Chapter

Criticisms of Metaphysical Materialism

J. R. LUCAS

in The Freedom of the Will

Published in print September 1970 | ISBN: 9780198243434
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191680687 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198243434.003.0019
Criticisms of Metaphysical Materialism

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Any scheme of explanation is bound to be open to some adverse criticism, because there will be some things it cannot explain. For if it explains some things in terms of others, then these others are not themselves explained. And if it offers subsequent explanation of these in terms of yet other things, then those others in turn are left unexplained. Problems of epistemology cannot be evaded: exceptions in favour of oneself cannot be sustained. Even if there were no other problem of how we come to know the positions and velocities of the point-particles, we could not assume perfect precision; and that alone would be enough to rule out determinism as a practical possibility. Nor is the lack of exactitude merely a question of experimental error that need not concern an inerrant egotheist.

Keywords: explanation; epistemology; egotheist

Chapter.  1478 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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