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Thursday, September 14, 2017

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Dear BV,

do you think pre-modern conceptions of matter might give us a clue as to how we might possibly conceive of matter as having 'occult powers'? I am thinking specifically of the notion of natural teleology. If teleology were a real and natural part of the world, then at the very least might this give us some sense of how to account for intentionality, or the directedness or aboutness, of the mental? Also, if I recall correctly there was a time prior to the modern period when philosophers did not make the distinction between primary and secondary qualities- things like smell, taste, and feel were in things themselves just as much as they are in us- but I'm not sure about this one.

Dispositionality might be an analog of intentionality below the level of mind. See here: http://maverickphilosopher.typepad.com/maverick_philosopher/2009/12/intentionality-potentiality-and-dispositionality-some-points-of-analogy.html

But if what mean mean by 'matter' is what current physics says about matter, then there is no room for natural teleology.

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