Anthropological Complementarism

Linguistic, Logical, and Phenomenological Studies in Support of a Third Way Beyond Dualism and Monism

Author: Hans U Hoche
In this collection of essays, I endeavour to found a novel stance concerning the relationship between subjectively experienced consciousness and objectively observable occurrences in the CNS (‘consciousness-brain’ problem). Although, from antiquity up to the fashionable though in my eyes highly dubious ‘neurophilosophical’ approaches of our days, this problem has found innumerable answers, most of them – and, as far as I can see, all of them that are presently being discussed by mainstream philosophers and empirical scientists – may be roughly subsumed under the well-known generic labels of either ‘dualism’ or ‘monism’ (or hybrids of them). Objecting simultaneously to both of these overall positions – all variants of which, I think, may gain whatever little appearance of acceptability they have at all mainly in the light of the shortcomings of their respective opposites –, I am going to suggest trying out a ‘third way’ beyond monism and dualism, which I propose to call ‘complementaristic’ in much the sense of Niels Bohr’s. This requires a fundamental reassessment of some of our most deeply ingrained and practically never challenged preconceptions in the philosophy of mind.

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