One thought on “David Papineau Live!

  1. Papineau’s (fundamental) physicalism (and hence his causal closure) is clearly based on a touching faith in the truth of quantum mechanical science. There is no hint in his confidence that he is aware of the dozen or so interpretations.
    I thought you were absolutely on point when you suggested that in the absence of any mechanism for collapse of the wave function, there is room for mind to have an input – isn’t that implicit in the Copenhagen Interpretation?
    Three points:
    1) The whole notion that nature includes both determined and random outcomes is a kind of dualism. (Einstein insisted that “God does not play dice” and that the universe could not be made of “bits and pieces”.)
    2) The gravitational force is 10^40 times weaker than the electromagnetic force, and cannot be detected in subatomic physics. If there were a similarly weak “psychic” force occasionally tipping the balance of “random” processes, it would surely be undetectable at that level.
    3) It is notorious that at the cosmological scale gravitation is more important than all the other forces. At the macroscopic scale, human agency is extremely important.

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