Nagel here aligns himself, as best we can tell, with the majority view among both philosophers and practicing scientists. Just to take one obvious example, very little of the actual work in biology inspired by Darwin depends on reductive materialism of this sort; evolutionary explanations do not typically appeal to Newton’s laws or general relativity. Given this general consensus (the rhetoric of some popular science writing by Weinberg and others aside), it is puzzling that Nagel thinks he needs to bother attacking theoretical reductionism."

2. Nagel opposes naturalism, yet he gives us few specifics about the kind of naturalism he opposes. 

"Naturalists, including Dennett, defend their view by appealing to the extraordinary fruitfulness of past scientific work, including work growing out of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. So what should we make of the actual work in biology that supports the “materialist Neo-Darwinian conception of nature” that Nagel thinks “is almost certainly false”? Defending such a sweeping claim might seem to require a detailed engagement with the relevant science, yet in a striking admission early on, Nagel reveals that his book “is just the opinion of a layman who reads widely in the literature that explains contemporary science to the nonspecialist.” And a recurring objection to what he learned from his layman’s reading of popular science writing is that much science “flies in the face of common sense,” that it is inconsistent with “evident facts about ourselves, that it “require[s] us to deny the obvious,” and so on."

In another word, this philosopher failed to learn about science, and lack the basic understanding to really object to it. 

Why didn't this philosopher learned more science? He is not only agains science, but common sense as well.

"Happily, Nagel does not attempt to repudiate the Copernican revolution in astronomy, despite its hostility to common sense. But he displays none of the same humility when it comes to his preferred claims of common sense—the kind of humility that nearly 400 years of nonevident yet true scientific discoveries should engender. Are we really supposed to abandon a massively successful scientific research program because Nagel finds some scientific claims hard to square with what he thinks is obvious and “undeniable,” such as his confidence that his “clearest moral…reasonings are objectively valid”?"


Just found the tweet by Steven Pinker on this book.

"“What has gotten into Thomas Nagel?” tweeted Steven Pinker, the Canadian cognitive scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Mr. Pinker also called Mind & Cosmos “the shoddy reasoning of a once-great thinker.”