On Dec 7, 6:02 am, Bruno Marchal <marc...@ulb.ac.be> wrote:
> On 06 Dec 2011, at 20:44, Stephen P. King wrote:

> > but so does ideal monism.
> Why?
> > The irony is that they fail for the exact same reason, the problem
> > of epiphenomena.
> I don't follow you on this. We have discussed that before. Matter
> (primitive matter) simply does not exist. It can be an ideal
> (immaterial) appearance (by the reasoning). Matter can not be an
> epiphenomenon. It is just a phenomenon, and not a primitive one.
> But with material monism, matter has to exist primitively (by
> definition) and consciousness has to be an epiphenomenon indeed.
> The role of matter and consciousness is not symmetrical. Matter can be
> an illusion, but consciousness cannot. In all case consciousness has
> to be real, or eliminated (which makes no sense). And it t makes
> logical sense to eliminate primitive matter, not consciousness. Only
> material monism needs to use the notion of epiphenomenon, not
> immaterial (number like) monism.

Making consciousness 'real' does not mean that it has to be any more
primitive than matter though. Just as matter is a phenomenon but not
primitive, consciousness too is a phenomenon but not *the* primitive
phenomenon. Regardless of it's possibly 'illusory' status, matter
still has to ultimately be made of the same primitive as consciousness
(what else is there to make it out of?) There is no getting around the
tight connection that the matter of our brain has with our conscious
experience. On some level, it all has to be the same thing. To me that
means that it is neither matter nor consciousness which is illusion,
but the separation of the two. The primitive is not empty
consciousness in a vacuum - that has zero degrees of realism. Thought
alone cannot conjure material outside of the body. The primitive is
the relation between subject and object: Sense. How I think it works
is that objectness is just the rear end of subjectness. Everything is
a subject to itself and and object to everything else. The closer
things are to the subject, literally and figuratively, the more sense
can be made out of them and their familiarity acquires subjective
qualities. When they are extremely close/similar, they are identified
with the subject directly.


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