Fictions and simulations: The case for idealism

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Fictions and simulations: The case for idealism

Alessandro Sanna, PhD
Aina S. Erice

Quote:A new, creative and compelling argument—even a new type of argument—for idealism is elaborated upon in this long-form essay, which is fluid and easy to read.

Quote:Qualia stand directly on the ground of being, while concepts are built above this surface. Yet conceptual networks cannot be entirely suspended in midair: at least some concepts must act as anchors that have a one-to-one association with direct, immediate experiences, i.e. qualia. If a language must be intelligible, then a minimum percentage of its vocabulary must refer to qualia. Many of the logical, ontological and ethical paradoxes we humans have stumbled upon are rooted in our willingness to imagine a groundless language (i.e. conceptual system), afloat and unmoored, disconnected from the ground of qualities.

In this light, the hard problem of consciousness can be seen as the unsolvable consequence of our misguided attempts to reverse the ontological order, trying to ground qualities in concepts. Needless to say, this does not work. As qualia are the ontological basis of concepts, consciousness has ontological priority over matter. The world is exactly what it seems to be: a qualitative phenomenon unfolding in consciousness.9

Quote:The gnoseological argument tells us that matter, as a concept, needs to be grounded on a qualitative substratum, otherwise it remains suspended in air. The ontological argument tells us that, within physical reality, matter can perfectly explain various phenomena without resorting to consciousness. Matter is a coherent conceptual model that lives in a type A reality, and within such reality it does not need to postulate consciousness. Matter is like a well-built video game universe narrative, where the rules of the game form a closed referential system: they need not refer to something outside their universe. This is why it is problematic to study consciousness (fist person perspective, B reality) from a scientific (third person perspective) A reality.

However, matter (an A reality) cannot be grounded in itself...
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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