The new Thomas Nagel book

The title is *Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False*.  Here is a brief summary of his “teleological” argument.  My bottom lines on it:

1. He is good on attacking the hidden hypocrisies of many reductionists, secularists, and those who wish to have it both ways on religious modes of thinking.

2. He fully recognizes the absurdities (my word, not his) of dualism, and thinks them through carefully and honestly.  Bryan Caplan should beware.

3. The most typical sentence I found in the book was: “We can continue to hope for a transcendent self-understanding that is neither theistic nor reductionist.”

4. He doesn’t take seriously enough the view: “The Nagel theory of mind is simply wrong.”

5. People will dismiss his arguments to remain in their comfort zone, while temporarily forgetting he is smarter than they are and furthermore that many of their views do not make sense or cohere internally.

6. It is ultimately a book about how Christian many of us still are, and how closely the egocentric illusion is connected to a broadly religious worldview.  I don’t think he would see it that way.

For the pointer to the book — now out early on Kindle — I thank David Gordon.


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