A Happy New Year to my readers! I promised myself that round about now I would flower forth with the usual insightful commentary (hem hem!), but no such luck. Still bound by the slothful bonds of Christmas, seemingly.
However Rupert Sheldrake is up and doing, and has sent me a couple of links, which I thought I’d share in the meantime. The first is a piece by David Gelernter, a computer scientist, railing at the anti-humanistic trend in objectivist science. It struck me as a particularly powerful statement of the kinds of things I talk about here regarding attitudes towards consciousness and the philosophy of mind. True, the website is a US neo-con forum, so it ties in with a rightwing anti-science agenda. But the author is a computer scientist complaining about the popular tendency to equate consciousness with computers, which is a bit unusual.
The other link is to a short paean to pansychism by neuroscientist Christof Koch, who considers it to be 'the single most elegant and parsimonious explanation for the universe'. As Rupert notes, Koch has a reputation as an aggressive materialist, who once tried to get him banned from a consciousness conference. I recently read his most recent book which however was a lot fuzzier than one would expect. Rupert sees this as a big shift on Koch's part.
The fact that these sorts of positions are becoming ever more articulate and passionate, and coming from scientists and philosophers, is suggestive of a movement gradually building.