On 10/5/2012 2:22 PM, Richard Ruquist wrote:
Deacon's 600 page book
flushes out the philosophical outlines of Nagel's much shorter book

I found a fairly complete summary of Deacon's book on how life emerges
from non-living matter. (Actually Deacon just presents a teleological
systems analysis of how that could happen). But regarding a
dual-aspect theory, here is a relevant paragraph from that summary

"The Cartesian dualism that Deacon criticizes is substance dualism,
the notion that there are two kinds of substance of which the world is
constructed, namely physical substance (res extensa) and mental
substance (res cogitans), the latter of which in Descartes systems
includes God and soul. Deacon’s system is actually one of property
dualism in which there is just one kind of substance but there exist
two distinct kinds of properties, physical and biological the latter
of which also includes sentience and mind or in Deacon’s terminology
physical and ententional. Physical properties are described by
thermodynamics and morphodynamics whereas ententional properties are
described by teleodynamics, which in turn depend on morphodynamics and

Deacon's one kind of substance is physical substance. But it seems
that such a systems approach may be of value no matter (pun) what the
substance is or even if there is more than one kind of substance.
Deacon presents mechanisms that could be a guide for emergent
processes in living systems that could apply to physical matter or
even to monads or mind structures from numbers.

Hi Richard,

Nice post! I would only add that the emergence must not be a "special singular" event, it must be an ubiquitous process!



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