Syphax: “Aristotle’s Revenge” is the name of the last chapter in Edward Feser’s book The Last Superstition. I selected it based on my belief that science should move back to a generally Aristotelian view of nature rather than the modern mechanistic conception of materialism that is currently in fashion. But I’m getting ahead of myself – I am not a philosopher by any means. I am, however, a graduate student in experimental psychology, and therefore I do feel that I have a stake in the debates that go on in the philosophy of mind and metaphysics. After a time feeling very frustrated trying to shoe-horn mental concepts into a materialist framework (the framework that is generally assumed by experimental psychology as a whole), I explored several different metaphysical systems that could resolve some of that frustration. The one that seemed to resolve the tension for me the most was hylemorphic dualism, a combination of Aristotelian metaphysics and philosophy of mind, which I learned about through reading Edward Feser and David Oderberg.
Though I am not skilled in making logical arguments, and therefore I wouldn’t argue myself that materialism should be overthrown in experimental psychology and neuroscience in favor of hylemorphic dualism, I would argue that these fields should at least be more modest in their positive claims about things like the soul, and strongly consider other metaphysical systems rather than materialism. In fact, I would argue that in some ways experimental psychology only plays lip-service to materialism anyway, since it is permeated with mental models and theories that require teleology or intentionality to work.
The purpose of this blog, therefore, is to explore the area between experimental psychology and metaphysics as I continue to use both in my research. As I said before, I am a complete philosophical simpleton, and therefore I will provide references to real philosophers whenever possible. I also encourage respectful commenting (I reserve the right to delete any post at any time for any reason, though I will restrict my deletions to abusive comments) and for smarter people than me to correct me whenever I get something wrong.
For questions, comments, or concerns, email Syphax at valueofsaintliness at gmail dot com, or use this handy form: