Steven Pinker, hypocrite

Thomas Nagel’s book made the front page of the National Post today. You read about it first here a few days ago. Nagel said that the Darwinian explanation for the felt experience of consciousness was wholly inadequate. You can’t get mind from meat, in essence. Either matter is a whole lot more spooky, or matter is not the only thing in the universe. Nagel has been condemned by all right thinking materialists and their innumerable hangers-on.

Here is Pinker’s commentary upon Nagel’s refusal to bend his knee to the God of Matter.

Linking to one particularly damning review in The Nation, Steven Pinker tweeted, “What has gotten into Thomas Nagel? Two philosophers expose the shoddy reasoning of a once-great thinker.”


Contrast Steve Pinker eloquent defence of the university against political correctness with his silly intolerance of Thomas Nagel stepping out of the materialist dogma.

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duggans dew

Oh, I get it. How obtuse I can be! Something perfectly amazing that I cannot see, feel, taste or smell, cannot seek clemency from nor any special favours especially at Christmas MUST exist because there is no extant philosophical proof available to say it doesn’t. All right then. I am reminded of a Gore Vidal (beastly chap, good writer) novel about the Persian empire in which the narrator (courtier with one of the really big Persians, maybe Alexander’s dad) explains his beliefs at length to a sage on the sub-continent who listens patiently and then, comprehension lighting up his features, exclaims smugly, “Ah, a sky god!” Our narrator, stung as you might imagine by being pigeon-holed, immediately retorts, “No! Well, yes… in that he is rather a mighty chap who resides somewhere not here, but not your typical sky god, not like you say it. No.”


Your point is well taken though not relevant to the Pinker issue. Reductive materialism is the issue, and Pinker is assaulting the one person who is neither a theist nor a dualist, but who maintains that the story of the origin of consciousness through Darwinian processes is inherently implausible. And the champions of academic freedom denounce Nagel from the rooftops for departing, ever so slightly, from the orthodox.That is my point, Duggan

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