Transforming the World Into Experience: An Idealist Experiment.

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Transforming the World Into Experience: An Idealist Experiment.

by Paul Marshall



Quote:Abstract: Idealism tackles the mind–body problem by giving precedence to mind and relegating matter to a dependent status. Contrary to popular opinion, idealism need not deny the existence of matter nor dispute the realist contention that objects exist independently of perceptual experience. However, idealism requires that matter and external objects are experiential or mind-dependent in a fundamental way. I develop a form of idealism that affirms the existence of an external world, but makes it experiential. The characteristics of the external experience are taken to be akin to those of perceptual experience, but attention is given to some likely differences. An attempt to accommodate modern physics in the experiential account yields an idealism with panpsychic features.

Quote:In summary, I pursue an idealist rehabilitation of the external world through the following stages.
  1. Set up a world of objects external to perceptual experience (representative realism).
  2. Make the external world purely physical (dualist representative realism).
  3. Observe that causal relations between the physical external world and conscious
    states are problematic (mind–body problem).
  4. Defuse the problem by transforming the physical external world into an experiential
    external world (experiential realism).
  5. Accommodate modern physics in the account by organizing external experience from
    a multiplicity of centres (panpsychic experiential realism).
'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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