Thursday, October 30, 2008

Did Russell plus Whitehead make a pair a docs?

Someone actually read the comments previously posted and inquired as to whether any writer of note (or any writer at all) had ever said anything that could even remotely trigger such speculative mumbo jumbo. So my reply was somewhat as follows:

I presume (that) you are aware of the writings of Alfred North Whitehead, scientist, mathematician and philosopher. I’m informed that the evolutionary history of life suggested to Whitehead that there is an ever present urge which can be interpreted as purposive. It can be seen as an aim to greater richness of experience or “higher modes of subjective satisfaction.” This doesn’t mean every step in evolution involved an increase in richness of experience of the entity being evolved. It does infer that from the foundations of the universe there was the possibility (not the inevitability) of all sorts of experience, including self-conscious experience that we know in ourselves. Whitehead comments that "Scientists animated by the purpose of proving that they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study."

Actually I hadn't known until I looked it up that Whitehead had said anything remotely relevant to my musings here, but it's nice to feel I'm not as far out as others might have somewhat accurately assumed.

Although I mentioned Russell in the heading for no particular reason.