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Reflexive Monism: psychophysical relations among mind, matter and consciousness

Velmans, Max. 2012. Reflexive Monism: psychophysical relations among mind, matter and consciousness. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 19(9-10), pp. 143-165. ISSN 1355-8250 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This paper provides an initial, multidimensional map of the complex relationships among consciousness, mind, brain and the external world in a way that both follows the contours of everyday experience and the findings of science. It then demonstrates how this reflexive monist map can be used to evaluate the utility and resolve some of the oppositions of the many other “isms” that currently populate consciousness studies. While no conventional, one-dimensional “ism” such as physicalism can do justice to this web of relationships, physicalism, functionalism, dualism, neutral monism, and dual-aspect monism can all be seen to provide useful ways of understanding different aspects of the relationships among consciousness, mind, brain and the external world when these are viewed in either a first- or a third-person way from within this web of relationships by sentient creatures such as ourselves. For example, physicalism and functionalism provide a useful understanding of consciousness, mind, brain and the external world when viewed from a third-person perspective, while neutral monism provides a useful way of understanding first- versus third-person views of external phenomena. On the other hand, dual-aspect monism provides a useful way of understanding first- versus third-person views of mind, including Eastern versus Western views of mind. Dual-aspect monism also provides a useful understanding of the “unconscious ground of being” that gives rise to, supports and embeds all these observable phenomena. For an integrated understanding one needs to understand how these phenomena and relationships combine into an integrated whole.

Item Type:

Article

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Psychology

Dates:

DateEvent
1 January 2012Published

Item ID:

26057

Date Deposited:

15 Mar 2019 15:29

Last Modified:

15 Mar 2019 15:29

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/26057

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