Absolut idealisme – et glemt potentiale?
Physicalism is the most widely accepted metaphysical view today. The thesis of physicalism, however, seems unable to adequately explain the existence and nature of consciousness. Moreover, the thesis is not itself a scientific finding but must be characterized as a metaphysical assumption. Hence, there are strong reasons to explore alternatives to the physicalist view. While metaphysical theses based on classic idealistic views like subjective or absolute idealism have been largely absent from the philosophical debate during most of the 20th century, in the last few decades theses of this kind have been advocated, most notably by John Foster and Timothy Sprigge. Russell’s and Moore’s influential refutations of idealism have been severely questioned by recent scholarship, which means that conventional arguments against absolute idealism appear to be significantly less well-founded than what is usually assumed.
With Sprigge’s panpsychistic absolute idealistic metaphysical system as the basis and by incorporating key elements in Foster’s thinking, the present paper outlines an idealistic thesis which, it is argued, first of all escapes the problem of consciousness inherent in physicalism and secondly counters important arguments raised against Sprigge’s views, including the question of personal identity and the problem of the one and the many. In addition, this thesis can be seen as naturalistic in a broad sense, thereby potentially being of existential relevance also within the framework of modernity.
Thus, it is the aim of the present paper to argue – although sketchily – that despite its controversial character in the light of contemporary mainstream views, panpsychistic absolute idealism demonstrates a significant explanatory power and is therefore of philosophical interest as a subject for further study.
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