On the Plausibility of Idealism: Refuting Criticisms

Disputatio 9 (44):13-34 (2017)
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Several alternatives vie today for recognition as the most plausible ontology, from physicalism to panpsychism. By and large, these ontologies entail that physical structures circumscribe consciousness by bearing phenomenal properties within their physical boundaries. The ontology of idealism, on the other hand, entails that all physical structures are circumscribed by consciousness in that they exist solely as phenomenality in the first place. Unlike the other alternatives, however, idealism is often considered implausible today, particularly by analytic philosophers. A reason for this is the strong intuition that an objective world transcending phenomenality is a self-evident fact. Other arguments—such as the dependency of phenomenal experience on brain function, the evidence for the existence of the universe before the origin of conscious life, etc.—are also often cited. In this essay, I will argue that these objections against the plausibility of idealism are false. As such, this essay seeks to show that idealism is an entirely plausible ontology.

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Bernardo Kastrup
Radboud University Nijmegen (PhD)

Citations of this work

An Ontological Solution to the Mind-Body Problem.Bernardo Kastrup - 2017 - Philosophies 2 (2):doi:10.3390/philosophies2020010.
Ist der Naturalismus eine Ideologie?Thomas Jussuf Spiegel - 2020 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 68 (1):51-71.
Analytic Idealism: A consciousness-only ontology.Bernardo Kastrup - 2019 - Dissertation, Radboud University Nijmegen

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Monism: The Priority of the Whole.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (1):31-76.
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.
The information integration theory of consciousness.Giulio Tononi - 2007 - In Max Velmans & Susan Schneider (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Blackwell. pp. 287--299.

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