All the power in the world

New York: Oxford University Press (2006)
  Copy   BIBTEX


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 slate clean, 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 conscious experiencing. 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 of physical 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 questions about ourselves and our world.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 86,554

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


The Mystery of the Physical

For more than five decades, nearly all work by mainstream philosophers made no serious attempt to explore the nature of physical reality, even though most of them now take this to be all, or nearly all, of reality. While we have worried much about the nature of our own experiences and thou... see more

A Humanly Realistic Philosophy

We human beings are quite limited, it is painfully plain, in our experiencing, our thinking, and our understanding. Yet, even when mindful of our human limitations, we may perhaps aspire to a humanly intelligible philosophy of the world that is, nonetheless, a fairly substantial philosophy... see more

Demystifying the Physical

When we communicate with each other, we interact with an external reality, quite distinct from each other. Nowadays, we take it that this possibly mysterious external reality, through which we communicate, is physical reality. But, what can any of this really amount to? In presenting the M... see more

A Cornucopia of Quality

The idea of physical things as extensible qualified is so aptly related to our power to think experientially that it may serve us humans fairly well when it comes to our clearly conceiving physical individuals. Accordingly, the physical need not be so opaque to us as it sometimes seemed to... see more

Is Free will Compatible with Scientiphicalism?

This chapter argues that Scientiphicalism is incompatible with our having a power really to choose. The most salient form for the Scientifically View is materialism, also known as physicalism. Recent objections to physicalism do not differ greatly from a certain aspect of the Cartesian par... see more

Why We May Become Disembodied, but to No Avail

Nothing remotely like Scientiphicalism is any acceptable metaphysic. And, neither is any materialist philosophy any true philosophy, leastways none that has ever been made available. Rather, as the weight of relevant philosophic consideration suggests, we do better to pursue a quasi-Cartes... see more

The Problem of Our Unconscious Quality

In the last couple of chapters, the author has offered considerations to favor substantial dualism over its salient, more conservative rivals, whether the favored substantial dualism be only a pessimistic form of the thesis or whether it be an optimistic dualism that is favored. In either ... see more

Similar books and articles

Philosophical papers.Peter K. Unger - 2006 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Free will and scientifiphicalism.Peter Unger - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (1):1-25.
The Mind in Nature.C. B. Martin - 2007 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Metaphysics and mental causation.Lynne Rudder Baker - 1993 - In John Heil & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), Mental Causation. Oxford University Press. pp. 75-96.
From physics to metaphysics.Michael Redhead - 1995 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
The mystery of the physical and the matter of qualities.Peter K. Unger - 1998 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 22 (1):75–99.


Added to PP

100 (#149,332)

6 months
5 (#193,533)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Peter Unger
New York University

Citations of this work

Animalism.Andrew M. Bailey - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (12):867-883.
Generic Animalism.Andrew M. Bailey & Peter van Elswyk - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy 118 (8):405-429.
Mental Causation.David Robb & John Heil - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 51 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Humean Supervenience Debugged.David Lewis - 1994 - Mind 103 (412):473--490.
Consciousness and its place in nature.David Chalmers - 2003 - In Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell. pp. 102--142.
Subjects among other things.Ernest Sosa - 1987 - Philosophical Perspectives 1:155-187.

Add more references