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Monistic Idealism May Provide Better Ontology for Cognitive Science: A Reply to Dyer

Amit Goswami
The Journal of Mind and Behavior
Vol. 16, No. 2 (Spring 1995), pp. 135-150
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43853677
Page Count: 16
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Monistic Idealism May Provide Better Ontology for Cognitive Science: A Reply to Dyer
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Abstract

This is a response to Michael Dyer's (1994) Commentary on Goswami's Quantum-Based Theory of Consciousness and Free Will, a theory that I will call idealist science — a science based on the primacy of consciousness rather than matter. First, I review Dyer's main points: (1) there is no need for idealist science since cognitive science can explain whatever human phenomena idealist science purports to explain; and (2) idealist science offers nothing new, such as, new methodology or experimental prediction. I then review some of the inadequacies of the cognitive science model of conscious' ness stemming in part from its impoverished ontology of physical realism. It is shown that cognitive science follows from the new idealist science (as classical physics follows from quantum physics) in the limit of a correspondence principle. In this way, idealist science is seen to support cognitive science (rather than replace it) while generalizing the scope of science itself to include the subjective aspects of reality. Next, I point out what idealist science gains for us: (1) treatment within science of the subjective aspects of creativity, ethics, free will, and spirituality (without the need to explain these away as epiphenomena); and (2) integration of all the forces of psychology, and also of physics and biology. Finally, I discuss possible experiments to distinguish between realist and idealist models of reality.

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