#359… SCI., RELIG., etc.: “Keith Ward and the Mind (again)” {33}


 According to Oxford philosopher Keith Ward,


“Talk of mental events is the most real thing we humans know.”


For more use the DOOR.





“We know we have sense-experiences, bodily sensations, thoughts, feelings, and images. We know we experience things in ways that are unique to us and are never wholly communicable to other people. We know that all our knowledge of the world has to begin with such experiences. Mental events are real, and to deny them would deprive us of all knowledge. They are not ghosts or hallucinations at all.”¹


   Let me ask that you not just dismiss this as a discardable sea of words.

   Though I’m not a card-carrying philosopher, fifty years or so ago such words might cost you your key to the faculty lounge in the most ivoried of towers, or leave you as stranded at the beachside as St. Paul  was with a few holy women after he mentioned “resurrection from the dead” to 1st century Athenian thinkers.

   Fifty years ago, if you didn’t bow to materialistic (and atheistic) reductionism (everything, thank you, simply works its way up from randomly dancing atoms), you had nothing sharable to say.

   Not so anymore.

   A growing number in the last several decades, people in the front seats of research in, say, small particle physics where matter stops playing according to rules, and “accidental” environments are found to be exquisitely fine-tuned for life, and human brains have been found to have outrageous capacities (100 billion neurons per head) ready to “plug into” God knows what, suggest that maybe we should think a bit more openly about the forces at work around us.

   And where we should look.

   Ward has dared to suggest just that.


   ¹ From Ch. 2 of Keith Ward’s More Than Matter: What Humans Really Are (Lion Hudson, 2010)


Author: John Knapp