World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Reflexive monism

Article Id: WHEBN0008542991
Reproduction Date:

Title: Reflexive monism  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Consciousness, Monism, Index of philosophy of mind articles, Language of Thought, Thought experiment
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Reflexive monism

Reflexive monism is a philosophical position developed by Max Velmans, in his book Understanding Consciousness (2000), to address the problem of consciousness. It is a modern version of an ancient view that the basic stuff of the universe manifests itself both physically and as conscious experience (a dual-aspect theory in the tradition of Spinoza).[1] The argument is that the universe is psycho-physical.[2]

Monism is the view that the universe, at the deepest level of analysis, is composed of one fundamental kind of stuff. This is usually contrasted with substance dualism, the view found in the writings of Plato and Descartes that the universe is composed of two kinds of stuff, the physical and the stuff of soul, mind or consciousness.

Reflexive monism maintains that, in its evolution from some primal undifferentiated state, the universe differentiates into distinguishable physical entities, at least some of which have the potential for conscious experience, such as human beings. While remaining embedded within and dependent on the surrounding universe and composed of the same fundamental stuff, each human, equipped with perceptual and cognitive systems, has an individual perspective on, or view of, the rest of the universe and him or her self. In this sense, each human participates in a process whereby the universe differentiates into parts and becomes conscious of itself, making the process reflexive. Donald Price and James Barrell write that, according to reflexive monism, experience and matter are two complementary sides of the same reality, and neither can be reduced to the other. That brain states are causes and correlates of consciousness, they write, does not mean that they are ontologically identical to it.[2]

A similar combination of monism and reflexivity is found in later Vedic writings such as the Upanishads.[3]

References

  1. ^ Velmans, Max. "Dualism, Reductionism and Reflexive Monism," in Max Velmans and Susan Schneider (eds.). The Blackwell Companion to Consciousness. Wiley-Blackwell, 2007, p. 346ff.
    • Velmans, Max. "Reflexive Monism," Journal of Consciousness Studies, 15(2) pp.5-50 (2008) preprint
    • Hoche, H-U. "Reflexive monism versus complementarism: An analysis and criticism of the conceptual groundwork of Max Velmans’s reflexive model of consciousness," Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 6(3) pp.389-409 (2007), doi:10.1007/s11097-006-9045-8 preprint
  2. ^ a b Price, Donald D. and Barrell, James J. Inner Experience and Neuroscience: Merging Both Perspectives. MIT Press, 2012, p. 277ff.
  3. ^ Rao, K. R. History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization Volume XVI, Part 1: Cognitive Anomalies, Consciousness, and Yoga. New Delhi: Matrix, 2011, pp. 322-323, 376-383, 766-774.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.