Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Materialism is not necessarily dualism

See Bryant's latest blog post on matter:

"I think there’s plenty of room for an irreductive materialism (through theories of emergence).  Harman argues that there are immaterial objects and therefore believes, for example, that reincarnation is possible because soul can be separated from body (a consequence that would follow from his defense of substantial forms via Suárez), whereas I reject the notion that there are any immaterial entities.  In my view, there are only physical beings.

"In his post Wherewithal seems to contrast matter and energy.  However, in my view, the two terms are synonyms.  All that is required for a position to count as a materialism, in my view, is a commitment to the physical as exhaustive of all being, whatever the physical might turn out to be.  However, while I find much of value in Lucretius’s atomism, I do not advocate his conception of matter as being composed of ultimate, impenetrable and indivisible particles.  Rather, I think of matter as energy."

Key argument: It's all a nondual 'physical,' meaning matter-energy, whatever that "might turn out to be." What it is not is a reduction to the usual meaning of matter, since it allows for emergence. Granted his view is a form of transcendental immanence, not to be confused with a dichotomy between the transcendent. The latter is dualism (or dualistic nondualism) of the kennilingual kind. Even AQAL has been criticized for this kind of dualism. See for example this from Edwards:

"There are associated questions concerning the actual interpretation and application of the Four Quadrants and the AQAL model itself. The Quadrants seem to impose a fundamental double dualism at the very heart of the Kosmos. How do these subject-object and one-many dimensions relate to the obvious holistic intent of Integral studies in general? Isn't it essentially dualistic to see the subjective human experience as 'fitting' into certain sectors of the Four Quadrants framework while the objective, behavioural side of life resides in others? Does Integral Theory actually want us to see interior "thought holons" occupying the Left Hand quadrants of the Kosmos while exterior behavioural holons are segregated to the Right Hand quadrants of objective reality?"

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