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Showing posts from January, 2016

The "cosmic nervous system": response to Joscha Bach

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MIT Research Scientist Joscha Bach has written a blog post criticizing my suggestion that the universe as a whole is, in a sense, akin to a cosmic nervous system. I've made this suggestion in a recent paper and two videos (video 1, video 2). In the videos, I have also used an image comparison showing the similarity between the structure of the cosmos and that of biological nervous systems. Bach zooms in particularly on this image comparison to criticize my thesis. In this essay, I rebut Bach's criticisms.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should point out that Bach and I have engaged, only a few months ago, in an extensive email exchange discussing precisely the points he brought up in his blog post. I am somewhat surprised that he chose to make his criticisms public now, whilst ignoring the many clarifications I sent him by email back then. Be it as it may, here is my reply.

Bach's criticisms are straw-men; every single one of them. And it is rather easy to demonstra…

On why Idealism is superior to Physicalism and Micropsychism

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I have written a technical white paper summarizing my metaphysical views. Unlike most of my written works so far, which try to convey an intuitive understanding of my metaphysics as much as an intellectual one, this white paper is more technical and rigorous. It aims at striking a balance between accessibility and the more formal, unambiguous style of analytic philosophy. Of course, it runs the risk of failing at both, but at least it is an honest attempt.

I ask for your help in spreading the word about this white paper. I am making it available for free everywhere I can, despite the fact that it took me a lot of time and energy to put it together. If you know academics, scientists, philosophers or mathematicians who have an interest in the areas of metaphysics, ontology, panpsychism, the mind-body problem, the hard problem of consciousness, the combination problem, etc., please forward it to them and urge them to forward further. You can also download the PDF file and then upload it …

Philip K. Dick and the Symbolic World

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In the wonderful Introduction he wrote for my upcoming book, More Than Allegory, Prof. Jeffrey J. Kripal compared my ideas to those of famed American Sci-Fi writer—and unacknowledged metaphysician—Philip K. Dick. Jeff wrote:

"Dick is worth dwelling on for a moment here, as his weird thought eerily reflects the more precise and calmer books of Bernardo Kastrup. ... You will see, in due time, just how close Dick’s Valis is to the idealist vision worked out in the following pages." (More Than Allegory, pp. 2-3)
Valis, of course, is Dick's acclaimed sci-fi novel, wherein he lays out an elaborate, gnostic-like metaphysics. Amazingly enough, I hadn't read Valis until prompted by Jeff's Introduction to my book. I write this article immediately after having finished reading it.

I confess that my feelings about Dick's book are mixed, with a part of me somewhat disappointed about its lack of metaphysical closure, whilst another part feels tempted to look upon Dick as s…