Anyone who denies that consciousness exists in time or space owes us an account of how conscious experience relates to the contents of spacetime, given that the relationship is neither spatial nor temporal. If such an account is possible, it must take the form of a broadly idealist metaphysic, according to which facts about spacetime and its contents logically supervene on facts about experience. Chapter 6 looks at historical developments of this basic idea, the main two being: (1) the view that the physical facts reduce to facts about causal or quasi-causal potentialities for experience grounded either in minds (Berkeley, Leibniz) or in supra-empirical “things-in-themselves” (Kant); and (2) the phenomenalist view that the physical facts reduce to facts about fundamental phenomenological regularities (Mill). The chapter surveys the main challenges facing idealism in general, and phenomenalism in particular. This sets up the next three chapters, which are devoted to meeting these challenges.
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