The Rational Human Condition 3, Deep Freedom and Real Persons: A Study in Metaphysics, Section 1.1–Incompatibilistic Compatibilism.


THE RATIONAL HUMAN CONDITION, PART 1

PREFACE AND GENERAL INTRODUCTION

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Section 1.0  What It Is

Section 1.1  Bounded in a Nutshell

Section 1.2  Rational Anthropology vs. Analytic Metaphysics, the Standard Picture, and Scientific Naturalism

Section 1.3  Philosophy and Its History: No Deep Difference

Section 1.4  Works of Philosophy vs. Philosophical Theories: Presentational Hylomorphism and Polymorphism

Section 1.5  Analytic Philosophy, Continental Philosophy, and Rational Anthropology

Section 1.6  What is a Rational Human Animal?

Section 1.7  An Important Worry and a Preliminary Reply

Section 1.8  The Biggest Windmills


THE RATIONAL HUMAN CONDITION, PART 2 

COGNITION, CONTENT, AND THE A PRIORI: A STUDY IN THE PHILOSOPHY OF MIND AND KNOWLEDGE

Complete Text


THE RATIONAL HUMAN CONDITION, PART 3

DEEP FREEDOM AND REAL PERSONS: A STUDY IN METAPHYSICS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A Note on References

1.  Introduction: Freedom, Life, and Persons’ Lives  

1.0 Natural Libertarianism and Minded Animalism

1.1 Incompatibilistic Compatibilism

1.2 Deep Freedom and Principled Authenticity

1.3 The Central Claim of this Book, and Previews                                         

 2.  Beyond Mechanism: The Dynamics of Life

2.0 Introduction

2.1 Immanent Structuralism

2.2 Natural Mechanism, Computability, and Anti-Mechanism

2.3 Kant’s Anti-Mechanism, Kantian Anti-Mechanism, Vitalism, and Emergentism

2.4 On the Representation of Life

2.5 Kantian Non-Conceptualism and the Dynamicist Model of Life

2.6 Inverted Life, Suspended Life, and Non-Local Life: How LifeDoes Not Strongly Supervene on the Physical, and Why

2.7 Conclusion                                                                                                                  

3.  From Biology to Agency          

3.0 Introduction

3.1 Two-Dimensional Rational Normativity

3.2 Kant’s Biological Theory of Freedom

3.3 Practical-Freedom-in-Life: Kantian Non-Intellectualism

3.4 The Rationality of the Heart: Principled Authenticity

3.5 Conclusion                                                                                                       

4.  Neither/Nor: The Negative Case for Natural Libertarianism

4.0 Introduction                                                                                                                 

4.1 The Intuitive Definition of Free Will

4.2 The Four Metaphysical Horsemen of the Apocalypse

4.3 The Three Standard Options, Natural Mechanism, and The Fourfold Knot of Free Agency

4.4 Three Arguments for Classical Incompatibilism, and In-the-Zone Compatibilism

4.5 Three Arguments for Local Incompatibilism with Respect to Natural Mechanism

4.6 Sympathy for the Devil: Compatibilism Reconsidered

4.7 Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death?

4.8 Too Hard to Live With: Strawson’s Basic Argument, Hard Determinism, and Hard Incompatibilism

4.9 Conclusion                                                                                                        

5.  Either/Or: Deep Freedom and Principled Authenticity          

5.0 Introduction

5.1 The Internal Structure of Deep Freedom

5.2 From Frankfurt Back to Kierkegaard: How to Have a Live Option, or Kierkegaardian Either/Or, Without Alternative Possibilities

5.3 Psychological Freedom, Deep Freedom, and Principled Authenticity

5.4 Conclusion                                                                                                       

6.  Minded Animalism I: What Real Persons Really Are

6.0 Introduction

6.1 From Deep Freedom to Real Persons

6.2 Real Persons

6.3 Necessary and Sufficient Conditions for Real Personhood

6.4 Conclusion                                                                                                       

7.  Minded Animalism II: From Parfit to Real Personal Identity          

7.0 Introduction

7.1 Parfit’s Theory: Six Basic Claims

7.2 Against and Beyond Parfit 1: Two Reasons, and The Minded Animalist Criterion of Personal Identity

7.3 Against and Beyond Parfit 2: Four More Reasons

7.4 Conclusion                                                                                                                   

***

Next Installment

***

A NOTE ON REFERENCES

For convenience, throughout the five-part four book series, The Rational Human Condition—comprising 1. the Preface and General Introduction, 2. Cognition, Content, and the A Priori, 3. Deep Freedom and Real Persons, 4. Kantian Ethics and Human Existence, and 5. Kant, Agnosticism, and Anarchism—I refer to Kant’s works infratextually in parentheses. The citations include both an abbreviation of the English title and the corresponding volume and page numbers in the standard “Akademie” edition of Kant’s works: Kants gesammelte Schriften, edited by the Königlich Preussischen (now Deutschen) Akademie der Wissenschaften (Berlin: G. Reimer [now de Gruyter], 1902-). I generally follow the standard English translations, but have occasionally modified them where appropriate. For references to the first Critique, I follow the common practice of giving page numbers from the A (1781) and B (1787) German editions only. Here is a list of the relevant abbreviations and English translations:

BL       “The Blomberg Logic.” In Immanuel Kant: Lectures on Logic. Trans. J.M. Young. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1992. Pp. 5-246.

C         Immanuel Kant: Correspondence, 1759-99. Trans. A. Zweig. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1999.

CPJ      Critique of the Power of Judgment. Trans. P. Guyer and E. Matthews. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2000.

CPR    Critique of Pure Reason. Trans. P. Guyer and A. Wood. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1997.

CPrR   Critique of Practical Reason. Trans. M. Gregor. In Immanuel Kant: Practical Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1996. Pp. 139-271.

DiS      “Concerning the Ultimate Ground of the Differentiation of Directions in Space.” Trans. D. Walford and R. Meerbote. In Immanuel Kant: Theoretical Philosophy: 1755-1770. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1992.  Pp. 365-372.

DSS     “Dreams of a Spirit-Seer Elucidated by Dreams of Metaphysics.” Trans. D. Walford and R. Meerbote. In Immanuel Kant: Theoretical Philosophy: 1755-1770. Pp. 301-359.

EAT    “The End of All Things.” Trans. A. Wood and G. Di Giovanni. In Immanuel Kant: Religion and Rational Theology. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1996. Pp. 221-231.

GMM  Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. Trans. M. Gregor. In Immanuel Kant: Practical Philosophy. Pp. 43-108.

ID        “On the Form and Principles of the Sensible and Intelligible World (Inaugural Dissertation).” Trans. D. Walford and R. Meerbote. In Immanuel Kant: Theoretical Philosophy: 1755-1770. Pp. 373-416.

IUH     “Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Aim.” Trans. A. Wood. In Immanuel Kant: Anthropology, History, and Eduction. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2007. Pp. 107-120.

JL         “The Jäsche Logic.” Trans. J.M. Young. In Immanuel Kant: Lectures on Logic. Pp. 519-640.

LE       Immanuel Kant: Lectures on Ethics. Trans. P. Heath. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1997.

MFNS Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science. Trans. M. Friedman. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2004.

MM     Metaphysics of Morals. Trans. M. Gregor. In Immanuel Kant: Practical Philosophy. Pp. 365-603.

OP       Immanuel Kant: Opus postumum. Trans.  E. Förster and M. Rosen. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1993.

OT       “What Does It Mean to Orient Oneself in Thinking?” Trans. A. Wood. In Immanuel Kant: Religion and Rational Theology. Pp. 7-18.

Prol     Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics. Trans. G. Hatfield. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2004.

PP       “Toward Perpetual Peace.” Trans. M. Gregor. In Immanuel Kant: Practical Philosophy. Pp. 317-351.

Rel       Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason. Trans. A. Wood and G. Di Giovanni. In Immanuel Kant: Religion and Rational Theology. Pp. 57-215.

RTL     “On a Supposed Right to Lie from Philanthropy.” Trans. M. Gregor. In Immanuel Kant: Practical Philosophy. Pp. 611-615.

VL       “The Vienna Logic,” Trans. J.M. Young. In Immanuel Kant: Lectures on Logic. Pp. 251-377.

WE      “An Answer to the Question: ‘What is Enlightenment?’” Trans. M. Gregor. In Immanuel Kant: Practical Philosophy. Pp. 17-22.


In the fullness of time, The Rational Human Condition will also appear as a series of five e-books published by Rounded Globe, each of which, in turn, will be available in hard copy, on demand, from Out of House Publishing.


THE RATIONAL HUMAN CONDITION, PART 3

DEEP FREEDOM AND REAL PERSONS: A STUDY IN METAPHYSICS

Chapter 1  Introduction: Freedom, Life, and Persons’ Lives

Section 1.1  Incompatibilistic Compatibilism

Here, again, is the same basic idea behind Natural Libertarianism, but this time formulated in the terminology of the contemporary philosophical debate about free will.[i]  The classical thesis of Universal Natural Determinism says that all present and future spacetime events, including all the things we specifically choose and do, are necessitated by all the settled facts about the past, together with all the general causal laws of nature. So if Universal Natural Determinism is true, then either whatever I am choosing or doing now is directly necessitated by The Big Bang (I will call this distal determination), or else at the very least there is a more spatiotemporally local deterministic process or state of the physical world, which, together with the settled facts about the past and the laws of nature, necessitates what I choose or do now (I will call this proximal determination). Otherwise put, if Universal Natural Determinism is true, then either The Big Bang causally flows right through me (= distal determination), or else the more local physical environment causally flows right through me (= proximal determination). In either case, if Universal Natural Determinism is true, then all the events in my life, now and henceforth until I die, are lawfully causally necessitated by the settled facts about the past—really, I am a deterministic natural automaton.

Now the classical thesis of Compatibilism[ii] says that free will and Universal Natural Determinism are mutually consistent: that is, it is logically or metaphysically possible that at least some spacetime events are both free and also determined in a world in which all spacetime events are determined, and also logically or metaphysically possible that all free spacetime events are also determined in a world in which all spacetime events are determined. Correspondingly, the classical thesis of Incompatibilism[iii] says that free will and Universal Natural Determinism are mutually inconsistent: that is, it is logically or metaphysically impossible that any spacetime events are both free and determined.

Many contemporary philosophers are Compatibilists, and some contemporary philosophers are Incompatibilists. But Natural Libertarianism is neither strictly Compatibilist nor strictly Incompatibilist, and it thereby constitutes what David Hodgson aptly calls a “third alternative” to this all-too-familiar and seemingly exhaustive dichotomy, which I dub Incompatibilistic Compatibilism. In a nutshell, according to the Incompatibilistic Compatibilism of Natural Libertarianism, free will and Natural Determinism are locally incompatible but also non-locally compatible.

To classical Incompatibilists and Compatibilists alike, this may well seem absurd. How can Natural Libertarianism consistently propose the theses of both Local Incompatibilism and also Non-Local Compatibilism? Or otherwise put, how can one consistently be an incompatibilistic compatibilist? That, surely, is like wooden iron, or round squareness. But in fact there is no incoherence whatsoever between Local Incompatibilism and Non-Local Compatibilism. More precisely, then, here is how one can consistently be that strange philosophical beast, an “incompatibilistic compatibilist.”

On the one hand, Local Incompatibilism says that neither the existence nor the specific character of the particular actual conscious and intentional choices or acts of rational or non-rational human or non-human minded animals, as living organisms having a certain kind of non-equilibrium, spatiotemporally asymmetric, complex, self-organining thermodynamic structure inherent in their individual biological and neurobiological lives, now or in the future, is itself necessarily or constitutively determined by all the general laws of nature together with all the settled facts about the past. For if this necessary or constitutive determination had been true, then there would have been be an inherently non-agential production of  the minded animal’s choices or acts either by means of distal determination (i.e., The Big Bang would actually be causally responsible) or else by means of proximal determination (i.e., the more local physical environment would actually be causally responsible). But whether she were distally or proximally determined, then the rational or non-rational human or non-human minded animal would not be a free agent with respect to those choices or acts, precisely because she would not even be an agent. That is, if either The Big Bang or the more local physical environment were to be actually causally responsible for what she chooses and does, then she would not be causally responsible for what she chooses and does, they would not be “up to her,” she would not be an “ultimate source” of those choices or acts, and as a consequence, in the special case of rational agents, she would not be morally responsible either. For she would be a deterministic natural automaton, or natural machine, with respect to those choices or acts. Indeed, it would just as if some other very powerful agency or person, e.g., an evil super-scientist like the weirdly jolly Communist behavioral psychologist in John Frankenheimer’s brilliant 1962 paranoid thriller, The Manchurian Candidate, had overwhelmingly compelled, forced, or manipulated her into making those choices or carrying out those acts.[iv]

On the other hand, however, Non-Local Compatibilism says that the actual existence of free volition or free will in minded animals, especially including rational animals, including of course all rational human animals, is not only logically and metaphysically consistent with but also metaphysically requires the existence of a complete set of general causal laws obtaining in the rest of the physical world. This complete set of general causal laws, in turn, together with all the settled facts about the past, causally necessitate the existence and specific character of a great many physical processes in the present and the future. But this causal necessitation operates independently of all those thermodynamic processes that constitute any rational or non-rational human or non-human minded animal’s own biological and neurobiological life. At the same time, however, this causal necessitation remains a necessary background condition of those very same causal-necessitation-independent processes that constitute any rational or non-rational human or non-human minded animal’s own biological and neurobiological life. For example, in order for me to hop up and down a little as a basic intentional act, the law of the acceleration of falling bodies due to gravity must remain fixed so that I can use and exploit it for my own purposes. But this gravitational law, together with all the settled facts about the past, does not causally necessitate my act of hopping. There is still some non-deterministic “natural open space” left over, within which I can purposively operate. And this generalizes across all deterministic general causal laws, and all the settled facts about the past. In other words, the causal necessitation is necessary but not sufficient for the existence and specific character of the life-processes of those minded animals.

Obviously Local Incompatibilism is not precisely the same thesis as classical or strict Incompatibilism, just as Non-Local Compatibilism is not precisely the same thesis as classical or strict Compatibilism. Classical or strict Incompatibilism says that free will and Natural Determinism are logically or metaphysically inconsistent always and everywhere, and in every logically or metaphysically possible world. But Local Incompatibilism says, by contrast, that in this actual world, free agency in rational or non-rational human or non-human minded animals is metaphysically inconsistent with deterministic physical processes only insofar as the existence and specific character of the self-organizing thermodynamic biological and neurobiological processes that are themselves identical with the free agency of rational or non-rational human or non-human minded animals are actually concerned. So Local Incompatibilism is a specially restricted version of Incompatibilism. And because it is specially restricted in this way, Local Incompatibilism is also perfectly logically and metaphysically consistent with a correspondingly specially restricted version of Compatibilism, i.e., Non-Local Compatibilism.

Correspondingly, then, unlike classical or strict Compatibilism, which says that free will and Natural Determinism are logically or metaphysically consistent always and everywhere, and  in every logically and metaphysically possible world, by contrast Non-Local Compatibilism says that in this actual world there is a complete set of general causal laws, which, together with all the settled facts about the past, causally necessitate the existence and specific character of a great many physical processes in the present and the future, precisely insofar as they are not self-organizing thermodynamic systems, including the lives of minded animal free agents. And it also says that this complete set of general causal laws and its corresponding set of deterministic processes are actually presupposed by the existence and specific character of the self-organizing thermodynamic biological and neurobiological processes, including those that are themselves identical with the free agency of minded animals. “Non-Local” thus means “across the actual world, other than those parts of the world that are self-organizing thermodynamic systems, including the lives of minded animal free agents” and not “across every logically and metaphysically possible world.” So Non-Local Compatibilism is a specially restricted version of Compatibilism. And because it is specially restricted in this way, Non-Local Compatibilism is also perfectly logically and metaphysically consistent with a correspondingly specially restricted version of Incompatibilism, i.e., Local Incompatibilism.

So I am saying that whereas an unrestricted Incompatibilism and an unrestricted Compatibilism are logical contradictories, or at the very least logical contraries, nevertheless a specially restricted Incompatibilism is perfectly consistent with a specially restricted Compatibilism. Of course you may still be wondering why I am, seemingly, splitting logical and metaphysical hairs! But, at least by my intention, this is not philosophical hair-splitting. I am, in effect and in truth, trying to explain how what Wilfrid Sellars so aptly called The Scientific Image of rational human minded animals in-the-world is capable of logically and metaphysically cohabiting with what Sellars equally aptly called The Manifest Image of rational human minded animals in-the-world.[v] That is, I am trying to explain how our and other minded animals’ free agency is both locally inconsistent with Natural Determinism and also non-locally consistent with Natural Determinism. Or in still other words, I am trying to explain how nature’s worldwide causal-nomological mechanism occurring beyond and outside self-organizing thermodynamic systems like us can also coherently co-exist in the selfsame actual world as nature’s localized rational or non-rational human or non-human minded animal free agency occuring within and inside self-organizing thermodynamic systems like us.

The fundamental point is that the right conception of the physical natural world metaphysically folds irreducible phenomenological-structural and teleological-structural facts, including life, consciousness, intentionality, caring, and free agency directly into nature, and thereby necessarily includes a representation of the inherent limits of a universal causal-mechanistic conception of physical nature. Again, it would be as if one were to try to explain transfinite, complex, and real numbers solely in terms of rationals, integers, and natural numbers, together with all the computable or recursive functions over them. Universal formal mechanism—the putative reduction of all of mathematics and logic to computability theory—manifestly does not work: so, since human mathematical knowing and logical knowing would have to be among the processes that are nothing but causal-mechanical processes, then why should we think that universal causal-nomological mechanism would work in metaphysics?[vi] The “right conception of the physical natural world” that I am sketching here, and directly opposing to any universal causal-mechanistic view of physical nature, is what I call liberal naturalism.

In order for what I have just written to make fully clear and distinct sense to you, I also need to provide working definitions and brief explications of the basic notions I have already been deploying.[vii] Dynamic systems are unified collections of material elements in rule-governed or patterned motion. In connection with dynamic systems, complexity is the fact that the causally efficacious exchange of matter and/or energy between a dynamic system and its local natural environment does not remain constant, or fluctuates. Given complexity, then dynamic systems with identical, or virtually identical, initial conditions, may diverge radically over time. Thermodynamic systems necessarily involve energy (and degrees of energetic activity, heat), along with matter. Thermodynamic systems for which the formal structures of matter and/or energy remain the same, or essentially the same, over time, are equilibrium, or near-equilibrium, time-reversible systems. Entropy is a function of the state of a thermodynamic system that expresses the increasing amount of so-called “disorder” or “heat death” in a system, but less conceptually misleadingly, can be thought of as the increasing amount of structural simplicity or unformity in a system, which rises monotonically to a maximum at equilibrium conditions. Here energy is entirely potential, without actualization or entropic motion. So equilibrium or near-equilibrium, time-reversible thermodynamic systems do not (significantly) increase entropy. By contrast, thermodynamic systems for which the structures of matter and/or energy change over time, and are temporally irreversible in that they (significantly) increase entropy but do not reach a maximum of entropy, are far-from-equilibrium systems. Self-organizing complex thermodynamic systems, in turn, are far-from-equilibrium, temporally irreversible thermodynamic systems that also have dissipative structure and natural purposiveness or natural teleology. A dissipative structure is how the increasing amount of entropy in a complex thermodynamic system is absorbed and dispersed (hence “dissipated”) by the systematic re-introduction of matter and/or energy into the system, via a non-static causal balance between the inner states of the system and its surrounding natural environment. And natural purposiveness or natural teleology is how a far-from-equilibrium, temporally irreversible, complex thermodynamic system with dissipative structure self-generates forms or patterns of order that determine its own causal powers, and in turn place constraints on the later collective behaviors, effects, and outputs of the whole system, in order to maintain itself. The paradigmatic or prime example of a self-organizing complex thermodynamic system is a living organism—although not every self-organizing system is itself an organism.

It is important to note here that non-equilibrium thermodynamics, aka “complex systems dynamics,” as such, is nothing more and nothing less than an extremely interesting theory in mathematical natural science—indeed, a specifically post-Newtonian, non-mechanistic theory in mathematical natural science—and not a metaphysical theory. As such, non-equilibrium thermodynamics does not, in and of itself, entail the denial of Universal Natural Determinism. It would also be incorrect to say, however, that non-equilibrium thermodynamics is even metaphysically consistent with Universal Natural Determinism, although this is often assumed. That consistency would need to be shown by independent metaphysical arguments. My point is just that non-equilibrium thermodynamics, in and of itself, is metaphysically neutral, and significantly open to different metaphysical interpretations. And I am, indeed, offering a specific metaphysical interpretation of it, in terms of Natural Libertarianism. So non-equilibrium thermodynamics on its own does not entail Natural Libertarianism, although it remains perfectly consistent with it.

In any case, now granting me for the purposes of argument, the mathematical natural scientific idea of a self-organizing thermodynamic system as a working hypothesis under a specific metaphysical interpretation of it (i.e., under Natural Libertarianism), then how can Local Incompatibilism and Non-Local Compatibilism both be true in the light of this working hypothesis, and under that specific metaphysical interpretation of it?

To begin with, in my opinion, we need to recognize that there is a fundamental modal distinction between:

(i) mere consistency with natural laws, and

(ii) strict entailment or other necessitation by natural laws,

or more precisely, that there is a fundamental modal distinction between:

(i) a natural event’s being merely in conformity with, in the sense of merely being the case along with and not in any violation of, all the general causal laws of nature together with all the settled facts about the past, and

 (ii) a natural event’s being strictly entailed or otherwise necessitated by, in the sense of being sufficiently yielded by, all the general causal laws of nature together with all the settled facts about the past.

This crucial contrast, in turn, is a generalization of Kant’s well-known modal distinction between:

(i) acting merely according to a moral principle or rule, and

(ii) acting strictly from or for the sake of a moral principle or rule (GMM 4: 397-398).[viii]

When this modal distinction is fully generalized beyond intentional action and deontological (i.e., duty-sensitive, choice-involving) contexts, however, to contexts involving physical behaviors, functions, and operations of any kind, and indeed to contexts involving necessitation and rule-following of any kind—whether deontological, causal, mathematical, or logical—then this is the same as the fully comprehensive conceptual and metaphysical modal distinction between:

(i) an activity’s mere conformity to a law (or rule), and

(ii) an activity’s strict governance by a law (or rule).

Now an activity’s mere conformity to a law or rule places a constraint or parameter on all that activity’s behaviors, functions, and operations, thus enabling that activity’s behaviors, functions, and operations, but without also thereby strictly entailing or otherwise necessitating either the existence or specific character of that activity’s behaviors, functions, and operations. Let us now apply this thought specifically to the metaphysics of physical nature.

According to this metaphysical thought, all the general causal laws of nature together with all the settled facts about the past can, in at least some cases, be merely constrainers or parameters of physical activity in the present and the future, and indeed also be causal enablers of physical activity in the present and the future, but without also thereby being strict entailers or necessitators of that present or future physical activity. In chapter 2, I will propose that the correct physical interpretation of this condition of being merely consistent with all the general causal laws of nature is conserved total quantity of matter and/or energy from natural cause to natural effect. The conservation of total quantity of matter and/or energy in causal interactions, in turn, while it guarantees causal efficacy, causal closure, and physicality in a thermodynamic system, and while its specific quantitative character is computable on a universal Turing-machine from all the settled energy facts about the past together with the general causal laws of nature, does not itself necessarily determine certain essential properties of thermodynamic systems. For example, it does not necessarily determine spatial intrinsic directionality or orientability with egocentric centering (indexicality) that makes topological asymmetries like enantiomorphy (aka “incongruent counterparts”) really possible; it does not necessarily determine the direction of time and other temporal asymmetries; it does not necessarily determine facts about quantum complementarity or entanglement, quantum singularities like black holes, or the quantum collapse of the wave function; it does not necessarily determine chaotic behavior in far-from-equilibrium thermodynamic systems, or complex dynamic self-organization, including organismic life; and above all, it does not necessarily determine consciousness and intentionality, caring, free agency, or the unfolding of persons’ lives. According to the metaphysical conception I am proposing, the conserved total quantity of matter and/or energy in causal interactions is the cosmic minimal skeleton of nature—in the same sense in which the natural numbers are the mathematical minimal skeleton of number theory as a designated or “identified” sub-structure within all number theories. But all the really interesting natural activity occurs in the non-equilibrium, spatiotemporally asymmetric, complex, self-organizing thermodynamic fleshing out of that cosmic minimal skeleton.

If this metaphysical thought were true, then to that extent physical nature would necessarily have a certain canalized or channelled amount of non-deterministic open texture, i.e., a certain amount of “natural open space,” which is also not itself merely indeterministic open texture, i.e., natural chance or natural randomness. Again according to this metaphysical thought, all those thermodynamic systems whose causal characteristics and powers really are strictly entailed or otherwise necessitated by all the general causal laws together with all the settled facts about the past, are the same as all those natural systems for which conserved total quantity of matter and/or energy itself suffices for the necessary determination of all that system’s basic natural properties, all of which, in turn, are Turing-computable from all the settled matter-and/or-energy-quantity-facts about the past together with the general laws of nature. Hence these systems are all nothing but natural automata or natural machines. But by sharp contrast, all those thermodynamic systems whose causal characteristics and powers are merely constrained or parametrized by all the general causal laws together with all the settled facts about the past, and are also causally enabled by those laws and facts, and therefore for which conserved total quantity of matter and/or energy, together with all the settled quantity-of-matter-and/or-energy facts about the past, together with the general causal laws of nature, does not suffice for the necessary determination of all their basic natural properties, are in fact far-from-equilibrium, spatially orientable, temporally irreversible, complex self-organizing thermodynamic systems. This is precisely because such systems are capable of exploiting the channelled non-deterministic, open-textured, open-spaced, and causally enabling, yet still non-indeterministic, non-chancy, non-random aspects of physical nature, for their own self-produced (aka “autopoietic”[ix]) ends. In short, such systems are all naturally purposive or naturally teleological systems.

So, to summarize, here is the metaphysical picture I am proposing, according to which nature as a whole is categorically divided into three essentially different kinds of thermodynamic systems:

(1) Deterministic systems –> Thermodynamic systems whose behaviors, functions, and operations are nomologically necessitated in the present and the future by all settled facts about the past together with all general causal laws of nature, especially including the Conservation Laws, that operate under equilibrium, or near-equilibrium conditions, and are temporally reversible, are deterministic natural automata. Such systems entail the existence of closed futures, together with natural mechanism.

 (2) Indeterministic systems –> Thermodynamic systems whose behaviors, functions, and operations are not nomologically necessitated in the present and the future by all settled facts about the past together with all general causal laws of nature, especially including the Conservation Laws, that may operate under far-from-equilibrium conditions and be temporally irreversible, yet still occur now and in the future within a fixed probability space that is nomologically necessitated by all settled facts about the past together with all the statistical/stochastic general causal laws of nature, are indeterministic natural automata. Such systems entail the existence of open futures, together with natural mechanism.

 (3) Non-deterministic, non-indeterministic (i.e., naturally purposive or naturally teleological) systems –> Thermodynamic systems whose behaviors, functions, and operations are constrained by and consistent with, but whose causal characteristics and powers are not nomologically necessitated either in the present or the future by, all settled facts about the past together with all general causal laws of nature, especially including the Conservation Laws and all the statistical/stochastic laws, that always operate under far-from-equilibrium conditions and are spatially orientable and temporally irreversible, are self-organizing systems in natural open space. Such systems entail the existence of open futures, without natural mechanism.

In other words, naturally mechanistic systems can be either deterministic or indeterministic, and more generally are all and only those thermodynamic systems for which all their basic natural properties, their causal characteristics and powers, are nothing but conservation-of-quantity-of-matter-and/or-energy facts, that are necessarily determined by and Turing-computable from all the settled energy-quantity facts about the past together with the general causal laws of nature. Some of these naturally mechanistic thermodynamic systems, and in particular some of the indeterministic ones, may also be far-from-equilibrium, temporally irreversible, and complex. But far-from-equilibrium, temporally irreversible, complex thermodynamic systems that are non-deterministic but also non-indeterministic—i.e., self-organizing, naturally purposive, naturally teleological systems—are therefore not natural mechanisms.

I especially emphasize this point, because even amongst the foremost theorists of non-equilibrium, asymmetric, complex systems thermodynamics, there has been a certain tendency to confuse non-deterministic, non-indeterministic, self-organizing, naturally purposive, naturally teleological (hence, non-mechanistic) thermodynamic systems with naturally mechanized indeterministic thermodynamic systems.[x] For example, Ilya Prigogine entitled his brilliant, breakthrough book in this area, The End of Certainty, thereby unfortunately running together the importantly distinct concepts of:

(i) non-mechanistic non-determinism, and

(ii) mechanistic indeterminism.

But as Prigogine himself recognized, organismic life is not just a highly involved kind of natural dice-playing. So really, and far less misleadingly, his breakthrough book should have been called The End of Mechanism.

I should also mention here explicitly, flagging this issue for further discussion in chapters 2 and 3 below in the context of the philosophy of biology, that I am thinking of causal laws within a neo-Aristotelian and contemporary Kantian metaphysical structuralist framework[xi] as large-scale, multiply embedded, sets of immanent structures in actual manifest nature, and not in one of the more standard ways as either

(i) mere logical or conceptual entailment-relations between event-instances of natural universals (aka “The Armstrong-Tooley-Dretske conception” of causal laws),

or

(ii) mere natural regularities between events, involving counterfactual influence or probabilistic determination (aka “The Humean conception” of causal laws).[xii]

In this metaphysical structuralist framework, the system of general deterministic or indeterministic causal laws, and especially the Conservation Laws, constitutes an intrinsic structural minimal matter and/or energy-grid, a designated or “identified” sub-structure, whose immanence in total physical nature yields the cosmic minimal skeleton of total-quantity-of-matter-and/or-energy conservation in all causally efficacious natural activity.

What is most important in the present context, however, is just my neo-Aristotelian and contemporary Kantian metaphysical thought that causal laws are hylomorphically related to natural processes as intrinsic relational form is to formed matter, thereby imposing various modal conditions on the spatiotemporal relationships between natural singular events; and that therefore causal laws are not in any way extrinsic to those natural singular events and the processes constituted by their relationships. If this metaphysical thought is correct, then causal laws are nothing more and nothing less than multiply-embedded, immanent structural properties of all thermodynamic systems, but especially including the far-from-equilibrium, spatially orientable, temporally irreversible, complex thermodynamics of self-organizing natural systems.

Moreover, unfolding my line of metaphysical thought a bit more, not every far-from-equilibrium, asymmetric, complex, self-organizing thermodynamic system—e.g., the roiling movements of boiling water, or a weather system—is capable of successfully or unsuccessfully exploiting the open-textured, open-spaced, enabling, law-governed internal relational aspects of the material world, in the sense of being able to sustain itself, and re-energize itself, in an appropriate interactive causal balance with its local environment, over a significant amount of time, in the special way that a living organism can. All self-organizing thermodynamic systems exploit the potentialities of nature in this way, to some extent: otherwise they would not have come into being. But living organisms contain within themselves a special sub-system whose “dedicated,” or system-specific, role it is to track the difference between successful and unsuccessful attempts to exploit the potentialities of nature, and to guide the organism accordingly, towards success and away from failure, including all the degrees from simple devolution or regress, to decay, to death.

In other words, living organisms inherently obey, realize, and satisfy various normative constraints on their natural activities. The simplest or most basic normative constraint is the difference between:

(i) successfully surviving/living, and

(ii) not surviving/dying.

And under the assumption that normative constraint (i) has been satisfied, then the next most basic normative constraint is the difference between:

(ia) successfully reproducing, and

(ib) not reproducing.

And so-on. In turn, non-rational minded animals and rational minded animals alike, whether human or non-human, are nothing more and nothing less than living organisms that are relatively speaking, highly attuned to normativity in all its natural dimensions, hence they have what I will call finegrained normative attunement. Indeed, according to the metaphysical thought I am developing here, then this exceptional level of normative attunement in the production of self-organizing thermodynamic activity—our finegrained normative attunement—is precisely, in the lives of rational human minded animals, what our consciousness, our intentionality, our caring, our rationality, and our free agency are.

So, given the notion of a self-organizing thermodynamic system, Non-Local Compatibilism tells us that much and perhaps even most, but not all, of physical nature is made up of deterministic natural automata or natural machines, whose causal activities not only satisfy the general causal laws governing the conservation of total-quantity-of-matter-and/or-energy, but also are necessarily determined by and Turing-computable from all the settled quantity-of-matter-and/or-energy-facts about the past, especially including The Big Bang, together with all the general deterministic causal laws. Contrastively and correspondingly, Local Incompatibilism tells us that some, but not all, of physical nature is made up of free agents that are themselves nothing more and nothing less than rational or non-rational human or non-human minded animals, that is, self-organizing thermodynamic systems—in a word, naturally purposive or teleological systems—that are also organisms with finegrained normative attunement, that in turn are not deterministic natural automata or machines, even though their activities are all perfectly consistent with the general causal laws of nature, especially including the Conservation Laws, and all the settled quantity-of-matter-and/or-energy facts about the past, especially including The Big Bang.

Nor are such minded animals mere indeterministic natural automata or natural machines, whose activities not only satisfy the Conservation Laws, but also are necessarily determined by and Turing-computable from all the settled quantity-of-matter-and/or-energy-facts about the past, especially including The Big Bang, together with the general probabilistic or statistical causal laws of nature, which make up the rest of physical nature, in addition to deterministic systems and naturally purposive or teleological systems, including minded animal free agents.

In this way, Local Incompatibilism and Non-Local Compatibilism are perfectly logically and really metaphysically consistent with one another, as well as being importantly distinct from classical or strict Compatibilism and classical or strict Incompatibilism alike. Even more excitingly, however:

(i) an event’s consistency with all the deterministic or indeterministic general causal laws of nature, especially including the Conservation Laws, together with all the settled quantity-of-matter-and/or-energy facts about the past, especially including The Big Bang, captures the truth of the well-known, but not always correctly-understood, principle of The Causal Closure of the Physical, aka CCP, which, in its simplest formulation, says that “only physical things can cause physical things,”[xiii]

(ii) Non-Local Compatibilism, together with the thesis that there actually exist at least some indeterministic natural automata, captures the truth of The Scientific Image, and

(iii) Local Incompatibilism captures the truth of The Manifest Image.

Indeed, consistency with all the deterministic or indeterministic general causal laws of nature, especially including the Conservation Laws, together with all the settled quantity-of-matter-and/or-energy facts about the past, especially including The Big Bang—hence CCP—together with Non-Local Compatibilism, together with the thesis that some indeterministic natural automata actually exist, together with Local Incompatibilism, collectively represent the smooth fusion of the two Sellarsian world-images, which is something that Sellars himself was never able to do.[xiv]

If Natural Libertarianism is true, then, The Big Bang—or whatever it was that actually constituted and determined the causal-thermodynamic and nomological origins of the physical universe—together with the physical universe’s non-equilibrium, spatiotemporally asymmetric, unidirectional, complex, thermodynamic evolution and cosmological expansion, including entropy,[xv] i.e., all the settled quantity-of-matter-and/or-energy facts about the past in addition to The Big Bang, together with all the deterministic or indeterministic general causal laws of nature, especially including the Conservation Laws, provides the metaphysically necessary causally enabling and constraining background of all the consciously-experienced choices and acts belonging to my unique, complete, and finite self-organizing thermodynamic rational human minded animal life, both now and until I die. But at the same time, I myself am the “ultimate source” of all those choices and acts, and they are all “up to me.” Those choices and acts are all deeply free. In turn, these deeply free choices and acts do not add any new quantities of matter and/or energy to nature: necessarily, the total quantity of matter and/or energy is always conserved from natural cause to natural effect. Instead, these deeply free choices and acts spontaneously add new, personally-authored, creative immanent structurings and re-structurings of matter and/or energy to physical nature, and thereby constitute our own personalized counterpoise to entropy, our own “negentropic sourcehood.” Our direct contribution to physical nature is immanent-structural, not quantitative.

It is crucial to note, therefore, that the Incompatibilistic Compatibilist metaphysical picture ensures that as a free agent I am not in any sort of causal competition with the rest of physical nature, even if nature can, of course, accidentally upset my best laid plans, not to mention those of mice. I am not self-causing or self-creating; I never bring any new quantities of matter and/or energy into nature; and I do not violate any general causal laws of nature, including the stochastic laws. On the contrary, The Big Bang really metaphysically requires The Little Bang that is my complete, finite, and unique biological, neurobiological, and rational human minded animal or real human personal life, together with all my life’s proper parts, each of them an even littler little bang, in order to complete the existence and specific character of the physical constitution of nature as a whole. This completion is the same as sufficiently augmenting the total immanent structural matter-and/or-energy-grid of physical nature, thereby fleshing out its minimal cosmic conserved-total-quantity-of-matter-and/or-energy skeleton, and reversing entropy. Dare to think and act for yourself! You must change your life! Be authentic and principled! Be autonomously free in the Kantian sense! Reverse entropy with a good will! These are all, ultimately, necessarily equivalent imperatives for rational human animals and real persons like us, deeply free moral agents all.

In this way, each one of us is a small-scale causal singularity with finegrained normative attunement via her own free agency, and it is really metaphysically impossible for the universe to be whatever it actually is, without us. For example, the specific character of the fully-elaborated matter-and/or-energy grid of the physical universe right here and now really metaphysically requires that I spontaneously intentionally moved my arm thus in such a way that my coffee cup would be precisely there, precisely then. And ditto, mutatis mutandis, for the local artisan who brought it about that my favorite hand-painted San Francisco coffee cup would be shaped and colored in precisely these ways.

For those who think about philosophical theology, it should be obvious how this line of argument is in some ways analogous to the classical design argument and the neo-classical fine-tuning argument for God’s existence.[xvi] It is clearly fallacious to infer from even massively widespread finite local design to the across-all-possible-worlds necessary existence of a single, infinite, omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent global designer—hence the classical design argument and neo-classical fine-tuning arguments for God’s existence are both unsound. Nevertheless, it is perfectly reasonable to infer the actual-world-bound necessary existence of many finite, non-all-knowing, non-all-powerful, non-all-good local designers whose self-organizing and in some cases also freely intentionally-driven limited causal powers are nevertheless precisely sufficient for the production of fully fine-grained local design and matter and/or energy configuration.

Here is what I mean by that. Suppose, for a moment, that we can know a priori that it is really impossible to know or prove either that God exists or that God does not exist.[xvii] Then, for all we know and for all we don’t know, we live in a God-less universe. In such a universe, it is, surely, philosophically unbelievable and even metaphysically really impossible that The Big Bang causally did it all, including my writing this sentence. But by sharp contrast, it is also fully philosophically believable and even strongly metaphysically necessary that The Big Bang, only together with the natural history that has followed it, including each and every one of the many “locally designing” Little Bangs, causally did it all. Indeed, I wrote that sentence, and the one following it, and this one too, not anyone or anything else, and certainly not The Big Bang. What The Big Bang does is to provide the original cosmic matter and/or energy burst, or “initial conditions,” and establish the universal causal conservation-of-quantities-of-matter-and/or-energy constraints, including the minimal cosmic skeleton of general causal laws, that are then implemented, over orientable space and irreversible time, in a universe of far-from-equilibrium, complex thermodynamic systems. But subsequent natural history and the many “locally designing” Little Bangs, especially including us and our free agency, do all the rest of the causal work.

More precisely, and very importantly, this “local design argument” or “local fine-tuning argument” means that in every relevant metaphysically really possible world, our own “human, all too human” locally designing Little-Bang causal powers would still exist and have the same specific characters. And if, again contrary to fact,  rational human minded animals were to be removed from the actual spacetime of the natural world, in the sense that their complete, finite, and unique conscious, intentional, caring, and rational lives were somehow literally carved out of nature, or somehow rendered causally inert, then it would be just as if The Big Bang had been literally carved out of nature, or rendered causally inert, and the actual universe would be strongly metaphysically impossible. Our unique contribution to nature is that necessarily, the physical universe would not have been constituted in just this fully fine-grained way, without our free choices and acts. Otherwise put, according to Natural Libertarianism, the complete, finite, and unique lives of deeply free rational human minded animals are metaphysically necessary proper parts of the basic causal-nomological, thermodynamic, and biological architecture of actual physical nature in its fully fine-grained existence and specific character, its complete, densely-packed, asymmetric matter and/or energy-architecture. That is our special creative co-authorship role in bringing about the actual natural, physical order of things.

And this insight, in turn, is what finally fully fuses the Scientific and Manifest Images: the actual natural, physical order is completed by all and only those creatures whose nature cannot be wholly explained by means of physics, but whose existence and specific character are also completely consistent with physics. Physics is the mathematically-driven empirical science of matter-and/or-energy-quantity and matter-and/or-energy-structure. But physics cannot, even in principle, necessarily determine or predict all the precise structurings of matter and/or energy in  far-from-equilibrium, asymmetric, complex, self-organizing thermodynamic systems. Otherwise put, the physical world achieves causal-thermodynamic and explanatory completeness only by means of essentially including what is what is really metaphysically primitive and not itself physically reducible to matter-and/or-energy-quantity facts: far-from-equilibrium, asymmetric, complex thermodynamics, especially including self-organization, organismic life, consciousness, intentionality, caring, rationality, deeply free agency, and real persons. In this sense, in an apparent paradox, it seems that physics will finally achieve its ultimate ideal of Grand Unified Theory only by fully incorporating a metaphysically and epistemologically correct conception of its own explanatory limits, thereby adopting the attitude of natural piety.[xviii] I will have more to say about this apparent paradox in chapter 2.

It is perhaps needless to say—but I will say it anyway—that the actual natural, physical completion that we, as locally designing Little Bangs and creative co-authors of nature, can provide by means of our deeply free agency in the world, and thereby by means of our own complete, finite, and unique lives, can be for better or for worse. We can do it well, with purity of heart, singlemindedness, or wholeheartedly for the sake of our own moral principles and the moral law; or we can do it half-heartedly, double-mindedly, lacking all heart, just badly, or in direct contravention of the moral law—which is to say, more or less inauthentically, simply unsuccessfully, or downright wickedly. No matter how we do it, however, whether for better or for worse, and whether authentically or inauthentically, nevertheless our lives not only have causal efficacy, but also have inherent value and inherent meaning.

You may seriously doubt the truth of this last claim. But now ask yourself just precisely what it is that you are doing when you seriously doubt that your own life has inherent value and inherent meaning, and you begin to think of yourself as, and to feel like, nothing but a biochemical puppet or a moist robot. If I am correct, then only a minded animal with an inherently meaningful life could come to believe deep in its heart, tragically, that its own life is valueless and meaningless. Only a non-automaton could ever seriously imagine that it is nothing but a natural automaton and therefore that its own life is absurd—only a non-automaton could ever have a genuine “existential crisis.”[xix] I will have much, much more to say about these and other dramatically life-changing and life-informing choices, actions, and emotions in chapter 3 below, in Kantian Ethics and Human Existence, and in Kant, Agnosticism, and Anarchism.

NOTES

[i] See, e.g.,  J. Campbell, M. O’Rourke, and D. Shier (eds)., Freedom and Determinism (Cambridge: MIT Press,  2004); J. Fischer, R. Kane, D. Pereboom, and M. Vargas, Four Views on Free Will (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007); R. Kane, A Contemporary Introduction to Free Will (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2005); Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will; and Watson (ed)., Free Will.

[ii] See, e.g., C. Hoefer, “Causal Determinism,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2016 Edition), E.N. Zalta (ed.), available online at URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2016/entries/determinism-causal/>; M. McKenna and J. Coates, “Compatibilism,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2015 Edition), E.N. Zalta (ed.), available online at URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2015/entries/compatibilism/>.

[iii] See, e.g., R. Clarke and J. Capes, “Incompatibilist (Nondeterministic) Theories of Free Will,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2015 Edition), E. N. Zalta (ed.), available online at URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2015/entries/incompatibilism-theories/>; and K. Vihvelin, “Arguments for Incompatibilism,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2015 Edition), E.N. Zalta (ed.), available online at URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2015/entries/incompatibilism-arguments/>.

[iv] This is a highly-compressed version of what are now called “manipulation arguments” for (source-) incompatibilism, following Derk Pereboom’s fully-fleshed out classical “4-case” version in Living without Free Will (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2001). But see also the post-classical, revised, and weakened version in D. Pereboom, Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2014).

[v] See W. Sellars, “Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man, ” in W. Sellars, Science, Perception, and Reality (New York: Humanities Press, 1963), pp. 1-40.

[vi] For the distinction between formal mechanism and causal-nomological mechanism, see R. Hanna, “Kant’s Anti-Mechanism and Kantian Anti-Mechanism,” Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Science 45 (2014), available online at URL = <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1369848614000107>. Gödel’s incompletenesss theorems show that the thesis of universal formal mechanism does not work in mathematics or logic; see. e.g., G. Boolos and R. Jeffrey, Computability and Logic (3rd edn.; Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1989). Everyone accepts this. Nevertheless, the extension of Gödel’s results to the thesis of universal causal-nomological mechanism in nature—which I will call the thesis of “natural mechanism”—is controversial. See, e.g., J.R. Lucas, “Minds, Machines, and Gödel,” Philosophy 36 (1961): 112-127; J.R. Lucas, The Freedom of the Will (Oxford: Clarendon/Oxford Univ. Press, (Oxford: Clarendon/Oxford Univ. Press, 1970), chs. 24-30; and R. Penrose, The Emperor’s New Mind (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1990). I’m broadly sympathetic to the Lucas-Penrose project: but I don’t think that Gödel’s results on their own are sufficient to refute natural mechanism. In fact, what’s fully necessary and sufficient for the refutation of natural mechanism are the four basic elements of the following philosophical package: (1) Gödel-incompleteness PLUS (2) non-equilibrium complex systems thermodynamics PLUS (3) the immanent structuralist metaphysics of the mind-body relation and intentional action that Maiese and I developed in Embodied Minds in Action PLUS (4) the theory of non-conceptual content a priori knowledge that I developed in Cognition, Content, and the A Priori. See also chapter 2 below.

[vii] See also Hanna and Maiese, Embodied Minds In Action, section 7.3.

[viii] See also Hanna, Kant, Science, and Human Nature, section 8.3.

[ix] See, e.g., F. Varela, Principles of Biological Autonomy (New York: Elsevier/North-Holland, 1979); A. Weber and F. Varela, “Life After Kant: Natural Purposes and the Autopoietic Foundations of Biological Individuality,” Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 1 (2002): 97-125; and E. Thompson, Mind in Life (Cambridge: Harvard Univ. Press, 2007). Kant, Varela, and Thompson tend to identify self-organizing systems with biological systems. But while I fully agree that biological systems are indeed preeminent examples of self-organization, it is metaphysically important to recognize that self-organization in physical nature extends more widely than organismic activity, and can be found, e.g., in quantum entanglement and other quantum effects, in irreversible chemical processes like boiling water, not to mention macroscopically, in weather systems, traffic jams, etc., etc. In short, the metaphysical foundations of natural purposiveness and natural teleology can also be recognized in physics and chemistry, not only in biology.

[x] See, e.g., Prigogine, The End of Certainty.

[xi] See Hanna, Kant, Science, and Human Nature, chs. 3, 4, and 8; and also Hanna and Maiese, Embodied Minds in Action, chs. 6, 7, and 8.

[xii] See, e.g., E. Sosa and M. Tooley, M. (eds.), Causation (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 1993); and also J., Schaffer, D. Lewis, N. Hall, J. Collins, L. Paul, “Special Issue: Causation,” Journal of Philosophy 97 (2000): 165-256.

[xiii]  More precisely,

CCP : Necessarily, all caused physical events have only event-causes that are consistent with all the  deterministic or indeterministic general causal laws of nature, especially including the Conservation Laws, together with all the settled quantity-of-matter-and/or energy facts about the past, especially including The Big Bang.

So understood, CCP rules out any supernatural causes, and it also tells us what a thing’s physicality is: having efficacious causal powers that are consistent with all the deterministic or indeterministic general causal laws of nature, especially including the Conservation Laws, together with all the settled quantity-of-matter-and/or energy facts about the past, especially including The Big Bang. CPP in this disambiguated and “precisified” sense fully allows for what Maiese and I in Embodied Minds in Action, chs. 6-7 call “jointly sufficient causes,” i.e., essentially mental-and-physical causes that are complex singular event-causes exemplifying “dynamically emergent” biological properties and mental properties that involve “property-fusion” between fundamental mental properties and fundamental physical properties. The more precise contruals of CCP and dynamic emergence in the present book are principally due to the important arguments and insights of Tim Dolch’s PhD dissertation, “An Interpretation and Defense of the Causal Closure of the Physical.”

[xiv] See, e.g., Sellars, “Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man,” pp. 39-40.

[xv] Strictly speaking, cosmological expansion and thermodynamic entropy aren’t identical, although they do each constitute a temporal arrow pointing in the same direction as our subjective experience of time. See, e.g., S. Hawking, A Brief History of Time (New York: Bantam, 1988), ch. 9. But for my purposes in this book, I’m treating cosmological expansion and entropy as parts of the same overall non-equilibrium, spatiotemporally asymmetric, unidirectional, complex thermodynamic process of the physical universe that began with The Big Bang.

It should also be noted that although The Big Bang belongs to the standard model of contemporary physics, there are also “finite but unbounded” models without real time and without singularities; see, e.g., Hawking, A Brief History of Time, ch. 8. These, in turn, belong to a larger class of deterministic “block universe” models, without real time and its asymmetry; see, e.g., Ismael, How Physics Makes Us Free.

[xvi] See, e.g., D. Ratzsch, J. Koperski, “Teleological Arguments for God’s Existence,” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2015 Edition), E.N. Zalta (ed.), available online at URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2015/entries/teleological-arguments/>.

[xvii] This thesis is what, elsewhere, I call radical agnosticism. See, e.g., R. Hanna, “If God’s Existence is Unprovable, Then is Everything Permitted? Kant, Radical Agnosticism, and Morality,” DIAMETROS 39 (2014): 26-69; and Hanna and Chapman, Kant, Agnosticism, and Anarchism.

[xviii] See,e.g., R. Hanna, “Kant, Natural Piety, and the Limits of Science” (Unpublished MS, Fall 2015 version), available online at URL = <https://www.academia.edu/17038961/Kant_Natural_Piety_and_the_Limits_of_Science_Fall_2015_version_comments_welcomed_>; and R. Hanna, “Kant, Scientific Pietism, and Scientific Naturalism” (Unpublished MS, Fall 2015 version), available online at URL = <https://www.academia.edu/18030039/Kant_Scientific_Pietism_and_Scientific_Naturalism_Fall_2015_version_comments_welcomed_>.

[xix] Indeed, that’s precisely why Marvin the Paranoid Android in Douglas Adams’s classic pythonesque science fiction saga, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, is such an amusing character. See, e.g., Wikipedia, “Marvin the Paranoid Android,” available online at URL = <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvin_the_Paranoid_Android>.

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