Bernard Baertschi
University of Geneva
Modern physics was born in the 17th century and modern biology one century later. Immediately, scientifics and philosophers ask themselves what is the relationship between those two sciences and between properties of non-living and living matter. Among those scientifics and philosophers, some think that mental phenomena are of biological nature — they are materialists —, so they encounter a second problem: what is the relationship between properties of non-thinking and thinking living matter? This paper examines the doctrine of three French philosophers of the (post-) Enlightenment on those subjects: Diderot, Cabanis and Lamarck, and, as their answer is in terms of causality and supervenience, I compare succinctly their doctrine with those of Searle and Kim
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