Science & Philosophy

Is there such a thing as 'absolute truth' ? What is 'truth' anyway? Science and philosophy both attempt to address these questions: science through the processes of observation,hypothesising, experimental testing, and peer review (and a fair amount of intuition!), and philosophy through the clear enunciation of axioms and assumptions and strict logical reasoning. The body of rational knowledge thus obtained, both science and philosophy insist, must be evidence-based and consistent, i.e. contain no self-contradictory elements.

Pragmatically there is always the need for the assessment of the accuracy of information and the 'truth' of the beliefs and ideologies that pour into our minds from politicians, the media and a host of profit driven organisations. Critical thinking is not common. It is demanding and many of us feel we have neither the time nor the inclination to engage in it. Consequently we are content to accept uncritically what we are told by various 'authorities'. Critical thinking means being especially critical of our own thinking and, unless we believe we are flawless at this, this should lead to a measure of humility and a generous open mind. These two virtues, i.e. critical thinking and open-mindedness, are not contradictory but the line between them is razor sharp. But walking that edge will surely lead closer to 'truth'.

Ultimately, this 'knowledge' is purely objective and science cannot answer the question: ' Who is the "subject" - the "knower"? ' Philosophy might help in clarifying any analysis of this deeper question but ultimately the 'truth' must be directly apprehended or 'tasted'. This is spirituality.

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Books & Articles (PDF format)

 

Mysticism and Logic and Other Essays Bertrand Russell

Mysticism and Logic is concerned with different ways of knowing, the ultimate nature of matter and the particular problems of philosophy. They reveal one of Russell's lifelong preoccupations: the disentanglement of what is subjective or intellectually cloudy from what is objective or capable of logical demonstration ...The New Statesman.

 

 

 

 
The World As I See It Albert Einstein

This book does not represent a complete collection of the articles, addresses, and pronouncements of Albert Einstein; it is a selection made with a definite object - namely, to give a picture of a man. To-day this man is being drawn, contrary to his own intention, into the whirlpool of political passions and contemporary history. As a result, Einstein is experiencing the fate that so many of the great men of history experienced: his character and opinions are being exhibited to the world in an utterly distorted form.

 

 

 
 

Embodied Artificial Intelligence Ron Christley

An analysis of the concept of embodiment in Artificial Intelligence. Must this be 'biological' or will any kind of substrate suffice?

 

 

 

 

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid Douglas R. Hofstadter

Linking the music of J. S. Bach, the graphic art of Escher and the mathematical theorems of Gödel, as well as ideas drawn from logic, biology, psychology, physics and linguistics, Douglas Hofstadter illuminates one of the greater mysteries of modern science: the nature of human thought processes. (from the book-cover)

 

 

 

 

   

Tractatus Logico Philosophicus Ludwig Wittgenstein

Wittgenstein's seminal work which attempted to 'map' the logical structure of language onto the logical structure of the world.

 

 

 

 

 

Nonduality - A Scientific Perspective Nonduality.com

The anonymous author of this e-book brings together nondualistic philosophy, quantum field theory, relativity, thermodynamics and complexity theory to provide a scientific basis for a contemporary spiritual life.

 

 

 

 
Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything Ervin Laszlo
Mystics and sages have long maintained that there exists an interconnecting cosmic field at the roots of reality that conserves and conveys information, a field known as the Akashic record. Recent discoveries in the new field of vacuum physics now show that this Akashic field is real and has its equivalent in the zero-point field that underlies space itself. This field consists of a subtle sea of fluctuating energies from which all things arise: atoms and galaxies, stars and planets, living beings, and even consciousness. This zero-point Akashic-field--or “A-field”-- is not only the original source of all things that arise in time and space; it is also the constant and enduring memory of the universe. It holds the record of all that ever happened in life, on Earth, and in the cosmos and relates it to all that is yet to happen.

Scientist and philosopher Ervin Laszlo conveys the essential element of this vision of the “informed universe” in language that is accessible and clear. The informed universe lends credence to our deepest intuitions of the oneness of life and the whole of creation. We discover that, as philosopher William James stated, “we are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.

 

 

 

 
Mindful Universe Henry P. Stapp

The classical mechanistic idea of nature that prevailed during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was essentially mindless: the physically described aspects of nature were asserted to be completely determined by prior physically described aspects alone, with conscious experiences entering only passively. In the last century these classical concepts were found inadequate. In the new quantum mechanics theory, conscious experiences enter into the dynamics in specified ways not fixed by physically described aspects alone.

 

 

 
 
Mind Matter & Quantum Mechanics Henry P. Stapp

This volume brings together several works of mine that aim to answer the question: How are conscious processes related to brain processes? My goal differs from that of most other quantum physicists who have written about the mind-brain problem. It is to explain how the content of each conscious thought, as described in psychological terms, is related to corresponding processes occuring in a human brain, as described in the language of contemporary physical science.

From the author's preface

 
The Emerging Physics of Consciousness Jack A. Tuszynski (Ed.)

...there are some deficiencies in defining higher-order consciousness in strict terms of classic physics. We favor a proposal that considers some aspects of quantum-mechanical operations among molecules involved with neurotransmission and mechanical transport of synaptic proteins...We discuss the potential problems of quantum computing, such as decoherence, and also present counterarguments, as well as recent empirical results consistent with the notion that quantum computing in the interiors of neurons, in particular, within the interiors of dendrites may indeed be possible. ( From the summary in Ch. 1)

 

Links

The Richard Dawkins Foundation MISSION: Support the scientific education, critical thinking and evidence-based understanding of the natural world in the quest to overcome religious fundamentalism, superstition, intolerance and human suffering.

Henry P Stapp: Scientific Papers Free download of Henry P Stapp's scientific papers and other communications on Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness

Edge Edge Foundation, Inc., was established in 1988 as an outgrowth of a group known as The Reality Club. Its informal membership includes of some of the most interesting minds in the world...The mandate of Edge Foundation is to promote inquiry into and discussion of intellectual, philosophical, artistic, and literary issues, as well as to work for the intellectual and social achievement of society.

Philosophy Talk Philosophy Talk is a weekly, one-hour radio series produced by Ben Manilla. The hosts' down-to-earth and no-nonsense approach brings the richness of philosophic thought to everyday subjects.

Philosophy Online Philosophy Online is the work of Gareth Southwell, a philosopher, writer, and freelance illustrator...the site will provide an accessible introduction for anyone looking for a no-nonsense guide to the subject.

The Human Consciousness Project The Human Consciousness Project is an international consortium of multidisciplinary scientists and physicians who have joined forces to research the nature of consciousness and its relationship with the brain, as well as the neuronal processes that mediate and correspond to different facets of consciousness. The Human Consciousness Project will conduct the world’s first large-scale scientific study of what happens when we die and the relationship between mind and brain during clinical death. The diverse expertise of the team ranges from cardiac arrest, near-death experiences, and neuroscience to neuroimaging, critical care, emergency medicine, immunology, molecular biology, mental health, and psychiatry. (from website)

A Quantum View of the World. A short video with parapsychologist Dean Radin