Tag Archives: idealism

David Chalmers

When I was in graduate school, I recall hearing “One starts as a materialist, then one becomes a dualist, then a panpsychist, and one ends up as an idealist”. I don’t know where this comes from, but I think the idea was something like this. First, one is impressed by the successes of science, endorsing materialism about everything and so about the mind. Second, one is moved by problem of consciousness to see a gap between physics and consciousness, thereby endorsing dualism, where both matter and consciousness are fundamental. Third, one is moved by the inscrutability of matter to realize that science reveals at most the structure of matter and not its underlying nature, and to speculate that this nature may involve consciousness, thereby endorsing panpsychism. Fourth, one comes to think that there is little reason to believe in anything beyond consciousness and that the physical world is wholly constituted by consciousness, thereby endorsing idealism.

David Chalmers, ‘Idealism and the Mind-Body Problem’, in William Seager (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Panpsychism, New York, 2018

Macedonio Fernández

[B]asta la igual vivacidad de las imágenes y emociones del ensueño frente a las de la realidad para que nuestra vida pudiera, sin ceder en importancia y seriedad, ser toda hecha de ensueño.

Macedonio Fernández, ‘El mundo es un almismo’ (manuscrito de Macedonio Fernández que los ojos de Hobbes leyeron)

John Locke

He that sees a fire, may, if he doubt whether it be anything more than a bare fancy, feel it too; and be convinced, by putting his hand in it. Which certainly could never be put into such exquisite pain by a bare idea or phantom, unless that the pain be a fancy too: which yet he cannot, when the burn is well, by raising the idea of it, bring upon himself again.

John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, 1690, bk. 4, chap. 11, sect. 7