Ultimate Reality and Meaning 25 (2):127-147 (2002)

Our concept of the universe and the material world is foundational for our thinking and our moral lives. In an earlier contribution to the URAM project I presented what I called 'the ultimate organizational principle' of the universe. In that article (Grandpierre 2000, pp. 12-35) I took as an adversary the wide-spread system of thinking which I called 'materialism'. According to those who espouse this way of thinking, the universe consists of inanimate units or sets of material such as atoms or elementary particles. Against this point of view on reality, I argued that it is 'logic', which exists in our inner world as a function of our mind, that is the universal organizing power of the universe. The present contribution builds upon this insight. Then I focussed on rationality; now I am interested in the responsibility that is the driving force behind our effort to find coherence and ultimate perspectives in our cosmos. It is shown that biology fundamentally differs from physics. Biology has its own fundamental principle, which is formulated for the first time in history in a scientific manner by Ervin Bauer. This fundamental principle is the cosmic life principle. I show that if one considers the physical laws as corresponding to reality, as in scientific realism, than physicalism becomes fundamentally spiritual because the physical laws are not material. I point out that the physical laws originate from the fundamental principle of physics which is the least action principle. I show that the fundamental principle of physics can be considered as the "instinct of atoms". Our research has found deep and meaningful connections between the basic principle of physics and the ultimate principles of the universe: matter, life and reason. Therefore, the principle of least action is not necessarily an expression of sterile inanimateness. On the contrary, the principle of physics is related to the life principle of the universe, to the world of instincts behind the atomic world, in which the principles of physics, biology, and psychology arise from the same ultimate principle. Our research sheds new light to the sciences of physics, biology, and psychology in close relation to the basic principles. These ultimate principles have a primary importance in our understanding of the nature of Man and the Universe, together with the relations between Man and Nature, Man and the Universe. The results offer new foundations for our understanding our own role in the Earth, in the Nature and in the Universe. Even the apparently inanimate world of physics shows itself to be animate on long timescales and having a kind of pre- human consciousness in its basic organisation. This hypothesis offers a way to understand when and how the biological laws may direct physical laws, and, moreover, offers a new perspective to study and understand under which conditions can self-consciousness govern the laws of biology and physics. This point of view offers living beings and humans the possibility of strengthening our natural identity, and recognising the wide perspective arising from having access to the deepest ranges of our own human resources and realising the task for which human and individual life has been created.
Keywords difference between physics and biology  fundamental principle of physics  least action principle  life principle  consciousness principle  scientific theory of instincts
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What is Life? [REVIEW]E. N. - 1946 - Journal of Philosophy 43 (7):194.

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