Thursday, September 08, 2005

Strawson on Physicalism and Panpsychism

Philosopher Galen Strawson has recently presented a paper entitled “Why Physicalism entails Panpsychism”. Part of Strawson’s argument focuses on the incoherence of the concept of the emergence of consciousness from insentient physical processes. This argument of course is a common one against emergentism, but it is good to see a comprehensive critique of it presented by a prestigious analytical philosopher.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Agar, Embryology and Evolution

Australian Cell biologist Wilfred Agar (1882 to 1951 biography here) described his book, “A Contribution to the Theory of the Living Organism” (published 1943) as his most important contribution to biological theory. Yet the book has had a negligible impact on his field, probably because of the vast distance between the foundational assumptions of biology which he proposed and those with which mainstream biology operates. Nevertheless, I think Agar makes some seminal contributions not only to alternative foundational assumptions for biology, but also in the application of these assumptions to embryology and evolutionary theory.