Mind and Cosmos. Seminar of the Moscow Center For Consciousness Studies

5 January, 2022

The seminar is dedicated to Thomas Nagel's book "Mind and Cosmos".

Nagel seeks to prove the inconsistency of the widespread picture of the world drawn by materialistic naturalism. He argues that the mind-body problem is not limited to the question of the relationship of mind of living beings with their bodies, but should be understood much more broadly. The fact is that if materialism fails to fit mind and other mental aspects of reality into its picture of the world, then we must abandon a purely materialistic understanding of nature, including biology, evolutionary theory and cosmology. Since mind is a property of biological systems that have evolved evolutionarily, the standard materialistic approach to evolutionary biology reveals a fundamental incompleteness. Similarly, a cosmology describing the development of the universe, leading to the emergence of life and the conditions for its further evolution, cannot be a purely materialistic cosmology. An adequate understanding of nature should explain the emergence of mind in it, which is fundamentally non-reducible to the physical. But no modern materialistic scientific theory is incapable of such an explanation. Nagel examines in detail the problems of reductionism in relation to mind, cognitive abilities and values and comes to the conclusion that physicists' dreams of a "final theory of everything" should, apparently, remain dreams. We will discuss the credibility of these arguments at our seminar.

Speakers: Vadim Vasilyev and Anton Kuznetsov.
Participants: A.Besedin, E.Loginov, A.Kostikova, A.Mertsalov, A.Yashin, A.Pavlov.