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What is it like to be Wigner’s friend?

In his fascinating presentation during Essentia Foundation’s 2022 work conference, Prof. Caslav Brukner, PhD, discusses what it may be like to be Wigner’s friend, the famous character of an important thought experiment in foundations of quantum entanglement.

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Experimental metaphysics with first-person perspectives

Dr. Eric Cavalcanti, from Griffith University Center for Quantum Dynamics, discusses ways to inform metaphysics by leveraging laboratory experiments with quantum systems in a superposition.

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An introduction to the physics of first-person perspective

An introduction to the ‘physics of first-person perspective’ conference, highlighting the relevance of the topics addressed to our understanding of the nature of reality.

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How time creates identity

In this episode of Essentia Readings, actress Nadia Hassan reads an article by Bernardo Kastrup, wherein he argues that time is what creates the illusion of personal identity in the framework of one universal mind.

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Idealists all over the world

The repeated emergence of metaphysical idealism—the notion that reality is experiential in essence—across cultures, geographies and history should be explained not in terms of its cultural motivations, but its plausibility as a correct account of nature, argues Prof. Tartaglia in this scholarly but very accessible essay.

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Do we really live in a fundamentally physical universe? Are we essentially material beings? Essentia Foundation is a new force in the cultural dialogue about the nature of reality. Find out more about us.

Reading

Essays

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Positivism and the failed attempt to bury metaphysics (The Return of Metaphysics)

Failure to acknowledge the role that presuppositions play in the pursuit of scientific knowledge grants natural science the privileged status of the science of pure being once enjoyed by rationalist metaphysics; it does not get rid of dogmatism, but merely replaces one kind of uncritical dogmatic realism with another, argues Dr. D’Oro

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The whirlpool metaphor of individual mind

Today’s Essentia Readings podcast episode unpacks what makes a good metaphor, why metaphors are so valuable to our pursuit of Truth, and invites us to appreciate the simple elegance and explanatory power of one metaphor in particular, favored both in Eastern and Western thought.

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Spacetime is just a headset: An interview with Donald Hoffman

Prof. Donald Hoffman talks to Essentia Foundation’s Hans Busstra about his theory of conscious agents, according to which space and time are cognitive constructs in consciousness, not an objective scaffolding of the world outside. The interview also touches on Prof. Hoffman’s personal history and life, bringing the warmth of his humanity to the academic rigor of his theories.

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Consciousness cannot be reduced to brain activity: Doctor Raymond Tallis on the mind-body problem

Professor Tallis—a philosopher, poet, novelist, cultural critic, retired medical physician and clinical neuroscientist—discusses the relationship between mind and brain, as well as the big questions about the nature of reality.

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Quantum physics and the first-person perspective

The Nobel Prize in physics this year (2022) went the scientists who showed that the physical world is a product of observation and relative to the observer. And so Essentia Foundation’s conference this year is organized in collaboration with the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, Vienna (IQOQI-Vienna), home to Prof. Anton Zeilinger, one of this year’s Nobel Laureates in physics. The conference will be hosted by IQOQI-Vienna’s Dr. Markus Müller and feature seven other speakers.

Seeing

Videos

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Experience requires no personal self

We tend to think that experiences are given to our personal subjectivity. Dr. Stew shows here, using easy-to-follow Western reasoning, that no such personal self needs to exist for experience itself to exist.

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An objective science of subjective experience

The West has attempted to develop its own methodology for the objective study of our conscious inner states: phenomenology. A work in progress as it still may be, it provides an antidote to naive positivistic attitudes that have dominated science until very recently. Dr. Stew reviews the historical timeline of this methodology and relates it to materialism and idealism. In so doing, he provides a systematic framework for understanding much of what Essentia Foundation publishes and promotes. This is the first part of a two-part series that will be continued next week, so stay tuned for the follow-up.

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The Copernican Revolution of the human mind

Today’s Essentia Readings episode calls for a revolution. And like a number of revolutions in history, it is an attempt to dethrone a controversial king; one the author thinks has long outstayed his welcome, and led us all rather astray. He presents the way to our freedom, and the promise of truths therein.

From the archives

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The physics of first-person perspective: An introduction

An informal chat between Dr. Markus Müller (IQOIQ-Vienna, Austrian Academy of Sciences), Dr. Bernardo Kastrup and Hans Busstra (Essentia Foundation), recorded just after the online conference “The physics of first-person perspective.” The conversation provides a tantalizing preview of the themes discussed in the conference, as well as their relevance to how we view the nature of reality.

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A cure to all mental illnesses?

In the mental health fields, there are two views towards psychiatric diagnostic categories: the realist and constructionist, which correspond somewhat to materialism and idealism. Arguing that the psychiatric diagnoses we create do not literally exist as discernible brain states, but are instead just helpful constructs, is critically aligned with idealism and offers a very different perspective to patients and their self-image.

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A new free course on Analytic Idealism

We’re releasing a new Analytic Idealism course, produced in a collaboration between Essentia Foundation and Keytoe Academy. Unlike our previous course, which was based on slides and more formal in nature, the present one is more informal and conversational. Our executive director, Bernardo Kastrup, simply talks to his audience without the use of formal visual aids. As such, the course is now easy to follow while you exercise, walk, or even lie in the bath!

Let us build the future of our culture together

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