Has anyone considered Idealism?

#1
Hello, new here, though I've listened to the podcast for a long time. I was wondering what thoughts people might have one idealism as a possible solution to the mind/body problem as opposed to materialism/dualism. Here is a short (13 minute) video that made me consider it as a possibility:


I have no professional training in philosophy but to me, idealism seems like an unfalsifiable position, kind of like trying to prove you are/aren't dreaming. Even so, the hypothesis in the video above seems to do away with the problems faced by materialism (neuroplasticity, placebo effects, etc.) as well as those encountered by dualism (alterations to the brain change the mind).

I'd be interested to see what others might have to say.
 
#3
Hi

Thanks for the link. I am actually familiar with that site, having listened to his interviews on Skeptiko. Haven't gotten around to reading his books yet though. I suppose I was wondering if there were any scientific/philosophical objections to idealism as an explanatory mechanism.
 
#4
Hi VFH and welcome, a number of us here lean towards Idealism. Have you checked out Bernardo Kastrup's blog and forum (http://www.bernardokastrup.com/) as well as his many videos on YouTube? He's occasionally posted here too, by the way, as well as been on the Skeptiko show. I think if you investigate Bernardo's stuff, you'll learn a lot more about Idealism. I'd highly recommend his latest book, Why Materialism is Baloney.
 
#5
Hi

Thanks for the link. I am actually familiar with that site, having listened to his interviews on Skeptiko. Haven't gotten around to reading his books yet though. I suppose I was wondering if there were any scientific/philosophical objections to idealism as an explanatory mechanism.
Our posts seem to have crossed, VFH. I really think you should dip into Bernardo's site, perhaps particularly the forum, because you'll come across a number of critiques of Idealism there: not everyone is on board with it. I don't think I could say anything that hasn't already been said there.
 
#6
Hi
Thanks for the link. I am actually familiar with that site, having listened to his interviews on Skeptiko. Haven't gotten around to reading his books yet though. I suppose I was wondering if there were any scientific/philosophical objections to idealism as an explanatory mechanism.
Hi Viewfro, Bernardo actually deals with many of the most common objections to idealism in this video. This is about the best resource along those lines I can think of at the moment...

Or you could read Ian Thompson fail miserably at arguing against Bernardo's position somewhere in here...
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#9
Ah, thanks I wanted to go back to that thread but forgot about it. I'm not convinced Ian "failed miserably". There are outstanding questions regarding Idealism after all.
 
#10
Ah, thanks I wanted to go back to that thread but forgot about it. I'm not convinced Ian "failed miserably". There are outstanding questions regarding Idealism after all.
There might be outstanding questions, but that didn't stop Ian from getting bitchslapped by Bernardo.

I don't buy into idealism anyway. I think solipsism is the most logical position. We are all one. It just so happens to be me.
 
#11
Ah, thanks I wanted to go back to that thread but forgot about it. I'm not convinced Ian "failed miserably". There are outstanding questions regarding Idealism after all.
Yes, I think this is true. Isms come with baggage. Idealisms may be sort of true at the very fundamental level, then dualism from another layer. And well materialism has no room for our one and only experience of subjectivity at all.

We are all philosophers, but I know little of it. Personally I like the it from bit view. The analogy put forth by digital physics, the simulation argument, the quantum information interpretation. Seems to paint a more tangible connection with actual physics, philosophy and spirituality for me. You could I suppose put it a number of philosophical frameworks.
 
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Sciborg_S_Patel

#13
Yes, I think this is true. Isms come with baggage. Idealisms may be sort of true at the very fundamental level, then dualism from another layer. And well materialism has no room for our one and only experience of subjectivity at all.

We are all philosophers, but I know little of it. Personally I like the it from bit view. The analogy put forth by digital physics, the simulation argument, the quantum information interpretation. Seems to paint a more tangible connection with actual physics, philosophy and spirituality for me. You could I suppose put it a number of philosophical frameworks.
My personal favorite is Absurdism, that reality just doesn't make sense (or, at least, we can't make sense of it.). But if I had to pick a coherent paradigm it would probably be Holistic Panpsychism.

I'd love for Idealism to be true though, as that's the best chance my D&D books had something relevant to say about metaphysics. :)
 
#15
Our posts seem to have crossed, VFH. I really think you should dip into Bernardo's site, perhaps particularly the forum, because you'll come across a number of critiques of Idealism there: not everyone is on board with it. I don't think I could say anything that hasn't already been said there.
Thanks. I have been meaning to read some of his books. So many books, so little time. I remember reading his critiques of the critique by Sam Harris of Eben Alexander. He made a lot of good points.
 
#18
What happened to Idealism anyway? In the 18th and 19th centuries, it seemed to dominate what with German Idealism, British Idealism, etc. and then there was the shift to materialism and suddenly it became silly to even consider Idealism despite its usefulness. What caused this shift?
 
#19
What happened to Idealism anyway? In the 18th and 19th centuries, it seemed to dominate what with German Idealism, British Idealism, etc. and then there was the shift to materialism and suddenly it became silly to even consider Idealism despite its usefulness. What caused this shift?
Not specifically related to idealism, bet certainly to post-Enlightenment Western metaphysics, you might find this video of interest. It's a favorite of mine. Sciborg digs it too. Oh yeah, and incidentally so did Bernardo.

 
#20
I have no professional training in philosophy but to me, idealism seems like an unfalsifiable position, kind of like trying to prove you are/aren't dreaming.
All the "isms" are unfalsifiable, because they are ontological positions, not scientific hypotheses. The idealist can not prove that there is only the experience, the materialist can not prove that there is only matter, and so with the others. One may be inclined more a ontological position that seems more simple, obvious or plausible, but no definitive way to settle these issues.

I think that all the major ontological positions (psychophysical dualism, materialism, idealism, neutral monism and pluralism) are self-consistent, ie, we can make a non-contradictory conception of the world basing on each of these positions, but even those positions are contradictory to each other, there is little point in arguing which is correct. They are only complementary worldviews.
 
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