All the Power in the World

Paperback | February 7, 2008

byPeter Unger

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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 slateclean, 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 consciousexperiencing. 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 ofphysical 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 questionsabout ourselves and our world.

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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 slateclean, Unger works, from the ground up, to formu...

Peter Unger, one of the world's most original and unorthodox philosophers, is a major contributor to metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and philosophy of mind. A native New Yorker, for more than thirty years he has been a Professor of Philosophy at New York University. He is the author of Ignorance (OUP 1975, reissued 2002), Philosoph...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:670 pages, 6.1 × 9.21 × 1.61 inPublished:February 7, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195339347

ISBN - 13:9780195339345

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Table of Contents

1. The Mystery of the Physical1. A Brief Exposition of the Scientiphical Metaphysic2. Three Kinds of Basic Property and the Denial of Qualities3. The Denial of Qualities, Particles in Space and Spaces in a Plenum, etc .2. A Humanly Realistic Philosophy1. I Am a Real Thinking Being and You Are Another2. We Are Differentially Responsive Individuals3. Against Descartes, We Are Intermittently Conscious Individuals, etc.3. Demystifying the Physical1. We Recall the Denial of Quality and the Mystery of the Physical2. Spatially Extensible Qualities and Intelligible Propensities3. Spatially Extensible Qualities Are Perfectly Pervasive Properties etc.4. A Cornucopia of Quality1. The Qualities Most Available to Me Are My Own When Consciously Experiencing2. Our Power to Experience Promotes Our Conceiving Concrete Individuals3. Our Power to Experience Visually Promotes Our Conceiving Concrete Spatial Things, etc.5. A Plentitude of Power1. The Idea That All Propensities Concern Something as to Quality2. 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 Choice2. Free Will and Determinism, Real Choice and Inevitabilism: Not an Urgent Issue3. A Widely Disturbing Argument Presents a More Urgent Issue, etc.7. Why We Really May be Immaterial Souls1. Recalling the Problem of the Many2. A Couple of Comments on That Comparatively Uninteresting Problem3. The Experiential Problem of the Many?, etc.8. Why We May Become Disembodied But To No Avail1. Why We May Become Disembodied Souls, with the Deaths of Our Brains and Bodies2. 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 Quality1. Physical Objects Aptly Qualitied, Experiencers Differently Qualified Just as Aptly2. Every Individual Is Qualitied, Including You and Me3. We Reconsider the Problem of Our Unconscious Quality, etc.10. How Rich Is Concrete Reality?1. Sameness and Difference of Concrete Individuals2. Conceiving Nonspatial Simultaneous Souls, Always Precisely Alike3. Berkeleyan Idealism: Even If Just Modestly Grasped, It Might Be True, etc.BibliographyIndex

Editorial 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 thingshappen 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 ingeniousarguments 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