Disembodied materialists and embodied hippies?

An observation:

Philosophical materialists (for instance, Yudkowskian rationalists) are often rather disembodied. In contrast, hippies, who express a (sometimes vague) philosophy of non-material being, are usually very embodied.

On the face of it, this seems backwards. If materialists were living their philosophy in practice, it seems like they would be doing something different. This isn’t merely a matter of preference or aesthetics; I think that materialists often mis-predict reality on this dimension. I’ve several times heard an atheist materialist express surprise that, after losing weight or getting in shape, their mood or their ability to think is different. Usually, they would not have verbally endorsed the proposition that one’s body doesn’t impact one’s cognition, but nevertheless, the experience is a surprise for them, as if their implicit model of reality is one of dualism. [an example: Penn Jillette expressing this sentiment following his weight loss]

Ironically, we materialists tend to have an intuitive view of ourselves as disembodied minds inhabiting a body, as opposed to the (more correct) view that flows from our abstract philosophy, that our mind is a body, and if you change my body in various ways, would change me. And hippies, ironically, seem much less likely to make that sort of error.

Why is this?

One possibility is that the causality mostly goes in the other direction: the reason why a person is a materialist is due to a powerfully developed capacity for abstract thought, which is downstream of disembodiment.

The default perspective for a human is dualism, and you reach another conclusion


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