Thursday, September 29, 2005

Being physical vs. being

Speaking of amateur philosophers - and I assuredly am one - here is a bit from Bill Vacellia (who is not an amateur) that is the sort of writing that separates those who've given some thought to thinking from those who spout when reflexive and physicalism is questioned:
"To be is to be physical" is both contingently true (because it is an empirical generalization) and not contingently true (because it entails a necessary truth). But this is a contradiction, so [the statement] is not an empirical generalization. Once one appreciates this, one sees that physicalism cannot be supported by natural science. In general, metaphysical propositions about being qua being cannot be supported or refuted by naturalistic methods. Natural science cannot take the place of first philosophy.
Got it? Good. It is frightening how many supposedly educated people spout fundamentalist nonsense in Darwin debates - and I don't mean just the creationists. More detail here.

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