Mind and Cosmos

  • by Thomas Nagel
  • Narrated by Brian Troxell
  • 3 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The modern materialist approach to life has conspicuously failed to explain such central mind-related features of our world as consciousness, intentionality, meaning, and value. This failure to account for something so integral to nature as mind, argues philosopher Thomas Nagel, is a major problem, threatening to unravel the entire naturalistic world picture, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology.
Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history, either. An adequate conception of nature would have to explain the appearance in the universe of materially irreducible conscious minds, as such. Nagel's skepticism is not based on religious belief or on a belief in any definite alternative.
In Mind and Cosmos, he does suggest that if the materialist account is wrong, then principles of a different kind may also be at work in the history of nature, principles of the growth of order that are in their logical form teleological rather than mechanistic. In spite of the great achievements of the physical sciences, reductive materialism is a world view ripe for displacement. Nagel shows that to recognize its limits is the first step in looking for alternatives, or at least in being open to their possibility.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


The somewhat shallow musings of a bloke, the kind of things you think of in the shower. The narrator is not quite so relaxed and goes at it like an actor auditioning for the role of Obstreperous Professor.
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- Si

Garbage sound quality from audible again

Would you try another book written by Thomas Nagel or narrated by Brian Troxell?

The sound quality for most audible books is sub-par, but here it is abysmal - unlistenable. It's beyond absurd that, after all this time, audible sound is noticeably below that of cd-quality, but then why innovate or even make an effort when you're a lazy monopoly protected by amazon?

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- s l bassett

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-02-2014
  • Publisher: Audible Studios