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Materialist, Idealist & Dualist Views of Consciousness


People tend to take one of three philosophical views with regard to mind and consciousness. The materialist view sees consciousness as a kind of by-product of brain functioning. This is the predominant scientific view. The idealist view sees consciousness as the only reality; matter is but an illusion created by the mind. The dualist view sees both mind and matter as fundamental, but different and not reducible one to the other.

The fact that a high level of consciousness, with articulated images, thoughts, feelings, and rich subconscious elements, is associated with complex neural structures is not a guarantee that such consciousness is due to these structures. In other words the observation that brain function is correlated with consciousness does not ensure that the brain creates consciousness. [Laszlo, p. 144]

However, the brain is composed of matter, i.e., quantumstuff, and quanta are not devoid of some of the qualities we associate with consciousness.

...even elementary particles are endowed with a form and level of (proto) consciousness. To some extent and in some ways, all matter is conscious, and no consciousness is categorically immaterial. And if so, there is no categorical divide between matter and mind.
[Laszlo, p. 146 ]

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