Sunday, June 5, 2022

The Trouble with Kastrup's “Idealism”

So I watched this other YouTube, where he’s paired with a “spiritualist” - a soul mate of sorts - and I find unwitting clarity to what’s wrong. 

This Rupert fellow doesn’t choke at the dashboard metaphor, but I sure do. It explains, in a way, our inevitable distance from the metaphysically “real” but it does so at the cost of embedding an inside/outside conception of mind. Like there’s consciousness monitoring the dashboard, and “flying by instruments” as it were, but detached from the real. 

By his own usage, consciousness is not detachable, any more than a whirlpool is detachable from water. 

Kastrop also [slips up and?] identifies the mind with the brain, and thereby loses all the other gains he otherwise has made by defining mind as an “alter” - an eddy in universal consciousness. 

As far as I can tell, he finds no need to define or even to describe mentation, especially not in the way that the behaviors of the material world require explanation and definition. Mentation is the substrate, and the material world is relevant only as that within which our individuated and limited beings learn to survive. We survive individually and as a species by keeping the dissolution of eternal and ubiquitous entropy momentarily at bay. 

But entropy is itself a material process and surely not a process of mentation. Even our individual thoughts build, like a life-process, on the precedent thoughts of others. There literally is and can be no mind if you keep the distinction between inside and outside. 

As I’ve already said, this type of idealism complicates rather than simplifies the metaphysics. Nothing is added and much is removed (any possibility for understanding, for instance) by this insistence that there is nothing but mind-consciousness-mentation as the unexplained and unexplainable “real”.

Mentation is better explained “in terms of” material reality than it is as reality. The universe understands nothing, and yet we do and must because we are limited, and not on spite of that. 

Again, he leaves out and apparently doesn’t even understand what emotion is and how it works as an aspect of mind, including universal mind. 

Tant pis

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