Saturday, October 20, 2012
As Thomas Nagel's Mind and Cosmos has not yet arrived in Pakistan to my knowledge, I can only console myself with online reviews. Maverick Philosopher is doing a better job in this regard than most other published reviews that have come out. In his latest post he clarifies Nagel's project in the face of some objections raised by Elliot Sober:
'According to Sober, Nagel " . . . argues that evolutionary biology is fundamentally flawed and that physics also needs to be rethought—that we need a new way to do science." This seems to me to misrepresent Nagel's project. His project is not to "end science as we know it" but to indicate the limits of scientific explanation. A legitimate philosophical task is to investigate the limits of even the most successful sciences. (4) Now, to investigate and point out the limits of evolutionary biology and physics is not to argue that they are "fundamentally flawed." They do what they are supposed to do, and the fact that they do not, or cannot, explain certain phenomena that certain scientistically inclined people would like them to explain, is no argument against them.'