NPR

Mind, Matter And Materialism

We all have metaphysical commitments, but when it comes to quantum physics and what it tell us about matter and materialism, we must work to distinguish solid ground from swamp, says Adam Frank.
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Science and philosophy have a long, complicated history.

Both are human endeavors aimed at articulating the nature of the world. But where the line between them lies depends a lot on perspective and history. Questions that once lay firmly in philosophy's domain have now fully entered the realm of science. Other issues which might seem fully covered by science retain open philosophical questions that either haunt or inform ongoing research (depending on one's viewpoint).

One of the persistent fields where philosophy retains its purchase on science is the question of consciousness. What is it? What does it depend on? What, if anything, is it reducible to? These are long-standing questions that often elicit fierce partisan responses. That partisanship was, in part, why I recently wrote an essay concerning the question of mind, matter and the perspective known as materialism. The piece appeared two weeks ago in Aeon. I'm following up, now, on

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