A COMMON SENSE critic of scientific pretensions, who has wit and sanity united to an elevated moral intelligence, is refreshing to the soul.
Such is Mary Midgley, dubbed by the Guardian, January 13, 1971, “the most frightening philosopher in the country”—today, at age 89, she is still receiving accolades, and still taking no prisoners.
Mrs. Midgley, with Blavatskian flair, hits the bulls eye:-
“…the real trouble with the mind-body problem centres on the word ‘materialism.’ This word is itself a relic of dualism: it suggests that there are two rival stuffs—mind and matter—competing to be seen as basic to the world.”
“It tells us to choose one of these and reduce the other to it.”
“When Einstein has just solved a difficult problem, his reasoning cannot be explained by giving even the most accurate account of the actions of his neurons.”
“To suggest that their actions were its real cause would mean that they did the work on their own and told him about it afterwards.”
“Unluckily, many scientists seem to regard materialism as a sacred ideal which tells us always to find a more ‘real’ physical cause behind our thoughts.
But actually our thoughts are quite as real as our coffee cups, and ‘matter’ is every
bit as obscure a concept as ‘mind.’”
Not the Sum of Parts
The activities of thinking, Helena Blavatsky also concluded, “cannot be explained as the simple resultant of the cerebral physiological processes,” which:-
“only condition them or give them a final form, for purposes of concrete manifestation.” (Does Mind Over Matter?)
The most that one can honestly conclude is that neuronal excitation is the effect of causes which remain unknown.
Watch Video: Patterns of Thought