Causal Reduction

An interesting essay:

http://www.commonwealmagazine.org/thinking-again

But also an eminently frustrating one. Why? Because, while I agree with most of what the author says, I don’t buy most of her arguments. She seems to rely more on rhetoric – and she does write beautifully – than on logic. And she’s more interested in saying that we just can’t know most things than in saying what she thinks we can know.

Her basic point, though, I think is a good one; the mere fact that we can describe the mechanical functionings of our brains perfectly (and we can’t even do that) does not imply that there’s nothing more to them. She doesn’t use this language, but I think it mostly boils down to scientists thinking that because they’ve identified the material and efficient causes of things, they have proven that the formal and final do not exist. Which is kind of absurd.

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One Response to Causal Reduction

  1. e7th04sh says:

    Whatever the brain does, we have got sensations, emotions and feelings that are not simply states that machine is, they are qualia…

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