Darwiniana

History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Materialism, low and high

February 20th, 2015 · No Comments

http://darwiniana.com/2015/02/20/new-science-organization-offers-to-set-science-free-from-materialism/
This link is a stub to come back to tommorrow, but a brief comment is helpful: the issue of materialism is really about nineteenth century brands, ‘vulgar materialism’. Religious constantly attack materialism as such, but the question remains equivocal.
We have discussed the old Samkhya artifice of adopting materialism, and then asking how it manifests as the spiritual world. Thus, there is in principle no reason to reject materialism. We have cited Bennett here many times and his different partition from material/spiritual is to think in terms of ‘being, function, will’. It is a useful trick. Materialism and spirit are swallowed up in a different way to slice the pie. Matter and consciousness are aspects of being, and are complements.
In general there is no reason why materialism can’t be an aspect of the ‘spiritual’ (whatever that is). Consider a tricky question: is the soul material? You would say no. But Samkhya yogis and certain sufis might not agree.
There is another goofball question here, which is: can a spiritual ‘x’ like ‘soul’ (what the blazes is that) be material in a higher dimension? Or, can there be matter in a higher dimension. The question nosedives: we have no real grounds, despite string theory, to talk about higher dimensions but the issue is nonetheless somehow real: spiritual worlds ought to have their own materiality although this might not manifest in our dimensions. This is too crude, but the point is that materialism is not so easy to throw away. The attempts to reduce complex systems like ‘mind’ to materialism of the crudest kind is what leads to the problems of scientism…

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