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39 votes
Accepted

How do materialists respond to the thought experiment of the perception of blue and red colors being swapped?

The famous version of this is Twin Earth thought experiment, which explores two worlds which are identical, except one has no H2O. The H2O in this world is instead replaced with a substance XYZ. ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
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25 votes

Scientific stance on 'life from non-life, naturally'?

First, please refrain from terms like 'mainstream science'. There is science, based on reproducible processes with empirical evidence, and there are other human practices. Some science may be known ...
Philip Klöcking's user avatar
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16 votes
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Why is the statement about "Freewill is an illusion" considered profound?

The idea that free will is an illusion does not originate with Sam Harris, but is around since, at least, Spinoza (Ethics book 2 proposition 35: men are mistaken in thinking themselves free ; their ...
armand's user avatar
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15 votes

Is materialism essential to scientific progress?

I don't know that anyone would say "complete" materialism is "essential" for making scientific progress. However, science relies on methodological materialism (or methodological ...
NotThatGuy's user avatar
13 votes

Who am I? Mind, body, mind and body or something else?

You are ACCORDING TO : law A civilian. society Mainly your job. politics A vote. your partner Ask them. psychology A vulnerable human being, trying to cope with reality. intellectually Someone trying ...
Ioannis Paizis's user avatar
9 votes

Is materialism essential to scientific progress?

First, materialism is an outdated term. It was used as a political catchword in many ideological discussions. Mostly with a pejorative meaning. Quantum field theory emphasized the concept of fields, ...
Jo Wehler's user avatar
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7 votes

Does science provide the most accurate depiction of reality for analyzing and describing an accurate worldview?

The word "best" implies value judgments, and can't be evaluated independent of your goals for your worldview. But there are clear practical and pragmatic reasons why science is currently a dominant ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
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7 votes

Scientific stance on 'life from non-life, naturally'?

This topic has been beaten to death in many many forums. A quick net search on abiogenesis would yield a very large amount of hits. There is even a web site with a FAQ on it at http://www.talkorigins....
BillOnne's user avatar
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6 votes

How can Marx be a materialist yet still speak of a human "essence" in his theory of alienation?

One should keep in mind two points. First, historical materialism in its traditional form is later Marx, taking final shape in Das Kapital, the theory of alienation is young Hegelian Marx of 1844 ...
Conifold's user avatar
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6 votes
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How did George Berkeley justify his disbelief in matter?

Berkeley gives two arguments in the quoted passage, and the first one does resonate with Kant's later arguments. But Berkeley's came before Kant's. First, he says that the notion of matter is "...
Conifold's user avatar
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6 votes

Does science forces us to embrace materialism?

A relevant distinction here is between "ontological materialism" and "methodological materialism" (compare the discussion in the SEPh article on "naturalism"). Ontological materialism is the claim ...
Dan Hicks's user avatar
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6 votes

How do materialists respond to the thought experiment of the perception of blue and red colors being swapped?

Twin A experiences the perception, call it PR, of the color red (that is, the material event, call it MR, of photons of a particular wavelength hitting the retina and stimulating neurons). Can you ...
Acccumulation's user avatar
6 votes

Can physical aspects of the brain reveal everything about what one's subjective experience is like?

You are asking one of the outstanding unknown questions in philosophy: do mental states supervene on brain states or not? "Supervene" is a really great word. If A supervenes on B, it means that if ...
Cort Ammon's user avatar
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6 votes

Can science prove or provide evidence that the brain is the source of the mind

Science can, in fact, provide strong evidence for that. We have a lot of very good information that shows very strong correlation between physical processes in the brain and how the mind works, but ...
mathrick's user avatar
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6 votes
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What does the experience of free will imply in a materialistic worldview?

There are several questions here and there are several different domains of philosophy involved. One major question is about ontology: is what we call 'free will' a 'real' experience and what's the ...
Dan Bryant's user avatar
6 votes

If all we see is the sensible world, what are the proofs to affirm that matter exists?

If all we perceive is the sensible world, how can we ensure that something like matter exists? Even if we could make sure that matter exists, what would it be? I take the example of the matrix film, ...
RonJohn's user avatar
  • 307
6 votes

Is materialism essential to scientific progress?

Materialism is actually a science hypothesis. If materialism is not testable, and refutable, and therefore rejectable, then it is pseudoscience, per Popper's demarcation criteria. The discovery by ...
Dcleve's user avatar
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6 votes

Is materialism essential to scientific progress?

Is materialism essential to scientific progress? No. Not only is it not necessary, it is actively harmful. But first, we need to contrast materialism (which is a philosophy) with methodological ...
Matthew's user avatar
  • 439
6 votes

Do meanings of statements exist?

Meaning comes from the shared use of words in the relationships between people. Meaning is the resulting shared concepts invoked in peoples' minds. Materialism posits that these people, the modes of ...
Lowri's user avatar
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5 votes
Accepted

Henry George vs. Karl Marx

Welcome, October ! Some contrasts between Marx and George are drawn out in an article by John Haynes Holmes. Holmes' plain and sometimes undiscerning lack of sympathy for Marx and extolling of ...
Geoffrey Thomas's user avatar
  • 35.8k
5 votes

What do philosophers mean when they say qualia do not exist?

The position is that of eliminative materialism, or of delusionism, relative to consciousness. The two are somewhat different. Qualia are often cited by non-physicalists as direct evidence against ...
Dcleve's user avatar
  • 14.5k
5 votes

Why we haven’t observed any galactic civilization of III or IV type?

Perhaps for one or more of the following reasons: There are no such civilisations. They exist but are too far away. They deliberately cloak their presence to escape our notice. They only consume ...
Marco Ocram's user avatar
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5 votes

Is materialism essential to scientific progress?

Most of the existing answers and many comments speak about how "materialism" is outdated and that "matter" is not underlying reality, since we know about quantum theory and field ...
AnoE's user avatar
  • 2,985
4 votes

What (if anything) is wrong with Searle's analogy?"..."

Searle's argument fails because there's nothing specific to consciousness in it. As such, if you replace "possesses consciousness" with "plays chess" then his argument still stands but is patently ...
Alex's user avatar
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4 votes

How do we explain the brain's ability of thinking about non-materialistic concepts?

There's an implicit assumption in this question which can be challenged. Do we in fact understand good and evil - or, perhaps more accurately, what sort of thing is the "good/evil" ...
Noah Schweber's user avatar
4 votes

Why is the statement about "Freewill is an illusion" considered profound?

When Sam Harris talks of free will being an illusion, he is not referring to the idea that our minds are subject to the laws of physics (either mechanistic laws or laws involving randomness). He is ...
snew's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes

If all we see is the sensible world, what are the proofs to affirm that matter exists?

Assuming you believe that perception requires a material substrate (just how we think perceiving requires the brain, or a computer), then you can reason as in Descartes and say that the fact you ...
Fox Mulder's user avatar

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