"Anyway, can man's senses
experience anything non-materialistic?"
Sure, I can see my friend Dave, and he is a
non-materialist (thus making Dave non-materialistic).
But I don't think this is precisely what Peter
meant to ask. I think rather he probably intended to ask "can man's
senses experience anything non-physical?"
And to this question I would again say yes.
Gravity, for instance, is non-physical, but I can experience this with my
senses (such as when I pick up a book, I feel the pull of the earth's gravity
affecting the book; I do not see gravity, but I sure do feel it). How else
would we be able to determine that something exists, if we cannot perceive it
in some manner?
Yes, I do accept that there is non-physical
existence, but in each instance I recognize that the non-physical is in one
way or another dependent upon something that is physical. Consciousness, for
instance, is non-physical (I reject reductionism; see H. Binswanger, The
Metaphysics of Consciousness for details why), but while I hold that
consciousness is not reducible to the physical, I hold that it is dependent
upon the human nervous system, which is physical, for its existence.
Irreducibility and dependence are two different issues, so there is no
contradiction here. Furthermore, I do not accept the claim that
there are non-physical entities; the non-physical is always an attribute
of a physical entity. For instance, in the case of consciousness, I hold that
consciousness is an attribute of man, where man is the indivisible
entity possessing consciousness as an attribute. Similarly, gravity is a
property of matter; gravity is not an entity, but the earth (which possesses
gravity as an attribute) is an entity.
All these issues are dealt with in the Objectivist
literature, Peter. You might be impressed by some of it if you were to examine