By Benedikt Paul Gocke
Although physicalism has been the dominant place in fresh paintings within the philosophy of brain, this dominance has now not avoided a small yet turning out to be variety of philosophers from arguing that physicalism is untenable for numerous purposes: either ontologically and epistemologically it can't lessen mentality to the world of the actual, and its makes an attempt to minimize subjectivity to objectivity have completely failed. The participants to After Physicalism offer strong possible choices to the physicalist account of the human brain from a dualistic perspective and argue that the reductive and naturalistic paradigm in philosophy has misplaced its force.
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To Descartes’s discovery Berkeley added—and I present what seems to me the best way to reconstruct the essence of his thought— that because one cannot help being located in one’s closed, perspectival realm of consciousness and cannot ever leave it,5 one has no reason whatsoever to suppose that there exists anything that could exist even if no realm of consciousness existed, in other words, that there exists anything which is mind-independent. Considerations of parsimony and non-arbitrariness, therefore, dictate that there does not exist anything mind-independent.
But one wonders what could have lodged the doctrine of materialism so firmly with so many reasonable people in the first place. In this regard, a comparison with that other at-one-time-hegemonic monistic doctrine—ontological idealism—does afford interesting perspectives. Ontological idealism grew out of a philosophical atmosphere which was, in the main, created by Descartes. Descartes discovered that his realm of consciousness could be regarded as a closed world all by itself—a world, he perceived, which in principle might also exist all by itself.
Somehow this proposition—which is not a physical* entity, not even a concrete entity—manages to be about the moon, which is a paradigmatic mind-independently physical* object. But how can this be? Neither can the moon be plausibly considered an abstract entity (if this could be done, it would put the moon into the proposition—and, indeed, solve the problem), nor can it be plausibly maintained that the proposition is not directly about the moon: that it is about the moon only via some abstract representation of it, the moon-in-theproposition, so to speak.
After Physicalism by Benedikt Paul Gocke