Consciousness and Cosmology: Hyperdualism Ventilated

Colin McGinn

in Consciousness and its Objects

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780199267606
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191601798 | DOI:
Consciousness and Cosmology: Hyperdualism Ventilated

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This chapter takes the form of a dialogue between two world-views: a standard view, which sees consciousness evolving in a purely material universe, and an alternative, which regards the brain as a sort of interface between the world of spirit and the world of matter. The cosmological implication of the latter view is that there were originally two causally isolated universes, which were enabled to interact by the coming into existence by natural selection of the brain. This avoids the problem of emergence, the problem of explaining how consciousness could possibly emerge from matter. The advantages of this hyperdualism over standard dualism are proposed, and the objections to it that individuation in a non-spatial world is problematic and that the positing of a non-spatial world is ontologically extravagant is considered. The place of numbers and other abstracta in the non-material universe is discussed and the possibility that consciousness emerges from the abstract – abstract emergentism – is examined.

Keywords: abstract emergentism; consciousness; dualism; emergence; hyperdualism; individuation

Chapter.  11867 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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