If a pop playwright does see that, things are surely changing, big time.
In his new play, The Hard Problem, British playwright Tom Stoppard, writer for Shakespeare in Love proposes the following plot:
Above all don’t use the word good as though it meant something in evolutionary science.
Hilary, a young psychology researcher at a brain-science institute, is nursing a private sorrow and a troubling question at work, where psychology and biology meet. If there is nothing but matter, what is consciousness?
This is ‘the hard problem’ which puts Hilary at odds with her colleagues who include her first mentor Spike, her boss Leo and the billionaire founder of the institute, Jerry.
Is the day coming when the computer and the fMRI scanner will answer all the questions psychology can ask?
Meanwhile Hilary needs a miracle, and she is prepared to pray for one.
Apparently, she discovers that Darwinism is just wrong-o. (We could have saved her the tuition.)
A reader asked if Stoppard should be compared with philosopher Thomas Nagel, someone who has started to get the problem with Darwinian naturalism, if we go by Mind & Cosmos. We are told that the ending implies that non-naturalism might have some answers. Which means that Stoppard is a Bad Person, right?
Perhaps for this reason, the The Guardian review informs us: “Often taxed with being too intellectual as a playwright, he is here not intellectually stringent enough.”
And New Scientist primly announces,
Similarly, the New Scientist writes: “what was irritating about The Hard Problem was the weight it gave to the hard problem” and “there is more than a whiff of anti-science here, since it argues that we will never be able to explain the conscious experience.
This from people who buy into just about any flim flam going.
It must have taken a lot of courage for him to do this. Or else recognition of who he is dealing with on either side. He can be with the mind or with the Darwin lobby.
Tom Stoppard quotes
Note: We are also told by some that the best line in the interview below is, “If it’s all physics, then we are just marking our own homework.”
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