Re: MD Chance and natural selection

From: Scott R (
Date: Thu Aug 21 2003 - 23:51:30 BST

  • Next message: "Re: MD Pirsig and Peirce"


    > Scott said:
    > Why does one look for material explanations? because it is assumed that
    that is all there are (see the Rorty definition above).
    > Matt:
    > Tsk, tsk, Scott. Rorty didn't say that all there are are material
    explanations. He said, "...a "physicalist" [is] someone who is prepared to
    say that every event can be described in micro-structural terms, a
    description which mentions only elementary particles, and can be explained
    by reference to other events so described." He says, "can be described,"
    not "all there are." If I understand you correctly, you don't think this is
    a difference that makes a difference, though I still do, but you did say
    that you wouldn't make him sound reductionist anymore. And as far as I can
    tell you just welched.

    Looks like it. I should have been more careful. What if I had said "because
    it is assumed that while there can be material explanations, there can be no
    valid (or useful, or something) immaterial explanations"? where an
    immaterial explanation is one that explains in terms of events that cannot
    be described in micro-structural terms. For example, to say "Mozart created
    melodies by tuning into the music of the spheres." There can, to be sure, be
    explanations that are neither material nor immaterial.

    Now let me ask you if you agree with Andy that the pragmatist is not looking
    for all-encompassing theories. If so, doesn't the phrase "every event can be
    described in micro-structural terms" sound all-encompassing?

    - Scott

    MOQ.ORG -
    Mail Archives:
    Aug '98 - Oct '02 -
    Nov '02 Onward -
    MD Queries -

    To unsubscribe from moq_discuss follow the instructions at:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu Aug 21 2003 - 23:54:18 BST