Here’s a recent comment posted to the New York Times about a book describing Experimental Philosophy.
Carving out a niche for Philosophy has increasingly become an intellectual challenge. Congratulations to the pioneers in Experimental Philosophy…their lot is not an easy one.
The problem of ‘free will’ and ‘determinism’ is clouded by advances in Cosmology and Genetics, I suggest. Physical analysis of the Cosmos indicates that everything, including us, is energy. All energy is code. All energy is probably electromagnetism (electron-based). All energy is perpetually transforming and recycling. Therefore, the Cosmos is in a perpetual state of self-recycling. In this regard, the Cosmos IS the only deity (the Vedas made this assessment 5,000 years ago).
All energy is either “fast energy” or “slow energy.” X-rays, cosmic rays, gamma rays and sunlight are “fast energy.” Energy at less than light speed is “slow energy” and that includes us. Fast and slow energy are constantly transforming into each other.
As all energy and everything is code, the Cosmos and everything in it is “alive” and “intelligent,” to one degree or another.
If it’s all “Code” (including us) then the big cosmic picture has a “predetermined” tint to it. Increasingly, this is evident in genetic research, especially the Genome Project of the last 20 years.
The revelation that rice grass has twice as much intelligence (genes) as people, gives philosophers pause to wonder. As the Genome Project advances, it reveals that much of what we assumed was “free will” is, in fact, genetically determined. This includes human emotions and the “moral imperative.”
Marx said that we are “free” in terms of our daily and immediate actions; but, in the long-term it’s all predetermined.
We are just beginning to understand the genetic basis of human intelligence and the path leads back through the evolution of all stuff and to the star-dust. Just consider that half of human genes are the same as in bacteria.
There’s an old Unitarian hymn with the phrase: “Our bones link stones to stars.”
For a more comprehensive take on the experimental philosophy of the family see the book: “Cinderella’s Housework: Families in Crisis, Households at the Edge of Chaos!” By Paul Meinhardt, available as soon as I get an agent/publisher; contact email@example.com