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All the Power in the World - Peter Unger

All the Power in the World

Paperback

Published: 1st December 2007
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This bold and original work of philosophy presents an exciting new picture of concrete reality. Peter Unger provocatively breaks with what he terms the conservatism of present-day philosophy, and returns to central themes from Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Russell. Wiping the slate clean, Unger works, from the ground up, to formulate a new metaphysic capable of accommodating our distinctly human perspective. He proposes a world with inherently powerful particulars of two basic sorts: one mental but not physical, the other physical but not mental.
Whether of one sort or the other, each individual possesses powers for determining his or her own course, as well as powers for interaction with other individuals. It is only a purely mental particular--an immaterial soul, like yourself--that is ever fit for real choosing, or for conscious experiencing. Rigorously reasoning that the only satisfactory metaphysic is one that situates the physical alongside the non-physical, Unger carefully explains the genesis of, and continual interaction of, the two sides of our deeply dualistic world.
Written in an accessible and entertaining style, while advancing philosophical scholarship, All the Power in the World takes readers on a philosophical journey into the nature of reality. In this riveting intellectual adventure, Unger reveals the need for an entirely novel approach to the nature of physical reality--and shows how this approach can lead to wholly unexpected possibilities, including disembodied human existence for billions of years. All the Power in the World returns philosophy to its most ambitious roots in its fearless attempt to answer profoundly difficult human questions about ourselves and our world.

"Unger has always been a very original and independent philosopher, never swayed excessively by fashion. One of the two main themes of All the Power in the World is a defense of the dualist view that mental substances or individuals are wholly non-physical, and have the power to make things happen in the physical world. For example, we have the power to act freely, and the evident exercise of this power is incompatible with physicalism.... This argument is familiar, of course, though Unger's own version of it is characteristically inventive. Less familiar are Unger's ingenious arguments for dualism later in the book, based on 'the problem of the many' for which Unger is well known.... In a fascinating discussion... Unger draws the conclusion that he is not a physical thing: dualism is true and physicalism is false."--Tim Crane, Times Literary Supplement "All the Power in the World brims with imaginative and engaging ideas on matters of basic metaphysics.... it is worth the careful attention of all with a taste for grand metaphysics."--Timothy O'Connor, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews "Every page of All the Power in the World will provide seasoned philosophers, particularly those working in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind, with much to think about. To the extent that Unger set out to write a book that is supremely thought provoking, he has succeeded in spades."--John Heil, Nous "Every page of All the Power in the World will provide seasoned philosophers, particularly those working in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind, with much to think about. To the extent that Unger set out to write a book that is supremely thought provoking, he has succeeded in spades."--John Heil, Nous "All the Power in the World brims with imaginative and engaging ideas on matters of basic metaphysics.... it is worth the careful attention of all with a taste for grand metaphysics."--Timothy O'Connor, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews "Unger has always been a very original and independent philosopher, never swayed excessively by fashion. One of the two main themes of All the Power in the World is a defense of the dualist view that mental substances or individuals are wholly non-physical, and have the power to make things happen in the physical world. For example, we have the power to act freely, and the evident exercise of this power is incompatible with physicalism.... This argument is familiar, of course, though Unger's own version of it is characteristically inventive. Less familiar are Unger's ingenious arguments for dualism later in the book, based on 'the problem of the many' for which Unger is well known.... In a fascinating discussion... Unger draws the conclusion that he is not a physical thing: dualism is true and physicalism is false."--Tim Crane, Times Literary Supplement

1. The Mystery of the Physical 1: A Brief Exposition of the Scientiphical Metaphysic 2: Three Kinds of Basic Property and the Denial of Qualities 3: The Denial of Qualities, Particles in Space and Spaces in a Plenum, etc . 2. A Humanly Realistic Philosophy 1: I Am a Real Thinking Being and You Are Another 2: We Are Differentially Responsive Individuals 3: Against Descartes, We Are Intermittently Conscious Individuals, etc. 3. Demystifying the Physical 1: We Recall the Denial of Quality and the Mystery of the Physical 2: Spatially Extensible Qualities and Intelligible Propensities 3: Spatially Extensible Qualities Are Perfectly Pervasive Properties etc. 4. A Cornucopia of Quality 1: The Qualities Most Available to Me Are My Own When Consciously Experiencing 2: Our Power to Experience Promotes Our Conceiving Concrete Individuals 3: Our Power to Experience Visually Promotes Our Conceiving Concrete Spatial Things, etc. 5. A Plentitude of Power 1: The Idea That All Propensities Concern Something as to Quality 2: Power-directed Powers (Propensities with Respect to Propensities) 3: Power-directed Powers May Distinctively Distinguish among Other Powers, etc. 6. Is Free Will Compatible With Scientiphicalism? 1: A Few Points about Real Choice 2: Free Will and Determinism, Real Choice and Inevitabilism: Not an Urgent Issue 3: A Widely Disturbing Argument Presents a More Urgent Issue, etc. 7. Why We Really May be Immaterial Souls 1: Recalling the Problem of the Many 2: A Couple of Comments on That Comparatively Uninteresting Problem 3: The Experiential Problem of the Many?, etc. 8. Why We May Become Disembodied But To No Avail 1: Why We May Become Disembodied Souls, with the Deaths of Our Brains and Bodies 2: Even While You May Be an Immaterial Soul, Are You really an Existential OTHERON? 3Immaterial OTHERONS Are Just as Problematic as Material OTHERONS, etc. 9. The Problem Of Our Unconscious Quality 1: Physical Objects Aptly Qualitied, Experiencers Differently Qualified Just as Aptly 2: Every Individual Is Qualitied, Including You and Me 3: We Reconsider the Problem of Our Unconscious Quality, etc. 10. How Rich Is Concrete Reality? 1: Sameness and Difference of Concrete Individuals 2: Conceiving Nonspatial Simultaneous Souls, Always Precisely Alike 3: Berkeleyan Idealism: Even If Just Modestly Grasped, It Might Be True, etc. Bibliography Index

ISBN: 9780195339345
ISBN-10: 0195339347
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 670
Published: 1st December 2007
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.8  x 4.0
Weight (kg): 0.95