Materialism and the mind—body problem
This paper has a twofold purpose. First, it defends materialism against a certain type of attack which seems to be based upon a truism but which is nevertheless completely off the mark. And secondly it intends to put philosophy in its proper place. It occurs only too often that attempts to arrive at a coherent picture of the world are held up by philosophical bickering and are perhaps even given up before they can show their merits. It seems to me that those who originate such attempts ought to be a little less afraid of difficulties; that they ought to look through the arguments which are presented against them; and that they ought to recognise their irrelevance. Having disregarded irrelevant objections they ought then to proceed to the much more rewarding task of developing their point of view in detail, to examine its fruitfulness and thereby to get fresh insight, not only into some generalities, but into very concrete and detailed processes. To encourage such development from the abstract to the concrete, to contribute to the invention of further ideas, this is the proper task of a philosophy which aspires to be more than a hindrance to progress.
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