THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE FUTURE, #13–Sensible Science 2: Natural Science Without Materialism/Physicalism.

Mr Nemo
5 min readMar 7, 2022

By Robert Hanna

“FUTUREWORLD,” by A. Lee/Unsplash

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This book, THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE FUTURE: Uniscience and the Modern World, by Robert Hanna, presents and defends a critical philosophy of science and digital technology, and a new and prescient philosophy of nature and human thinking.

It is being made available here in serial format, but you can also download and read or share a .pdf of the complete text of THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE FUTURE HERE.

This thirteenth installment contains section 1.8.

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We know the truth not only through our reason but also through our heart. It is through the latter that we know first principles, and reason, which has nothing to do with it, tries in vain to refute them. (Pascal, 1995: #110, p. 28)

If there is any science humankind really needs, it is the one I teach, of how to occupy properly that place in [the world] that is assigned to humankind, and how to learn from it what one must be in order to be human. (Rem 20: 45)

Natural science will one day incorporate the science of humankind, just as the science of humankind will incorporate natural science; there will be a single science. (Marx, 1964: p. 70, translation modified slightly)

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

A NOTE ON REFERENCES TO KANT’S WORKS

PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

0. Introduction: Science, The Four Horsemen of The New Apocalypse, and The Uniscience

0.0 How Uncritical and Unreformed Science Is Literally Killing The Modern World

0.1 My Aim In This Book

0.2 The Uniscience and Pascal’s Dictum

Chapter 1. Natural Piety: A Kantian Critique of Science

1.0 Kantian Heavy-Duty Enlightenment and The Uniscience

1.1 Kant’s Neo-Aristotelian Natural Power Grid

1.2 Kant, Natural Piety, and The Limits of Science

1.3 From Kant’s Anti-Mechanism to Kantian Anti-Mechanism

1.4 In Defense of Natural Piety

1.5 Scientific Pietism and Scientific Naturalism

1.6 How to Ground Natural Science on Sensibility

1.7 Sensible Science 1: Natural Science Without Natural Mechanism

1.8 Sensible Science 2: Natural Science Without Materialism/Physicalism

Chapter 2. This is The Way The Worlds Ends: A Philosophy of Civilization Since 1900, The Rise of Mechanism, and The Emergence of Neo-Organicism

Chapter 3. Thought-Shapers

Chapter 4. How To Complete Physics

Chapter 5. Digital Technology Only Within The Limits of Human Dignity

00. Conclusion: The Point Is To Shape The World

APPENDICES

Appendix 1: A Note on The Löwenheim-Skolem Theorem, “Skolem’s Paradox,” and Neo-Organicism

Appendix 2: A Neo-Organicist Approach to The Nature of Motion

Appendix 3: Sensible Set Theory

Appendix 4: Neo-Organicism and The Rubber Sheet Cosmos

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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1.8 Sensible Science 2: Natural Science Without Materialism/Physicalism

If transcendental idealism for sensibility is true, then it not only vindicates mathematics and natural science, but also entails the denial of ontological and explanatory materialism/physicalism, in two ways.

First, the vindication of mathematics, alone, is sufficient for the denial of reductive materialism/physicalism. As against Mill, arithmetic is a priori, not empirical; as against Frege, arithmetic is synthetic a priori, not analytic; and natural science presupposes arithmetic. Hence natural science presupposes the synthetic a priori, and is grounded on pure sensibility and its forms of intuition, the a priori intuitional representation of time and the a priori intuitional representation of space. But pure sensibility is neither reducible to the physical facts, because it is a priori, nor is it necessarily determined by or naturally/nomologically strongly supervenient[i] on the physical facts. For example, there is no nomologically determined causal pairing relation based on physical facts that discriminates between the actual world effect E of a physical cause, and its mirror-reflected counterpart, or enantiomorph, E*.[ii] As Kant’s “Directions in Space,” Inaugural Dissertation, and the Transcendental Aesthetic collectively show, the non-physical a priori intuitional representation of space is required for recognizing the difference between incongruent counterparts.

Second, even a priori logical knowledge necessarily involves pure sensibility via the schematizing imagination and its cognitive phenomenology; and natural science presupposes pure general logic; but a priori knowledge of pure general logic is neither reducible to the physical facts, nor is it necessarily determined by or naturally/nomologically strongly supervenient on the physical facts. For example, there is no nomologically determined relation based on physical facts that discriminates between

proposition (i): (P&Q)

and its De Morgan equivalent,

proposition (ii): ~(~Pv~Q)

But propositions (i) and (ii) are distinct propositions, because a priori knowledge that (P&Q) logically entails P is not the same as a priori knowledge that ~(~Pv~Q) logically entails P, for a rational subject S who has not learned the De Morgan Equivalences yet. For, when S learns the latter proposition, this knowledge is recorded by S as new a priori information. Therefore, in nomologically identical worlds, all the physical facts can exactly remain the same while proposition (i) is replaced by proposition (ii), or conversely, and thus the propositional difference between those worlds does not nomologically supervene on the physical.

So transcendental idealism for sensibility entails the denial of both reductive and non-reductive materialism/physicalism alike.

NOTES

[i] For explicit definitions of logical and natural/nomological strong supervenience, see sub-sub-section 2.4.2.4 below.

[ii] Mutatis mutandis, the very same point about the nomological underdetermination of the causal pairing relation across enantiomorphs holds for the famous or notorious predictive indeterminism regarding the two possible paths of a single particle in The Two Slit Experiment, since the two slits are enantiomorphs. Indeed, what predictive indeterminism in The Two Slit Experiment shows is not the inherently indeterministic nature of the microphysical world, but instead the physico-mechanical incompleteness of quantum mechanics as per the Standard Model of particle physics :see section 4.3 below.

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Mr Nemo

Formerly Captain Nemo. A not-so-very-angry, but still unemployed, full-time philosopher-nobody.