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Consciousness and Fundamental Reality
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Daniel Stoljar, Notre Dame Philosophical Review This book is an interesting and energetic exploration of Russellian monism, a position in philosophy of mind that has gained considerable attention in recent years because it promises to move us beyond the physicalist-dualist stand-off ... the book is honest, unflinching, imaginative and argumentative; in other words, a very good philosophy book.
David Chalmers, New York University, and series editor, Philosophy of Mind series (OUP) This book contains some of the most important contributions to the metaphysics of consciousness in recent years. Philip Goff develops a sophisticated argument against materialism, and then explores the prospects for radical alternatives in considerable depth. He makes a strong case for panpsychism, the thesis that consciousness exists at a fundamental level of physical reality, and extends this to a case for cosmopsychism, the thesis that the universe as a whole is
conscious. Anyone interested in the philosophical problem of consciousness should pay close attention to his ideas.
Geoffrey Lee, University of California, Berkeley Goff has produced a grand piece of speculative metaphysics, in the tradition of Leibniz, Spinoza and Unger. It is also probably the best single piece of work emerging from the recent bloom of interest in Russellian monist views of consciousness. Starting with plausible and well-defended premises, he argues for a daring conclusion that many will find difficult to accept; yet, he makes a compelling case that there is no easy way to resist it. Figuring out how to
respond to his rigorous and thorough arguments will be highly instructive (and fun!) for anyone with an interest in metaphysically-oriented philosophy of mind.
David Papineau, King's College London and City University of New York Graduate Center This book will quickly become a reference point for philosophical discussions of consciousness. Philip Goff lays out the issues with precision and cuts through to the heart of the latest philosophical technicalities. He also writes beautifully and advances a number of strikingly novel theses. No philosopher interested in consciousness can afford to ignore Consciousness and Fundamental Reality.
Adam Pautz, Brown University In an era of increasing specialization and "small ball" philosophy, Philip Goff's Consciousness and Fundamental Reality comes as a welcome antidote. He defends a grand metaphysical vision of the world, constitutive cosmopsychism, according to which the universe as a whole is conscious, and everything else is grounded in its evolving conscious state. Yes, this view is revisionary. But all views on the mind-body problem are revisionary including orthodox
physicalism. Goff develops a number of powerful arguments against the alternatives as well as a positive case for his cosmopsychism. His discussion demands and will repay our close attention.
Philip Goff is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Central European University.
1. The reality of consciousness Part I: Against physicalism 2. What is physicalism? 3. The knowledge argument 4. The conceivability argument 5. Revelation and the transparency argument Part II: Russellian monism: An alternative 6. The elegant solution 7. Panpsychism versus panprotopsychism, and the subject-summing problem 8. Top-down combination problems 9. A conscious universe 10. Analytic phenomenology: A metaphysical manifesto