We discuss Thomas Nagel's controversial book, Mind and Cosmos. The book has quite a reputation, but I think it's often misunderstood. Intelligent design proponents, happy to be taken seriously for once, hilariously extol the book. They don’t seem to realize that while the book does take them more seriously than they’re used to, it also provides naturalistic answers to all their objections. I guess they only read the subtitle. Naturalists, atheists, and darwinists, on the other hand, seem to perceive this book as a threat, which is mostly Nagel’s fault for his controversial presentation, and failing to make clear that he’s making adjustments to the dominant paradigm and not rejecting it in favor of theism or mysticism. His proposed adjustments are radical to be sure, but it’s flatly untrue to say he’s an evolution denier or anti-naturalist.
We also discuss Nagel's neutral monism, natural teleology, and philosophy of science.Mind and Cosmos