Saturday, 1 January 2011

Morning Scepticism: Mind Matters

One reductio ad absurdum often argued against materialism is the question "how can matter think?" It seems an intuitively obvious point after all, thoughts and emotions are very different to rocks and chemical reactions. Yet much work has been done in uncovering just how "matter thinks", while the discipline is still in its infancy there's already much in the way of promising results. Yet in the absence of matter thinking, what is there on offer? Let's say the cognition is done by an immaterial soul, how does it process information? How does it make decisions? How does it store memories and respond to physical causes like drugs or magnetic fields?

How does matter think? By the intricate arrangement of complex structures firing in patterns. The real question is how does non-matter think?

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