Is the Universe Conscious? Reflexive Monism and the Ground of Being

Velmans, Max. 2021. Is the Universe Conscious? Reflexive Monism and the Ground of Being. In: Edward Kelly and Paul Marshall, eds. Consciousness Unbound: Liberating Mind from the Tyranny of Materialism. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, pp. 175-228. ISBN 9781538139424 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This chapter examines the integrative nature of reflexive monism (RM), a psychological/philosophical model of a reflexive, self-observing universe that can accommodate both ordinary and extraordinary experiences in a natural, non-reductive way that avoids both the problems of reductive materialism and the (inverse) pitfalls of reductive idealism. To contextualize the ancient roots of the model, the chapter touches briefly on classical models of consciousness, mind and soul and how these differ in a fundamental way from how mind and consciousness are viewed in contemporary Western philosophy and psychological science. The chapter then travels step by step from such contemporary views towards reflexive monism, and towards the end of the chapter, to more detailed comparisons with Hindu Vedanta and Samkhya philosophy and with Cosmopsychism (a recently emergent, directly relevant area of philosophy of mind).

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Book Section


consciousness, mind, reflexive monism, materialism, idealism, panpsychism, cosmopsychism, evolution, Eastern philosophy, mind/body problem

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April 2020Accepted
March 2021Published

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Date Deposited:

26 Jul 2021 08:14

Last Modified:

26 Jul 2021 08:14


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