Life and Mind: A Philosophical Quest
Author: Jürgen Lawrenz
Date Of Publication: Oct 2012
In this bold, provocative account, the author argues that the phenomena of life and mind elude purely materialistic explanations. Living matter occupies a unique phase of existence which results from the complex transformation of its biochemical synergies. Analogous phase changes account for mind and self-reflexive consciousness. A central role in the living state is played by intelligence, which has not been recognised as a non-negotiable precondition of organic existence. Yet the concept of evolutionary adaptivity relies tacitly on it. Thus the book amounts to a serious challenge to the overly theoretical paradigmata of the last half-century with their timorous evasion of biological fundamentals. However, although the work relies on up-to-date research of the life sciences, it is a primarily philosophical enquiry, dealing head on with many unsolved problems of life and mind, and culminating in a detailed “ontological proof” of the mind system.
Jürgen Lawrenz was born and educated in Germany, but lives in Sydney, Australia. He gained his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Sydney, where he also lectured on 17th century philosophy and aesthetics. His books, Leibniz: The Nature of Reality and the Reality of Nature and Art and the Platonic Matrix are also published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
“In this compelling and persuasive book, Lawrenz reasons that life originated through a ‘homeodynamic phase change’. The laws of physics are not contravened by living matter; but in attaining this phase an inherent potential for intentionality is actualised, which physics cannot account for. The second part of the book argues that brain contains the ‘potential’ for mind, thanks to an analogous phase change. Lawrenz thus evades the trap of Cartesian dualism and exposes most accounts of mind as misguided or vacuous. There’s a lot here that I’d happily quote in my own attempts to contribute to the literature!”
– Paul S. Agutter, Director, Theoretical Medicine and Biology Group, Glossop, UK; Editor-in-Chief of Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling; Author of About Life and Thinking About Life
“I read [the account] with great interest. It is very well written and will be a useful contribution to the discourse on the foundational aspects of consciousness. I agree with many of his statements; [i.e.] where things involve quantum excitations, proto-consciousness may emerge. This is of absolutely critical importance because in quantum physics there is no precedent for the living state in biological matter and all our sophisticated pronouncements of its impossibility based on thermal decoherence, etc. are simply irrelevant.”
– Jack Tuszynski, Professor of Physics at the University of Alberta, and the Division of Experimental Oncology, Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton, Alberta
Price Uk Gbp: 54.99
Price Us Usd: 82.99
Sample pdf (including Table of Contents)