The way in which humans have theorized the relationship between matter and their mind is divided into three great eras: incompatibility, assimilation, coincidence.
1st era: incompatibility
The contrast between material and spiritual is an evidence recognized since the dawn of humanity. The explanations provided during the first era, until the middle of the twentieth century, are reductive monisms and dualism.
Reductive monisms: religions, which make human and matter emanations of the divine. Also the scientism of the early twentieth century, which does exactly the opposite: the mind would be an epiphenomenon of matter and fundamental laws governing it. The proximity of these two monisms is astonishing; Only the guiding principle changes its face: impersonal for science, humanistic for religion.
In this era dualism is the only solution for open, non-reductive thinkers. It makes it possible to confess one’s powerlessness in the face of manifest matter/mind incompatibility. As you don’t have any satisfactory explanation, you might as well keep them clearly separate.
2nd era: assimilation
This era is linked to the previous one in the middle of the twentieth century. The idealists of matter and mind try to assimilate more fully the other aspect of reality. On the one hand, non-religious holistic theories are born, which make the infinitely divisible an aspect of the Whole. While scientists do the same: neuroscience makes it possible to better reintegrate the mind into matter. It is assimilated without being denigrated its intentions.
A third way appears in some scientists, marginal in the twentieth, Bertalanffy, Brillouin, Koestler, Le Moigne, Kauffman, Morin, Maturana: it is the recognition of complexity. But this dimension, which is essentially transdisciplinary, is not the subject of very organized research. A mockery for a specialty whose subject is organization?
The platist school
The platist school drives the nail in. This school is expanding at the end of the 2nd era. It makes complexity a mere property of reality. Reality in itself is one, and complexity is only that of its aspects (Piccinini). There is no complex dimension to theorize independently, any more than it was previously necessary to theorize epiphenomena. The conflict could arise between the platists, because there are platist theories for different levels of reality, one for the fundamental origin of matter, one for the mind flattened on neurons (Chater). Together, they recreate the complex dimension they wish to eliminate. Troublesome…
3rd era: coincidence
You fall well, it starts today! Finally the train is already full. With the majority of humans aboard in fact, who are equipped with matter and mind, are perfectly fine with both and do not want to be rid of one or the other. Many scientists and philosophers too, the descendants of those who distrusted reductionists. Why confine one’s thought to matter, or the opposite?
We could start by rereading these pioneers of the complexity I have mentioned, and extend their work. By installing the real and the spiritual in the complex dimension, they are similarly concretized, completed. They coincide. This is the work undertaken on this blog.
About aspects and other platisms
For Piccinini, reality in itself is monistic and inaccessible. We can only grasp aspects, properties of reality in itself manifesting themselves according to the context. Piccinini of course takes complexity into account. Its ‘aspects’ are upside-down Russian dolls: each leap of complexity is contained within the previous aspects, is not an addition but a retrenchment. How are all aspects present at the beginning in the real itself, this monistic block? Platicism sweeps away the problem in the inaccessibility of reality in itself.
Comment: Reality in itself is not accessible, on the one hand as an experience foreign to oneself – we cannot experience being a photon – and on the other hand as a fundamental constitution – it can only be represented by a model. This does not make it an entirely inaccessible block. That is the idea that stems from the fact that we could only represent it. But these representations are part of it. Our own experience of being is part of it. We are not “extra-real” equipped with a spationef and navigating in a space around reality. We are inside, equipped with epistemic tools generated by this reality. We are an expansion of it.
This idea of the extra-real mind is scientistic idealism. It is fundamentally a dualism and not a monistic vision of reality, as the block reality would suppose. The platist evacuates his mind from the block, or rather the occult: he becomes the block, he is part of it. His own mind is equated with an illusion, an aspect of the block. In this the scientistic idealist differs from the mystical idealists. For the latter, the space surrounding reality is a real universe, populated, free of the vices and conflicts of reality.
The scientistic idealist is too stuck in the block of reality, the mystic is too detached from it. Both lose their minds, not sufficiently inserted into the rest of reality.