Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False Hardcover – Sep 6 2012
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"If evolutionary biology redraws its boundaries as this book says it must, then the dialogue between theology and science will be considerably altered." --Anglican Theological Review
"[This] troublemaking book has sparked the most exciting disputation in many years... I like Nagel's mind and I like Nagel's cosmos. He thinks strictly but not imperiously, and in grateful view of the full tremendousness of existence." -- Leon Wieseltier, The New Republic
"A sharp, lucidly argued challenge to today's scientific worldview." -- Jim Holt, The Wall Street Journal
"Starts with a boldly discerning look at that strange creature, mankind, and comes to some remarkable speculations about who we are and what our place is in the universe... The very beauty of Nagel's theory - its power to inspire imagination - counts in its favor." -- Richard Brody, The New Yorker
"An intense philosophical takedown of Neo-Darwinism and scientific materialism. It's a brave and contrarian book. Reminds me of Wittgenstein's remark: 'Even if all our scientific questions are answered, our problem is still not touched at all.'" -- E.L. Doctorow, The New York Times Book Review
"Nagel's arguments against reductionism should give those who are in search of a reductionist physical 'theory of everything' pause for thought... The book serves as a challenging invitation to ponder the limits of science and as a reminder of the astonishing puzzle of consciousness." -- Science
"Mind and Cosmos, weighing in at 128 closely argued pages, is hardly a barn-burning polemic. But in his cool style Mr. Nagel extends his ideas about consciousness into a sweeping critique of the modern scientific worldview." -- The New York Times
"His important new book is a brief but powerful assault on materialist naturalism... [Nagel has] performed an important service with his withering critical examination of some of the most common and oppressive dogmas of our age." -- The New Republic
"[This] short, tightly argued, exacting new book is a work of considerable courage and importance." -- National Review
" Provocative... Reflects the efforts of a fiercely independent mind." -- H. Allen Orr, The New York Review of Books
"[Nagel] is an avowed nonbeliever, but regularly enrages the New Atheist crowd because he is determined to leave open a space... for the incomprehensible, for the numinous... and writes very honestly about that." -- James Wood
"This short book is packed like a neutron star. I found myself underlining so much that I had to highlight some underlining with further underlining and flag up this underlining in turn. Mind and Cosmos is a brave intervention." -- Raymond Tallis, The New Atlantis
"Challenging and intentionally disruptive... Unless one is a scientific Whig, one must strongly suspect that something someday will indeed succeed [contemporary science]. Nagel's Mind and Cosmos does not build a road to that destination, but it is much to have gestured toward a gap in the hills through which a road might someday run." -- The Los Angeles Review of Books
"A model of carefulness, sobriety and reason... Reading Nagel feels like opening the door on to a tidy, sunny room that you didn't know existed." -- The Guardian
"Fascinating... [A] call for revolution." -- Alva Noe, NPR's 13.7
"The book's wider questions -- its awe-inspiring questions -- turn outward to address the uncanny cognizability of the universe around us.... He's simply doing the old-fashioned Socratic work of gadfly, probing for gaps in what science thinks it knows." -- Louis B. Jones, The Threepenny Review
"[Attacks] the hidden hypocrisies of many reductionists, secularists, and those who wish to have it both ways on religious modes of thinking ... Fully recognizes the absurdities (my word, not his) of dualism, and thinks them through carefully and honestly."--Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution
"Mind and Cosmos is a mind-provoking, challenging, and enjoying read which carries the mark of Nagel's unique blend of originality, elegance, and intellectual honesty." --Philosophical Psychology
About the Author
Thomas Nagel is University Professor of Law and Philosophy at New York University.
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Top Customer Reviews
His writing is difficult to follow at times; often we're not sure just what he means to say in a particular passage. But if you're up to the brain-strain, he makes some good points. Darwinism certainly is false, and the materialist view of life is misleading at best.
Nagel's argument is clear and concise (one hundred twenty-something pages), each section building on the last, and by the end, his point is clear, and for me at least, it's difficult to see the alternatives as anything but self-contradictory fantasies. Nagel begins by arguing against materialism and reductionism, which has been done successfully by others without too much difficulty. But he then builds on this in layers, showing the absurdity of materialistic thinking when it comes to the origin of life, consciousness, reason, and value. Each presents a new problem, and the current orthodoxies can't answer them. Our ability to recognize truth, and to control our actions based on reasons and values, have staggering implications for our understanding of the universe as a whole. The alternative he presents to accommodate these implications isn't fully thought out (as he puts it, a real psychophysical understanding will probably require new concepts, a revolution on par with relativity), just plausible. It's impossible to say it's true, at this point, but It makes sense.Read more ›
project that definitely had a major axe to grind with Dawkinism and Dennettism and the whole naturalistic outlook.
This is NOT a book for the average reader despite its interesting subject matter.
Explanations are intricate, succinct, well cognized, yet intensely presented.
A philosophical argument written for philosophers.
A complicated message that is coherent yet will fall on the deaf ears of the sleeping materiality giant.
Most recent customer reviews
Articulate, erudite and courageous knowing that Nagel is going to be disparaged without warrant as he proceeds in a reasonable and fair manner to give a powerful critic of the... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Richard Burrough
A fascinating book to read - a very honest philosopher who dares to ask some great questions and deal with them. Remains readable though written by a philosopher. Read morePublished on Jan. 28 2014 by Ingrid Wiebe
I found it difficult to grasp the explanations provided in this book. It wasn't as enjoyable a read as I was anticipating. Read morePublished on Jan. 27 2014 by Gbytes