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Transforming the world into experience. An idealist experiment

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Abstract:

Idealism tackles the mind-body problem by giving precedence to mind and relegating matter to a dependent status. Contrary to popular opinion, idealism need not deny the existence of matter nor dispute the realist contention that objects exist independently of perceptual experience. However, idealism requires that matter and external objects are experiential or mind-dependent in a fundamental way. I develop a form of idealism that affirms the existence of an external world, but makes it experiential. The characteristics of the external experience are taken to be akin to those of perceptual experience, but attention is given to some likely differences. An attempt to accommodate modern physics in the experiential account yields an idealism with panpsychic features.

Keywords: Berkeley; Idealism; Leibniz; colour; consciousness; external world; mind-body problem; monadology; panpsychism; quantum physics; relativity; representative realism; representative theory of perception; scientific realism; sensible qualities

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Dept. of Religious Studies, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YW, U.K.

Publication date: January 1, 2001

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