Publication 4636

Kastrup B. (2017) Making sense of the mental universe. Philosophy and Cosmology 19: 33–49. Fulltext at https://cepa.info/4636
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 (a) our experience of ourselves as distinct individual minds sharing a world beyond the control of our volition; and (b) the empirical fact that this world is contextual despite being seemingly shared. By combining a modern formulation of the ontology of idealism with the relational interpretation of quantum mechanics, the present paper attempts to provide a viable explanatory framework for both points. In the process of doing so, the paper also addresses key philosophical qualms of the relational interpretation.

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