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Bernardo Kastrup, PhD, PhD

Philosophy

A short introduction

Bernardo Kastrup is the executive director of Essentia Foundation. His work has set off the modern renaissance of metaphysical idealism, the notion that reality is essentially mental. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy (ontology, philosophy of mind) and another Ph.D. in computer engineering (reconfigurable computing, artificial intelligence). As a scientist, Bernardo has worked for the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and the Philips Research Laboratories (where the 'Casimir Effect' of Quantum Field Theory was discovered). He has also been creatively active in the high-tech industry for almost 30 years now, having co-founded parallel processor company Silicon Hive (acquired by Intel in 2011) and worked as a technology strategist for the geopolitically significant company ASML. Formulated in detail in many academic papers and books, Bernardo's ideas have been featured on Scientific American, the Institute of Art and Ideas, the Blog of the American Philosophical Association and Big Think, among others. Bernardo's 11th book, coming in 2024, is Analytic Idealism in a Nutshell: A straightforward summary of the 21st-century's only plausible metaphysics. For more information, freely downloadable papers, videos, etc., please visit www.bernardokastrup.com.

Publications:

What happens to consciousness when clocks stop?

Hans Busstra sat down with Bernard Carr and Bernardo Kastrup to discuss all presentations given at our ‘Time and Mind’ conference and elaborate further on their own ideas. For instance, both Carr and Kastrup agree that, if you take an idealist perspective, you need multiple time dimensions to account for the decomposition problem: the mechanism by which consciousness with a big ‘C’ resolves itself into consciousness with a small ‘c’.

UAPs, NDEs, and foundations of physics: it all makes sense under Idealism

Only a form of objective idealism can account for UAPs, NDEs, and the latest discoveries in foundations of physics and the neuroscience of consciousness, while remaining consistent with the whole of science and rational inquiry. Learn more in this discussion between Hans Busstra and Bernardo Kastrup.

The meaning of life, beyond the false free will vs determinism dichotomy

In this video, Bernardo shares with Hans his view that the free will vs determinism debate misses the point, because fundamentally there is no distinction between nature’s will and what nature is necessitated to do. If you can accept that, on a personal level, you don’t have free will, you realize that you are being ‘played’ by a universe that—due to computational irreducibility—cannot ‘see’ where it’s going before it goes. Instead of suffering as an effect of ‘bad’ free will decisions by human agents, suffering becomes part of the inevitable evolution of the universe.

In defense of Integrated Information Theory (IIT)

In what may come as a surprise to many, our Executive Director highlights the careful, scientifically laudable metaphysical agnosticism of IIT—the leading neuroscientific theory of the structure of consciousness—as well as its superiority to alternative theories and synergy with Analytic Idealism.

The 10 books that will make it hard to believe in a physical universe

Hans and Bernardo discuss the 10 books that make it very hard to still believe in a fundamentally physical universe!

The danger of Idealism: A broad conversation with Bernardo Kastrup

A conversation ranging from the consciousness of bacteria, to our minds being ‘time traveling machines,’ to Hans asking Bernardo if Eve performed the first quantum measurement when she ate the apple. Also: why is meditation, literally speaking, an egoistic thing to do? Did Job suffer more than Jesus? And, this one is personal for Bernardo: what is the real danger of idealism if life hits you really hard?

The red herring of free will in objective idealism

At the level of universal subjectivity, the question of free will is a meaningless red herring, argues our executive director. The meaning of life has nothing to do with making free choices, but bearing witness and paying attention to the dance of existence. Only when one truly grasps this, can one be free in the only true way: the freedom to allow oneself to be what one cannot help but be, and to choose to do what nature demands.

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.

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.

How can you be me? The answer is time

That you believe you were your five-year-old self is grounds to believe that you can be another person, right now, while still being you, argues our executive director in this stimulating theoretical essay.

The miraculous epicycles of materialism

Faced with a growing mountain of refutations in the form of empirical evidence and clear reasoning, materialism tries to survive through a bizarre display of absurd imaginary entities, hypotheses and hollow rhetoric, writes our executive director in this week’s mid-week nugget.

The fantasy behind Sabine Hossenfelder’s superdeterminism

Our Executive Director critiques physicist Sabine Hossenfelder’s proposed ‘superdeterminism,’ which aims to account for the theoretical difficulties of quantum measurement without departing from physicalist metaphysical assumptions.

The Science of Consciousness: Panel discussion, first day

Closing the first day of the 2021 ‘The Science of Consciousness’ conference, dr. Bernardo Kastrup, Prof. dr. Heleen Slagter, Dr. Steve Taylor and Prof. dr. Henk Barendregt take questions and debate.

What lurks behind spacetime?

The cosmic riddle of structure without extension—of how complexity can exist outside space and time—is tackled by our Executive Director in this first edition of our ‘mid-week nugget.’ 

What neuroscience actually shows about consciousness

In his opening presentation of the ‘Science of Consciousness’ conference 2021, Essentia Foundation’s executive director Bernardo Kastrup reviews the neuroscientific evidence and discusses what it actually tells about consciousness. He also discusses, in explicit and specific detail, what he perceives as widespread physicalist confirmation bias in both academia and mainstream media.

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