An Introduction to Metaphysics by C. H. Whiteley

February 23, 2017 | Metaphysics | By admin | 0 Comments

By C. H. Whiteley

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For, even if we had sufficiently detailed knowledge of the brain-state (which we have not), we could never discover which of the processes was first in time, since we have no means of dating the mental process independently of the physical. But there are some strong considerations in favour of the In the case which we materialist account of the matter. know most about, namely, sensation, the temporal and causal priority seems to belong quite plainly to the physical process. For here the brain-state in question is the effect of a chain of physical causes which we can trace throughout, beginning outside the body with the emission of waves of light or sound, and continuing through the stimulation of nerves in the body up to the brain.

The mind observes what is being done, but is not in any proper sense the doer of anything. It is the material forces, epiphenomenon said, ; acting according to the manner in a principles and in the same as in any other piece of matter, same human body which are the real agents. The difference between living but it is not a difference of things and dead things is great ultimate nature it is merely a difference in complexity of ; ; arrangement. It follows that the way to understand human nature, experience and conduct, fully and completely, is through the understanding of its fundamental causes, which are A scientific knowledge of mankind can physical processes.

Introduction to Metaphysics For in examining conscious experience and not the fundamental are studying the superficial facts, the effects and not their The underlying causes. the but are causes may appear simple, highly complex and elaborately interrelated. Since many of the physical processes which determine experience are outside the reach of consciousness altogether, introspection will never give us the whole story, but only fragmentary glimpses, from which we can never derive a connected understanding of the whole effects matter.

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