• Dusty of Sky
    45
    I understand that the word naturalism might be a bit vague. So let me just state a few of my beliefs that go against what I understand naturalism to be. I'm looking for something that will convince me I'm wrong on these points, or at least help me understand why so many philosophers disagree with me on them.

    1) I believe that consciousness neither consists of nor emerges from material phenomena
    2) I believe that secondary qualities exist just fully as primary qualities
    3) I believe that science paints a useful but extremely limited picture of reality
    4) I believe that although science can give us lots of information about what matter does, it can't tell us why it ultimately does it (rather than something else), what it's ultimately made of, or where it ultimately came from.
    5) I believe that certain (not all) universals exist in a way that is prior to their particular instances

    I don't necessarily need a book that addresses all of these issues. I'm just trying give you an idea of where I stand to help you make better recommendations. I'd also prefer a book that is well written (i.e. not dry and boring), less than 400 pages and ideally less than 200, argues both for its own positions and against alternative positions (especially the ones I listed), and written from a philosophical rather than a purely scientific perspective. But all the better if it makes references scientific findings.
  • christian2017
    726


    Possibly: :"The greatest show on earth" by Richard Dawkins
  • thedeadidea
    98
    I think I can recommend you books on this basis... But I don't think you want to say naturalism per say
    as Thomas Nagel would be a Naturalist but he has an idealist composit to his philosophy and what he is somewhat empathetic to in say panpsychism.

    In any case if you want the best Thomas Nagel book which elucidates a lot of what you are saying Mind and Cosmos is the book you want to get.... Then you might want to try access some reviews of said book and argue to and from the position.... If all you are interested is a rhetorical inventory that is.

    In any case assuming you are curious....

    1) I believe that consciousness neither consists of nor emerges from material phenomena
    Daniel Dennett Consciousness Explained & Mind a brief introduction John Searle
    The materialist hard line against your position is if you want to suggest consciousness as departed from material phenomenon you are essentially engaging in a word soup... as nobody sane makes arguments that vegetated states or a labotomy makes you more conscious... The materialist is less concerned with necessarily encountering 'consciousness' as you probably want to describe or defend it...One only needs to have a look at Stephen Pinker's How the Mind Works to see a broader brush than many would like to admit exist in a naturalist framework.

    2) I believe that secondary qualities exist just fully as primary qualities
    No Idea... I highly suspect your primary and secondary qualities belong to something purely philisophical... some accept it some don't... to a naturalist i.e. a scientist this is fucking useless and hence would largely be ignored. Either that or reinterpreted in things like the hard and soft problems of consciousness...

    I have never looked into this as I got too the two dogmas of empiricism first and it seems silly to me to accept something like that and then backpedal back into a very similar categorical distinction.

    3)I believe that science paints a useful but extremely limited picture of reality
    What picture specifically are you trying to say Science is painting? I feel like alot of this 'science does this and that' is Chimp-Pig rhetoric from the humanities to try and get scientists or science enthusiasts to defend a position or enter a debate on the terms of Humanities...

    Do you mean this limited picture ?
    https://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/0_0_0/whatisscience_12


    I feel like there is the domain of Science and then what people (many of whom are philosophers) try to extend the domain of Science to try to do rightly and wrongly....

    I think History has certain limits I don't criticize History itself for one particular historians interpretation of it... But Science for some reason is held to a different standard.... I think it is because Science is useful in ways philosophers wish their discipline was.... But that is just me...

    If you want the philosopher game conforming to Science look up basically anything by Quine. As probably one of the most influential but non-canonical philosophers...

    Moreover it is a mystery to me how S.T.E.M. which is the extended discourse of Science is looked on so slowly from those with the false high moral ground on one hand... But absolutely want to use statistical measurements and insist on things like Climate Change exist on the other... Seems kind of shallow thinking and faulty thinking.... As no claim was made your argument or implication is a straw man but yet you need this 'limited picture' to be the paint that gives color of evidence and factual basis or justification to ones own arguments, political agendas, policy making etc... It is some bullshit.

    But larger models of Science like the computational model of everything etc... Is a thing Earth System Science... Demographic and Group Psychology, evolutionary psychology and cognitive science... All attempt to extend Science discourse but are also criticized as being Soft Sciences... In the same way Sociology or Economics is...


    4) I believe that although science can give us lots of information about what matter does, it can't tell us why it ultimately does it (rather than something else), what it's ultimately made of, or where it ultimately came from.

    Well when you or any other domain answer the question to "what is the meaning of life?" in an objectively true sense let us know.... Science does not speak of heaven it builds the craft to take Man to literally walk above the sky his mortal clay and mortal eye sees as the height of his world.

    5) I believe that certain (not all) universals exist in a way that is prior to their particular instances
    Good luck with this one... I am not touching that with a 10 foot pole or any other length of pole or object...
  • I like sushi
    1.9k
    The Very Hungry Catepillar
  • Harry Hindu
    2.7k
    1) I believe that consciousness neither consists of nor emerges from material phenomenaDusty of Sky
    What exactly is the difference between material and mental phenomena to say that one cannot consist of or emerge from the other?


    3) I believe that science paints a useful but extremely limited picture of realityDusty of Sky
    How is science extremely limited? - in relation to what other means of investigating reality?


    4) I believe that although science can give us lots of information about what matter does, it can't tell us why it ultimately does it (rather than something else), what it's ultimately made of, or where it ultimately came from.Dusty of Sky
    Why not? Again, what exactly is "matter", and how does it differ from "mind" to say that they can't interact or consist of one another?

    and written from a philosophical rather than a purely scientific perspective. But all the better if it makes references scientific findings.Dusty of Sky
    What would be the difference between a philosophical perspective and a scientific one? Shouldn't the conclusions from all domains of investigating reality be integrated into a consistent whole, with none of them contradicting each other?

    Books I'll recommend are Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True and Steven Pinker's How the Mind Works.
  • Andrew M
    901
    I understand that the word naturalism might be a bit vague. So let me just state a few of my beliefs that go against what I understand naturalism to be. I'm looking for something that will convince me I'm wrong on these points, or at least help me understand why so many philosophers disagree with me on them.Dusty of Sky

    I would recommend Gilbert Ryle's influential book The Concept of Mind. But note that it's not so much an argument for naturalism as a sustained argument against Cartesian dualism which, in some form or another, underlies a lot of the thinking on the points you raise below, including among naturalists. Also the book is not so much about nature as about language and how we talk about nature.

    It may also be worth distinguishing between naturalism and materialism. A naturalist need not disagree with any of your listed beliefs below, though may frame them differently. My own responses follow.

    1) I believe that consciousness neither consists of nor emerges from material phenomena
    2) I believe that secondary qualities exist just fully as primary qualities
    3) I believe that science paints a useful but extremely limited picture of reality
    4) I believe that although science can give us lots of information about what matter does, it can't tell us why it ultimately does it (rather than something else), what it's ultimately made of, or where it ultimately came from.
    5) I believe that certain (not all) universals exist in a way that is prior to their particular instances
    Dusty of Sky

    1) I agree, in the sense that ghosts neither consist of nor emerge from machines.
    2) I agree, a red apple is red.
    3) I agree, it's early days.
    4) I agree, it's early days. Though I don't assume inherent limits on investigation, nor that investigation can only be conducted by people in lab coats.
    5) I disagree.
  • Dusty of Sky
    45
    If you want the philosopher game conforming to Science look up basically anything by Quine. As probably one of the most influential but non-canonical philosophers...thedeadidea

    Quine is a good suggestion. How about his book Word and Object? Also, the reason I made those claims was not to present a well formed argument. I'm genuinely only looking for book recommendations. But I do want to address one point you made that stuck out to me.

    I think History has certain limits I don't criticize History itself for one particular historians interpretation of it... But Science for some reason is held to a different standard.... I think it is because Science is useful in ways philosophers wish their discipline was.... But that is just me...thedeadidea

    I think the reason science is held to this different standard is that so many people, most of whom are not scientists, like to claim that nothing exists that isn't captured by the sciences. No one claims (except maybe Foucault) that scientific truths are a product of history. But many people claim that historical events and all other events as well (even subjective ones) are a product of the laws of physics and chemistry and biology. Famous scientists like Steven Hawking and Neil Degrasse Tyson have made statements to the effect that science has made philosophy obsolete, whereas no one every says the opposite. Just look at popular scientist fictional characters like Rick from Rick and Morty or Sheldon from Big Bang Theory. They're arrogant and they think anyone who doesn't understand science is an idiot. Obviously, most scientists aren't like that, but there's a reason that these characters are scientists and not art historians or linguists. And I haven't even mentioned religion. How many times have you heard the phrase "science disproves god" or something similar.

    Keep in mind, my point is not that scientists are wrong to think that the scientific method is best if not the only way for humans to attain knowledge (although I do think they're wrong). I'm just trying to show why people are more eager to point out the limits of science rather than the limits of history. And I hope I'm not coming off as anti-science. I love modern medicine and airplanes, and I am fully aware that it was not philosophers who gave me these things.

    I would recommend Gilbert Ryle's influential book The Concept of Mind.Andrew M

    I'll definitely put it on my list.
  • thedeadidea
    98
    Keep in mind, my point is not that scientists are wrong to think that the scientific method is best if not the only way for humans to attain knowledge (although I do think they're wrong).Dusty of Sky

    That is funny....


    I think the reason science is held to this different standard is that so many people, most of whom are not scientists, like to claim that nothing exists that isn't captured by the sciencesDusty of Sky

    I don't believe in free interpretation to the specific geography of idiots to one particular village or another is a meaningful place to start.... Such a position is either physicalism wherein they want to play a semantic distinction of existence being 'something physical' as distinct from a conscious imputation OR they are categorically a moron... I don't know what to tell you other than euphemistic generalizations are not helpful to the project of philosophy.
  • Dusty of Sky
    45
    That is funny....thedeadidea

    Just because I believe something doesn't I'm currently arguing for it.

    I don't believe in free interpretation to the specific geography of idiots to one particular village or another is a meaningful place to start.... Such a position is either physicalism wherein they want to play a semantic distinction of existence being 'something physical' as distinct from a conscious imputation OR they are categorically a moron... I don't know what to tell you other than euphemistic generalizations are not helpful to the project of philosophy.thedeadidea

    I don't quite understand. Are you saying that I shouldn't argue based on what some idiots believe? I'm only saying that the reason I think that people like to point out the limits of science as opposed to the limits of history is that a lot of people think science can explain everything and other subjects are inferior e.g. Rick from Rick and Morty. That's all.
  • thedeadidea
    98
    Just because I believe something doesn't I'm currently arguing for it.Dusty of Sky

    I just genuinely found it funny... I don't do that... I don't force people to expand arguments they don't want to...

    It would be fucking hypocritcal of me to do that an call you out for the bottom part... I genuinely thought that was funny... it made me smile.


    I don't quite understand. Are you saying that I shouldn't argue based on what some idiots believe? I'm only saying that the reason I think that people like to point out the limits of science as opposed to the limits of history is that a lot of people think science can explain everything and other subjects are inferior e.g. Rick from Rick and Morty. That's all.Dusty of Sky

    Okay lets say there are more relativist strained, (postmodernist, marxist, Rorty fans etc etc...) then what there are not. Let's assume you are a not is it fair for me to use a rehashed dumb dumb media impression of a categorical norm to assume this is your position ?

    If it is okay for philosophy to demand specificity and just shrug such nonsense right off... why wouldn't scientists, materialists and so on do it...
  • Relativist
    1.1k
    I suggest D.M. Armstrong's Sketch for a Systematic Metaphysics.

    Armstrong was an influential materialist philosopher who developed a comprehensive materialist metaphysics, that included treatment of universals, numbers, laws of nature, and theory of mind. This book is an introduction to his metaphysics. It's only a little over 100 pages. A great place to start. I think he writes well, but you can see for yourself by clicking the preview at Amazon.com.
  • Dusty of Sky
    45
    It would be fucking hypocritcal of me to do that an call you out for the bottom part... I genuinely thought that was funny... it made me smile.thedeadidea

    Then I'm sorry I didn't take your comment at face value. I guess arguing with people on the internet is making me overly defensive.

    Okay lets say there are more relativist strained, (postmodernist, marxist, Rorty fans etc etc...) then what there are not. Let's assume you are a not is it fair for me to use a rehashed dumb dumb media impression of a categorical norm to assume this is your position ?thedeadidea

    No, it would not be at all fair of me or anyone else to do that.

    If it is okay for philosophy to demand specificity and just shrug such nonsense right off... why wouldn't scientists, materialists and so on do it...thedeadidea

    I think that if a certain idea is prevalent in a culture, people within that culture who disagree with that idea will be eager to express their disagreement. The idea that the sciences are "better" than other academic subjects is quite common. However, you'd be right to point out that that's a crude position to take, and it's probably more common among ignorant lay people than actual scientists. But a lot of very smart people also have beliefs which (whether or not they're true) incline people who disagree with them to want to point out the limits of science. Quine, for example, thought that philosophy should strive to become an extension of the natural scientists. For another example, look at how psychology since the days of Freud and Jung has become so much more integrated into the sciences. Whether or not these are positive developments, it's easy to see how they (and many others) would lead to people pointing out the limits of science.
  • thedeadidea
    98
    I think that if a certain idea is prevalent in a culture, people within that culture who disagree with that idea will be eager to express their disagreement. The idea that the sciences are "better" than other academic subjects is quite common. However, you'd be right to point out that that's a crude position to take, and it's probably more common among ignorant lay people than actual scientists. But a lot of very smart people also have beliefs which (whether or not they're true) incline people who disagree with them to want to point out the limits of science. Quine, for example, thought that philosophy should strive to become an extension of the natural scientists. For another example, look at how psychology since the days of Freud and Jung has become so much more integrated into the sciences. Whether or not these are positive developments, it's easy to see how they (and many others) would lead to people pointing out the limits of science.Dusty of Sky

    I think Science is better personally or else I would have chosen to study humanities as opposed to Sciences. I also find S.T.E.M. infinitely easier to deal with... the entire project is more team orientated, less controversial and intimate in the realm of personal so that the research and entire subject takes less offence. The entire domain is predicated on finding non arbitrary causal systems and descriptions, making it a kind of logic or logical understanding that isn't useless like a syllogism.

    That said I don't view a true competition of Science and Humanities... at least I hope it has not come to that.... Education, expression and understanding should not become a capitalism of ideas.... Just because I prefer Science in terms of technology and domain itself does not mean I want to say lose history, ethics, drama and so on.... The realm of ideas should be viewed as a buffet and just because I like one type of icecream over another doesn't mean I am not going to eat both....

    To placate oneself to the extreme of one opinion or specialty, short of the earnest obsession of genius or the ruthless interest of professional capacity is surely the more mediocre road. There are multiple levels of absurdity in Science not the least what i call the the idealist critique....

    How can an observed be observed without an observer? <<< That question... That question explicated destroys naive materialism....

    But the characteristic narrative of context that is Science as a 3rd person ontology concerned with description of physical descriptions chiefly in manner of their quantification, regularity, function and causal relations.... Shifts the bounds such that once one is speaking of Matter one is speaking in the context of speaking of the matters of the description of matter implicit in the conversation...

    It is the unmediated criticism that denies any civil efficiency of language a thoroughly unGerman thing that makes people go WHAT THE FUCK..... when they encounter this conversation....

    I would say the fact most people naively apprehend this subject is a call for concern. But it does not mean that everyone who does not offer some kind of clarifying apologia as a preamble to a conversation is a particularly helpful or convincing polemic.

    No greater lie or story has ever been told that Man is a rational creature.
    Rather he is a creature of paradox and unnecessary mystery.
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