Publication 4580

Chalmers D. J. (2018) Idealism and the mind-body problem [Unedited]. In: Seager W. (ed.) The Routledge companion to panpsychism. Oxford University Press, Oxford: in press. Fulltext at https://cepa.info/4580
Excerpt: First, one is impressed by the successes of science, endorsing materialism about everything and so about the mind. Second, one is moved by problem of consciousness to see a gap between physics and consciousness, thereby endorsing dualism, where both matter and consciousness are fundamental. Third, one is moved by the inscrutability of matter to realize that science reveals at most the structure of matter and not its underlying nature, and to speculate that this nature may involve consciousness, thereby endorsing panpsychism. Fourth, one comes to think that there is little reason to believe in anything beyond consciousness and that the physical world is wholly constituted by consciousness, thereby endorsing idealism. Some recent strands in philosophical discussion of the mind–body problem have recapitulated this progression: the rise of materialism in the 1950s and 1960s, the dualist response in the 1980s and 1990s, the festival of panpsychism in the 2000s, and some recent stirrings of idealism. In my own work, I have taken the first two steps and have flirted heavily with the third. In this paper I want to examine the prospects for the fourth step: the move to idealism.

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