Thomas Nagel

in Mind and Cosmos

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199919758
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980369 | DOI:

Show Summary Details


This chapter examines another type of antireductionist argument and its consequences. It first identifies the problem concerning mental functions such as reasoning, thought, and evaluation that are limited to humans. It questions whether a person's cognitive capacities can be placed in the framework of an evolutionary theory that is no longer exclusive but still retains the Darwinian structure. It then shows ways of thinking about the basic reasoning capacities and studies the faculty that allows people to escape from the world of appearance that is presented by their prereflective innate dispositions, and move into the world of objective reality. This chapter also takes a look at teleological principles as part of the natural order and lists some alternatives.

Keywords: antireductionist argument; mental functions; cognitive capacities; evolutionary theory; Darwinian structure; basic reasoning; world of appearance; objective reality; teleological principles; natural order

Chapter.  8022 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.