Can We Determine the Metaphysics Underlying Reality?
The classical physicist‘s view, with its roots in the 17th century physics that matured under Isaac Newton, has influenced biology and psychology, an influence that began in the 19th century and still continues, although somewhat abated. The most devastating consequence of this metaphysical view (called material realism) of biological and psychological beings, which includes us, is that all our subjective experiences, indeed, our minds and consciousness, are regarded as meaningless epiphenomena of matter—only matter is real. This means that the dance of the elementary particles of matter is the real thing; mind and consciousness are merely ornamental, having no causal efficacy. “A physicist is [merely] an atom‘s way of knowing about atoms,” says the classical physicist. (The biologist puts this epiphenomenalism slightly differently; “A human being is a gene‘s way of knowing about genes.”)
KeywordsLogical Positivism Abate Metaphor Lism
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