Mind and Cosmos by Thomas Nagel: Review


I welcomed this 128-page book as a quick roundup of ideas available for thinking about mind and cosmos and evolution, as reported by a highly-qualified and respected philosopher. Turned out, for me, a philosopher may not be the person best qualified to write on the subject. I relished the promise of his program: “The great advances in the physical and biological sciences were made possible by excluding the mind from the physical world…. I find it puzzling that this view of things should be taken as more or less self-evident, as I believe it commonly is."

And I welcomed his call for new concepts. “The world is an astonishing place, and the idea that we have in our possession the basic tools needed to understand it is no more credible now than it was in Aristotle’s day.” So far, so good. More...