Friday, December 16, 2011

Knowing without Understanding

Let's imagine that the Materialist philosophical theory is true. What does this mean? Does it mean that believing it is true makes you better able to understand the events of the world?


Complex interaction of paint splatter.
"I refute it thus..."

I would say that such a belief is obviously wrong. It is grand conceit to imagine you understand what the implications of a Materialist solution to the nature of the world means in terms of your own experience. It is only ignorance of the true extent of the complexity of the world that allows anyone to think they've sussed it.

So, even if you believe that Materialism is the right approach, and even if you are right, you have no foundation for acting in any particular way on account of it. You aren't that smart, no one is. I assert that the only thing you can reasonably act on is your experience, and, if you imagine that you've figured that out you are building false worlds. The very greatest neuroscientist in the world has no better tools for understanding human experience than any of us. Physics isn't you, even if you are an emergent phenomenon of it.

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