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Sunday, 1 June 2014

Against the Science of Mind





"The reality of the external world to which science points has no psychic depth, no depth of being. It is a plastic mass of events. When scientists study Man, they want to prove that the mind, the psyche, the being of Man, is the effect of bodily existence and thus an effect of matter. They conclude that if the mind is caused by matter, then it is basically unreal, secondary, not a primary reality." - Granth

I'm not sure if there is such a consensus in science on the mind. Even in the limited domain of 'materialist' philosophy of mind I don't think that there is such a consensus.

Granth refers to "no psychic depth, no depth of being" of science. These technical terms seem to be taken from a specific philosophical tradition so it will be hard for people unfamiliar with that tradition to know what such locutions mean.

Granth also says that scientists (all of them?)
 
"want to prove that the mind, the psyche, the being of Man, is the effect of bodily existence and thus an effect of matter. They conclude that if the mind is caused by matter, then it is basically unreal, secondary, not a primary reality".
 
It doesn't follow that if a scientists argues (or shows) that "the mind is caused by matter" that he also believes that it's "unreal, secondary". A forest fire can be caused by a discarded cigarette; though the fire is still real even if it has causes. The mind and brain can even be acceptably different domains, according to scientists, and it still be the case that the brain (or something larger) is the "cause" of the mind. Scientists, on the whole, are no longer interested in erasing mind or consciousness from the equation. In fact only a few scientists ever were completely that way inclined.

As for "the Being of man" - that seems to be the technical language of a specific philosophical tradition which, presumably, not all people will be aware of even if they know much philosophy. What is "the Being of man"?

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