Beyond Combination: How Cosmic Consciousness Grounds Ordinary Experience

Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (3):390-410 (2018)
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Abstract

The aim of this paper is twofold. First, our purpose is to propose and motivate a novel and scientifically informed variant of cosmopsychism, namely, the view that the experiences of ordinary subjects are ultimately grounded in an all-pervading cosmic consciousness. Second, we will demonstrate that this approach generates promising avenues for addressing familiar problems of phenomenal constitution. We use stochastic electrodynamics (SED) as the physical bedrock of our approach, supplementing it with key insights about the nature of consciousness long emphasized in eastern philosophy and other wisdom traditions. We proceed to show that our approach substantiates an intriguing way of thinking about the dynamical emergence of ordinary consciousness from cosmic consciousness, identifying the latter with the vacuum state of quantum field theory. Finally, we argue that the present approach is well suited to address problems of phenomenal constitution, in particular as they pertain to the qualities and structure of experience and to the generation of subjects.

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Author Profiles

Itay Shani
Sun Yat Sen University, Zhuhai Campus