Does quantum mechanics beckon the end of naturalism? (The Return of Idealism)

Naturalism, the idea that there are no gods, is the leading theory of our time. However, in this instalment of our The Return of Idealism series, in partnership with the Institute of Art and Ideas (IAI), Bruce Gordon argues that quantum mechanics not only beckons the end of naturalism, but also points towards the existence of a transcendent mind. Essentia Foundation’s position is, nonetheless, that idealism is entirely compatible with naturalism.

https://www.essentiafoundation.org/does-quantum-mechanics-beckon-the-end-of-naturalism/reading/
Wittgenstein on the practical significance of the physicalism vs idealism debate (The Return of Idealism)

Physical realists and idealists argue about whether physical objects exist, whether they have standalone reality, or are just part of a world of ideas. But can they, at root, help us solve some other important philosophical questions? In this instalment of our ‘The Return of Idealism’ series, in partnership with the Institute of Art and Ideas (IAI), Prof. David R. Cerbone argues that Wittgenstein can help us return to more practical questions. Wittgenstein’s position is, indeed, that the metaphysical debate between physical realists and idealists is of little practical significance. We at Essentia Foundation strongly disagree with this: we believe that different metaphysical views have profound significance for how we experience the meaning of life, our relationship with the world, expectations about death, and have direct bearing on even very practical considerations such as how to further develop medicine and exploit phenomena such as neuroplasticity and the placebo effect. Nonetheless, we believe Wittgentein’s thoughts are worth considering, if only to make clear the degree to which they miss the point. This essay was first published by the IAI on 29 February 2024.

https://www.essentiafoundation.org/wittgenstein-on-the-practical-significance-of-the-physicalism-vs-idealism-debate-the-return-of-idealism/reading/
Beyond scientism: Re-humanizing the mind (The Return of Idealism)

Non-reductionism, the idea that mental states are not reducible to physical states, is the new orthodoxy in analytic philosophy of mind. However, in this instalment of our idealism series, in partnership with the Institute of Art and Ideas, Dr. Giuseppina D’Oro argues that analytic philosophy’s conception of psychology as a natural science is beholden to the dubious ideology of scientism, therefore not acknowledging the autonomy of the mental.

https://www.essentiafoundation.org/beyond-scientism-re-humanizing-the-mind-the-return-of-idealism/reading/
Understanding collective self-consciousness in Hegelian pragmatism (The Return of Idealism)

Hegel is usually thought of as defending an obscure metaphysics that claims reality is the manifestation of a collective mind, or Geist. But, as Prof. Terry Pinkard argues, Hegel has a lot in common with the more ‘down-to-earth’ movement of pragmatism.

https://www.essentiafoundation.org/understanding-collective-self-consciousness-in-hegelian-pragmatism-the-return-of-idealism/reading/
The birth of Idealism in the West (The Return of Idealism)

Parmenides’s cryptic claim that thought and being are the same has echoed throughout Western philosophy. Prof. Tom Rockmore argues that in making this claim, Parmenides set the foundations for the struggle between idealism and realism, and suggests that unlike many interpretations, Parmenidean idealism ultimately supports the view that we cannot know a mind-independent reality.

https://www.essentiafoundation.org/the-birth-of-idealism-in-the-west-the-return-of-idealism/reading/
A subjective world can still be real

Philosophers since Descartes have questioned whether our experience reflects a reality outside of our minds. In this essay, Prof. Franks argues that the basic insight of Kant’s approach—perspectivism—harmonizes better with our ordinary experience of the world, and with Einstein’s relativistic physics, than Berkeley’s immaterialist view.

https://www.essentiafoundation.org/a-subjective-world-can-still-be-real/reading/
The Fall into the phenomenal: How idealism can help the Creation story converge with deep scientific truth

Taking a clue from Christian theologian and philosopher Origen of Alexandria, Androu Arsanious argues that the biblical Fall is the story of humanity’s mistaking of the Kantian phenomena (the world as represented in perception) for the Kantian noumena (the world as it is in itself); that is, the story of our mistaking appearances for reality. Understanding this allows us to complete the Augustinian project of reconciling the stories of religion, which describe what is beyond the world in terms of the world, with the stories of science, which describe the world in terms of what is beyond the world, such as mathematical abstractions. This is a fascinating essay.

https://www.essentiafoundation.org/the-fall-into-the-phenomenal-how-idealism-can-help-the-creation-story-converge-with-deep-scientific-truth/reading/
Metabolism is what the ‘unconscious’ mind looks like

Dr. Sachs discusses the dynamics of our deepest, seemingly ‘unconscious’ mental processes, and shows remarkable correspondences between them and metabolic processes such as protein synthesis and folding. He suggests, along firm idealist lines, that our body’s metabolism is simply a metaphor, the extrinsic appearance of our inner, ‘unconscious’ mental processes. In other words, metabolism may be what the deepest layers of our own mind look like, when displayed on the screen of perception. This is an involved essay and not the easiest of reads, but it is well worth the effort.

https://www.essentiafoundation.org/metabolism-is-what-the-unconscious-mind-looks-like/reading/
Trans-idealism: matter as the transcendence of mind

Bringing together Spinoza’s multi-modal monism and Hegel’s idealist ‘Absolute,’ and then folding them into a post-modern amalgamation, Prof. Moiseev discusses ‘trans-idealism’ and its relation to ‘trans-science.’

https://www.essentiafoundation.org/7624-2/reading/
Best way forward or unnecessary detour? A review of “Dual-Aspect Monism and the Deep Structure of Meaning”

In this long-form book review, Prof. Edward Kelly argues that dual-aspect monism represents an unnecessary side path in the search for a successor to physicalism, and that idealism is a better option.

https://www.essentiafoundation.org/best-way-forward-or-unnecessary-detour-a-review-of-dual-aspect-monism-and-the-deep-structure-of-meaning/reading/