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Bernardo Kastrup
Radboud University Nijmegen (PhD)
  1. Conflating Abstraction with Empirical Observation: The False Mind-Matter Dichotomy.Bernardo Kastrup - 2018 - Constructivist Foundations 13 (3):341-361.
    > Context • The alleged dichotomy between mind and matter is pervasive. Therefore, the attempt to explain mat- ter in terms of mind (idealism) is often considered a mirror image of that of explaining mind in terms of mat- ter (mainstream physicalism), in the sense of being structurally equivalent despite being reversely arranged. > Problem • I argue that this is an error arising from language artifacts, for dichotomies must reside in the same level of abstraction. > Method • I (...)
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  2. The Universe in Consciousness.Bernardo Kastrup - 2018 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (5-6):125-155.
    I propose an idealist ontology that makes sense of reality in a more parsimonious and empirically rigorous manner than mainstream physicalism, bottom-up panpsychism, and cosmopsychism. The proposed ontology also offers more explanatory power than these three alternatives, in that it does not fall prey to the hard problem of consciousness, the combination problem, or the decombination problem, respectively. It can be summarized as follows: there is only cosmic consciousness. We, as well as all other living organisms, are but dissociated alters (...)
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  3. On the Plausibility of Idealism: Refuting Criticisms.Bernardo Kastrup - 2017 - Disputatio 9 (44):13-34.
    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 (...)
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  4. An Ontological Solution to the Mind-Body Problem.Bernardo Kastrup - 2017 - Philosophies 2 (2):doi:10.3390/philosophies2020010.
    I argue for an idealist ontology consistent with empirical observations, which seeks to explain the facts of nature more parsimoniously than physicalism and bottom-up panpsychism. This ontology also attempts to offer more explanatory power than both physicalism and bottom-up panpsychism, in that it does not fall prey to either the ‘hard problem of consciousness’ or the ‘subject combination problem’, respectively. It can be summarized as follows: spatially unbound consciousness is posited to be nature’s sole ontological primitive. We, as well as (...)
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  5. Making Sense of the Mental Universe.Bernardo Kastrup - 2017 - Philosophy and Cosmology 19 (1):33-49.
    In 2005, an essay was published in Nature asserting that the universe is mental and that we must abandon our tendency to conceptualize observations as things. Since then, experiments have confirmed that — as predicted by quantum mechanics — reality is contextual, which contradicts at least intuitive formulations of realism and corroborates the hypothesis of a mental universe. Yet, to give this hypothesis a coherent rendering, one must explain how a mental universe can — at least in principle — accommodate (...)
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  6. The Idealist View of Consciousness After Death.Bernardo Kastrup - 2016 - Journal of Consciousness Exploration & Research 7 (11):900-909.
    To make educated guesses about what happens to consciousness upon bodily death, one has to have some understanding of the relationship between body and consciousness during life. This relationship, of course, reflects an ontology. In this brief essay, the tenability of both the physicalist and dualist ontologies will be assessed in view of recent experimental results in physics. The alternative ontology of idealism will then be discussed, which not only can be reconciled with the available empirical evidence, but also overcomes (...)
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  7. The Next Paradigm.Bernardo Kastrup - 2018 - Future Human Image 9:41-51.
    In order to perceive the world, we need more than just raw sensory input: a subliminal paradigm of thought is required to interpret raw sensory data and, thereby, create the objects and events we perceive around ourselves. As such, the world we see reflects our own unexamined, culture-bound assumptions and expectations, which explains why every generation in history has believed that it more or less understood the world. Today, we perceive a world of objects and events outside and independent of (...)
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  8. There Is an ‘Unconscious,’ but It May Well Be Conscious.Bernardo Kastrup - 2017 - Europe's Journal of Psychology 13 (3):559-572.
    Depth psychology finds empirical validation today in a variety of observations that suggest the presence of causally effective mental processes outside conscious experience. I submit that this is due to misinterpretation of the observations: the subset of consciousness called “meta-consciousness” in the literature is often mistaken for consciousness proper, thereby artificially creating space for an “unconscious.” The implied hypothesis is that all mental processes may in fact be conscious, the appearance of unconsciousness arising from our dependence on self-reflective introspection for (...)
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  9. Self-Transcendence Correlates with Brain Function Impairment.Bernardo Kastrup - 2017 - Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics 4 (3):33-42.
    A broad pattern of correlations between mechanisms of brain function impairment and self-transcendence is shown. The pattern includes such mechanisms as cerebral hypoxia, physiological stress, transcranial magnetic stimulation, trance-induced physiological effects, the action of psychoactive substances and even physical trauma to the brain. In all these cases, subjects report self-transcending experiences o en described as ‘mystical’ and ‘awareness-expanding,’ as well as self-transcending skills o en described as ‘savant.’ The idea that these correlations could be rather trivially accounted for on the (...)
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  10.  22
    The Idea of the World: A Multi-Disciplinary Argument for the Mental Nature of Reality.Bernardo Kastrup - 2019 - Winchester, UK: Iff Books.
    The Idea of the World offers a grounded alternative to the frenzy of unrestrained abstractions and unexamined assumptions in philosophy and science today. This book examines what can be learned about the nature of reality based on conceptual parsimony, straightforward logic and empirical evidence from fields as diverse as physics and neuroscience. It compiles an overarching case for idealism - the notion that reality is essentially mental - from ten original articles the author has previously published in leading academic journals. (...)
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  11. Not Its Own Meaning: A Hermeneutic of the World.Bernardo Kastrup - 2017 - Humanities 6 (3).
    The contemporary cultural mindset posits that the world has no intrinsic semantic value. The meaning we see in it is supposedly projected onto the world by ourselves. Underpinning this view is the mainstream physicalist ontology, according to which mind is an emergent property or epiphenomenon of brains. As such, since the world beyond brains isn’t mental, it cannot a priori evoke anything beyond itself. But a consistent series of recent experimental results suggests strongly that the world may in fact be (...)
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  12. Brief Peeks Beyond: Critical Essays on Metaphysics, Neuroscience, Free Will, Skepticism and Culture.Bernardo Kastrup - 2015 - Winchester, UK: Iff Books.
    This book is a multi-faceted exploration and critique of the human condition as it is presently manifested. It addresses science and philosophy, explores the underlying nature of reality, the state of our society and culture, the influence of the mainstream media, the nature of free will and a number of other topics. Each of these examinations contributes an angle to an emerging idea gestalt that challenges present mainstream views and behaviors and offers a sane alternative. The book is organized as (...)
     
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  13. Why Materialism Is Baloney: How True Skeptics Know There is No Death and Fathom Answers to Life, the Universe, and Everything.Bernardo Kastrup - 2014 - Winchester, UK: Iff Books.
    The present framing of the cultural debate in terms of materialism versus religion has allowed materialism to go unchallenged as the only rationally-viable metaphysics. This book seeks to change this. It uncovers the absurd implications of materialism and then, uniquely, presents a hard-nosed non-materialist metaphysics substantiated by skepticism, hard empirical evidence, and clear logical argumentation. It lays out a coherent framework upon which one can interpret and make sense of every natural phenomenon and physical law, as well as the modalities (...)
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  14. The Quest to Solve Problems That Don’T Exist: Thought Artifacts in Contemporary Ontology.Bernardo Kastrup - 2017 - Studia Humana 6 (4):45-51.
    Questions about the nature of reality and consciousness remain unresolved in philosophy today, but not for lack of hypotheses. Ontologies as varied as physicalism, microexperientialism and cosmopsychism enrich the philosophical menu. Each of these ontologies faces a seemingly fundamental problem: under physicalism, for instance, we have the ‘hard problem of consciousness,’ whereas under microexperientialism we have the ‘subject combination problem.’ I argue that these problems are thought artifacts, having no grounding in empirical reality. In a manner akin to semantic paradoxes, (...)
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  15. What Neuroimaging of the Psychedelic State Tells Us About the Mind-Body Problem.Bernardo Kastrup - 2016 - Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics 4 (2):1-9.
    Recent neuroimaging studies of the psychedelic state, which have commanded great media attention, are reviewed. They show that psychedelic trances are consistently accompanied by broad reductions in brain activity, despite their experiential richness. This result is at least counterintuitive from the perspective of mainstream physicalism, according to which subjective experience is entirely constituted by brain activity. In this brief analysis, the generic implications of physicalism regarding the relationship between the richness of experience and brain activity levels are rigorously examined from (...)
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  16. More Than Allegory: On Religious Myth, Truth and Belief.Bernardo Kastrup - 2016 - Winchester, UK: Iff Books.
    This book is a three-part journey into the rabbit hole we call the nature of reality. Its ultimate destination is a plausible, living validation of transcendence. Each of its three parts is like a turn of a spiral, exploring recurring ideas through the prisms of religious myth, truth and belief, respectively. With each turn, the book seeks to convey a more nuanced and complete understanding of the many facets of transcendence. Part I puts forward the controversial notion that many religious (...)
     
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  17. The Physicalist Worldview as Neurotic Ego-Defense Mechanism.Bernardo Kastrup - 2016 - SAGE Open 6 (4):1-7.
    The physicalist worldview is often portrayed as a dispassionate interpretation of reality motivated purely by observable facts. In this article, ideas of both depth and social psychology are used to show that this portrayal may not be accurate. Physicalism—whether it ultimately turns out to be philosophically correct or not—is hypothesized to be partly motivated by the neurotic endeavor to project onto the world attributes that help one avoid confronting unacknowledged aspects of one’s own inner life. Moreover, contrary to what most (...)
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  18. Analytic Idealism: A Consciousness-Only Ontology.Bernardo Kastrup - 2019 - Dissertation, Radboud University Nijmegen
    This thesis articulates an analytic version of the ontology of idealism, according to which universal phenomenal consciousness is all there ultimately is, everything else in nature being reducible to patterns of excitation of this consciousness. The thesis’ key challenge is to explain how the seemingly distinct conscious inner lives of different subjects—such as you and me—can arise within this fundamentally unitary phenomenal field. Along the way, a variety of other challenges are addressed, such as: how we can reconcile idealism with (...)
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  19. Dreamed Up Reality: Diving Into Mind to Uncover the Astonishing Hidden Tale of Nature.Bernardo Kastrup - 2011 - Winchester, UK: Iff Books.
    A strong and growing intuition in society today is the idea that our thoughts create our own reality. Yet it seems obvious that, try as we might, our lives are not quite what we fantasize. Is the intuition thus wrong? Through a rational, methodic interpretation of meditative insights, the validity of which is substantiated with a compelling scientific literature review, the author constructs hypotheses that reconcile facts with intuition. Mesmerizing narratives of his expeditions into the unconscious suggest an amazing possibility: (...)
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  20. Meaning in Absurdity: What Bizarre Phenomena Can Tell Us About the Nature of Reality.Bernardo Kastrup - 2012 - Winchester, UK: Iff Books.
    This book is an experiment. Inspired by the bizarre and uncanny, it is an attempt to use logic to expose the illogical foundations of logic; an attempt to use science to peek beyond the limits of science; an attempt to use rationality to lift the veil off the irrational. Its ways are unconventional: weaving along its path one finds UFOs and fairies, quantum mechanics, analytic philosophy, history, mathematics, and depth psychology. The enterprise of constructing a coherent story out of these (...)
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  21. Rationalist Spirituality: An Exploration of the Meaning of Life and Existence Informed by Logic and Science.Bernardo Kastrup - 2011 - Winchester, UK: Iff Books.
    Why does the universe exist and what are you supposed to do in it? This question has been addressed by religions since time immemorial, but popular answers often fail to account for obvious aspects of reality. Indeed, if God knows everything, why do we need to learn through pain and suffering? If God is omnipotent, why are we needed to do good? If the universe is fundamentally good, why are wars, crime, and injustice all around us? In modern society, orthodox (...)
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