Saturday, September 5, 2009

Naturalism, Mind, Pluralism

Question: Is it possible to accept a materialistic naturalism, ("a 'monistic' form of naturalism in that it maintains that only one basic kind of stuff exists--physical stuff" [1]), while maintaining at the same time that the existence of nonphysical abstract objects are not "transcendent Platonic forms beyond nature"? [1]

In other words, isn't it possible that the "mind" (for example), typically rejected by naturalists as being "beyond natural" and therefore categorized as a species within supernaturalism, is instead the natural quality of the physiology of the brain, expressing the nature of the brain and without which the purpose of the brain would be unthinkable?

To restate it: is it not possible that "mind" is the ever-present but immediate and momentary phenomenon created by the physiology of the brain, and which is elusive as a defined quality as is the phenomenon of "life"? Is it possible to accept the metaphysical definition of "mind" while accpting that the existence of such abstract objects is the direct result of transient yet enduring qualities of the physiology of the brain itself, without reverting to calling such metaphysical evaluations "pluralistic"? [1]

If the mind can be so described, and be as physically real while being qualitatively transient, as is the form of lightening or of a thunderclap or of the "strings" in string theory, then why does naturalism deny the existence of "mind" while not denying "consciousness"?

Answers will be gratefully accepted below.

[1] Internet Infidels

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