Friday, April 02, 2021

Materialism and determinism

If we are simply material beings, aren't our actions determined by the laws of  physics? Particles in the brain are governed by the laws of physics, and if this is so, doesn't that mean that the brain is determined by the laws of physics? 

1 comment:

David Brightly said...

Yes. But surely this is a good thing. For if the effect of the outside world on the brain were subject to indeterministic fluctuations we would not be able to learn reliably; if the internal motions of the brain were likewise indeterministic we would not be able to reason reliably; and if the relation between the brain and our limbs was similarly indeterministic we could not be responsible for our actions. And surely we know of pathologies which disrupt all these pathways making learning, reasoning, and acting responsibly difficult or impossible.