In my humble opinion,
The universe is made of mental stuff,
therefore real physical stuff “must be” an illusion.
… is just as lazy as …
The universe is made of real physical stuff,
therefore mental stuff “must be” an illusion.
They’re just an example of a fake binary choice. The long-running choice between idealism and realism in fact. (My position on this is the “dual-aspect-monism” or “trialism” I last elaborated in a graphic towards the end of this recent post, pasted here again for reference.)
There are clearly illusory aspects in our perceptions of the world we interpret as the real and the mental. Obviously it’s all real (or it’s wrong), some of it is just not physical, and some of our (imperfect) models haven’t quite established and accepted the true relationships between them. But for me that difficulty is mostly a wilful cop-out – wilful in the insistence of casting it as a choice between physical and mental – and dismissing the loser – rather than accepting the relational reality. (The fact that reality is directly unknowable – in the above figure – doesn’t mean it’s not real, just that our picture of it is indirect and imperfect. Discussed more in the linked post.)
That first “quoted” statement above is my caricature / paraphrase of Bernardo Kastrup’s position as I see it circulating. As a computer scientist he is causing waves with his apparent pan-psychic position, and there are a number of click-bait headlines and quotes about his forthcoming book. One thing’s for sure, his “information realism” may in fact be quite close to my picture. This quote & exchange caused me to read more closely what I’d so far only bookmarked:
Qualifying universe with mental, surely means that statement is simply a tautology. (Still reading / reviewing, but sceptical about Bernardo’s thesis.)
â€” Ian Glendinning (@psybertron) March 26, 2019
The reason physical reality (res-extensa) and mental experience (res cogitans) must be related is because they both comprise the same (even more) fundamental stuff – information (res informatica). Information is both conceptual AND physically embodied, but its content is independent of its embodiment or otherwise. Its meaning lives in both worlds.
(h/t Philip Goff for the Dual-Aspect-Monism suggestion.)
Ever since pan-psychism re-surfaced in popular psyche, people have been pointing out Kastrup’s work to me, although I have in fact been aware of him for quite some time already. I still need to digest through closer reading exactly what Katsrup’s position really is, as opposed to the “extremist” pan-psychist position that gets reported and winds-up the more scientistic physicists. Maybe it’s all part of pumping book sales, but I am sincerely hoping his position is much closer to mine.