By C. H. Whiteley
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Extra resources for An Introduction to Metaphysics
Artificially compounds which But on must therefore suppose that the production of the first living things took place under highly unusual circumstances perhaps entirely unique circumstances, for there is no good bodies. We evidence for the existence of life anywhere else in the universe except on the earth. " 22. CRITICISM OF THIS ARGUMENT I must now try to assess the force of this line of argument. seems to me to work very strongly against Radical Dualism, the kind of theory which asserts an absolute discrepancy between Nature and Mind, and supposes a sudden irruption of an alien influence into the material world.
The development continues into old age. Then we find that the brainsubstance is no longer able to form new connexions of nerves and at the same time we find that the mind is no longer able ; ; to acquire fresh knowledge and skill. Insanity and feeblemindedness are often found to accompany abnormalities in the structure and the electrical rhythms of the brain. The brain does not work by itself, in spontaneous independence of its material environment. good whiff of chloroform will forthwith put a stop, not merely to the more advanced mental processes, but to all consciousness whatever.
Claim to know that my act of will immediately or by itself caused the movement of my leg, my claim cannot be admitted. Indeed, if I did know directly what sort of voluntary effort produced what sort of result, I should be freed from the necessity of learning to walk, to talk, to play the fiddle, to drive a car, etc. When we examine our experience in learning these and similar skills, we find that our procedure is pretty much the same as when we are learning about causal we make an effort, and then examine processes in other things what has happened in order to find out precisely what we have been doing ; and we cannot unerringly distinguish the effects of our own actions from those of other causes which interfere with us, until we have had a good deal of experience of the particular kind of activity in question.
An Introduction to Metaphysics by C. H. Whiteley