Book teaser

Today my newest book, Why Materialism Is Baloney, has become available for pre-ordering online. Have a look here:

amazon.com
amazon.co.uk

To mark this long-awaited event, we're releasing a video teaser that highlights the key salient point of the book. It's short, rhythmic, and to the point. Hopefully you will all enjoy it! Don't forget to choose the proper resolution and activate the captions, in case you like to read along.



Copyright © 2014 by Bernardo Kastrup. All rights are reserved.

Comments

  1. Not Materialism, but Idealism is balony.

    Idealism reduces itself to the worldview of solipsism ("all reality is consciousness"; "all reality is only in the subjective experience of it"; ).

    If the mental, inner experience and consciousness of an outside world, the material reality, would all be an "undivided substance" (which is then wrongly called "consciousness") you simply undo the distinction between consciousness and material reality,

    But you can not undo the distinction and only get rid of material reality, without also simultaneously get rid of the concept consciousness. So what you are left with then is not consciousness, but only subjective experience.

    How could subjective experience exist without the real existence of:
    = Time
    = Space
    = Matter

    What can you experience then if there is no matter? (if there is nothing realy existing of which one can have experience, how can one have experience?) All experience would take place at the same time and at the same place if space and time were not realy existing.

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    Replies
    1. No, idealism is not solipsism. Solipsism states that all that exists are your own, personal experiences; that everybody else are just figments of your own imagination, devoid of inner life. Idealism, on the other hand, states that all exists in mind, not necessarily your own personal mind alone. Idealism acknowledges that other people and animals have their own subjective experiences and inner life, different from your own. Idealism and solipsism are very different things, which I explain extensively in the book. You would have known it if you had read the book you are criticizing here.

      Yes, I am undoing the distinction between consciousness and a 'material reality' insofar as the 'material reality' is supposedly outside consciousness. I see material reality as a modality of the flow of experience in consciousness, other modalities being thoughts and emotions. There obviously are differences between these modalities of experience (a thought is different from an emotion, which is different from a perception, although they all influence each other), but they are all still experiences.

      There is a sense in which you are correct that, if all is in consciousness, then the very word 'consciousness' become meaningless. Nonetheless, it's valid for me to use the word 'consciousness' in arguing against materialism, because materialists have invented 'not-consciousness' out of their hats.

      On your question about space-time and consciousness as a blank slate, which you asked in three different comments in this blog, I will repeat my previous answers: If experience is not caused by a world outside mind, then where does it arise from? It arises from the unfolding of mind itself, in the same way that matter and the laws of physics supposedly arise from the unfolding of nature itself. Matter is supposedly an expression of what nature is; similarly, the experience of matter is the unfolding of what mind is. Subjective experience is simply the expression of mind itself, like sound is the expression of a guitar string when it vibrates. We don't need to infer an instrument outside the guitar string to explain the sound. The sound is simply the behaviour of the guitar string, which embodies the fundamental qualities of the string itself. The idealist position adds no complexity to the question of where experience arises from. It simply avoids the extra assumption that, whatever complexity is involved, it exists in a fundamentally unknowable realm outside mind.

      You are assuming that mind, in and of itself, can only be an empty, blank slate, without properties or potentialities. This a gratuitous assumption. Mind can have intrinsic qualities just like objective space-time supposedly does. Indeed, materialism attributes intrinsic qualities and potentialities to nature, which unfold according to certain patterns and regularities and form the universe we know. Idealism is merely saying that those qualities, patterns and regularities are intrinsic to mind itself, not something outside mind; that mind isn't an empty, blank slate, but has inner dynamics. Again, this implies no more complexity than materialism; on the contrary: it's much more parsimonious.

      Your struggle to understand what I am saying seems entirely analogous to that of a patient attempting to withdraw a psychological projection (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection). You project the intrinsic qualities and properties of mind onto an invented world outside mind, and become unable to see those qualities and properties as those of mind itself; i.e. to withdraw the projection. But you aren't alone: this is the most widespread pathology of our time.

      On a final note, it's universally acknowledged as proper and intelligent practice to read a book before one criticizes it. Failing to do so may cause one to make a fool of oneself. :-)

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