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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Mind And Life: Is The Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception Of Nature False?, Martin Zwick Jan 2015

Mind And Life: Is The Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception Of Nature False?, Martin Zwick

Systems Science Faculty Publications and Presentations

A partial review of Thomas Nagel's book, Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist NeoDarwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False is used to articulate some systems-theoretic ideas about the challenge of understanding subjective experience. The article accepts Nagel' s view that reductionist materialism fails as an approach to this challenge, but argues that seeking an explanation of mind based on emergence is more plausible than one based on panpsychism, which Nagel favors. However, the article proposes something similar to Nagel's neutral monism by positing a hierarchy of information processes that span the domains of matter, life, and ...


Schrödinger And Nietzsche And Life: Eternal Recurrence And The Conscious Now, Babette Babich May 2014

Schrödinger And Nietzsche And Life: Eternal Recurrence And The Conscious Now, Babette Babich

Articles and Chapters in Academic Book Collections

The phenomenological question of consciousness usually associated with Husserl (although there are echoes of this in Augustine as in Marcus Aurelius, Kant and Schopenhauer), is the consciousness of the now, the present moment. I explore this consciousness for Erwin Schrödinger, which for him included reference to the Upaniṣads together with Nietzsche’s central teaching or “thinking” of the eternal recurrence of the same.


The Evolutionary Function Of Conscious Information Processing Is Revealed By Its Task-Dependency In The Olfactory System, Andreas Keller Feb 2014

The Evolutionary Function Of Conscious Information Processing Is Revealed By Its Task-Dependency In The Olfactory System, Andreas Keller

Publications and Research

Although many responses to odorous stimuli are mediated without olfactory information being consciously processed, some olfactory behaviors require conscious information processing. I will here contrast situations in which olfactory information is processed consciously to situations in which it is processed non-consciously. This contrastive analysis reveals that conscious information processing is required when an organism is faced with tasks in which there are many behavioral options available. I therefore propose that it is the evolutionary function of conscious information processing to guide behaviors in situations in which the organism has to choose between many possible responses.


Biological Autonomy, A. Grandpierre, Menas Kafatos Jan 2012

Biological Autonomy, A. Grandpierre, Menas Kafatos

Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science Faculty Articles and Research

We argue that genuine biological autonomy, or described at human level as free will, requires taking into account quantum vacuum processes in the context of biological teleology. One faces at least three basic problems of genuine biological autonomy: (1) if biological autonomy is not physical, where does it come from? (2) Is there a room for biological causes? And (3) how to obtain a workable model of biological teleology? It is shown here that the solution of all these three problems is related to the quantum vacuum. We present a short review of how this basic aspect of the fundamentals ...


Schrödinger And Nietzsche On Life: The Eternal Recurrence Of The Same, Babette Babich Sep 2011

Schrödinger And Nietzsche On Life: The Eternal Recurrence Of The Same, Babette Babich

Working Papers

Schrödinger and Nietzsche on Life: The Eternal Recurrence of the Same

This essay explores Schrödinger’s reflections on measurement, consciousness, and personal identity. Schrödinger’s, What Is Life? is read together with Nietzsche’s own reflections on the same question, in his aphorism What is Life? together with Nietzsche’s teaching of the eternal return of the selfsame. Schrödinger’s own thinking is influenced as is Nietzsche’s by Schopenhauer but Schrödinger also has the Vedic tradition as this influenced Schopenhauer himself in view.