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IdealismNew Essays in Metaphysics$
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Tyron Goldschmidt and Kenneth L. Pearce

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198746973

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198746973.001.0001

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Idealism and Fine-Tuning

Idealism and Fine-Tuning

(p.246) 15 Idealism and Fine-Tuning

Jacob Ross

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that, given certain background assumptions, a kind of idealism follows from a version of the fine-tuning thesis. The kind of idealism in question ascribes explanatory priority, not ontological priority, to the mental. The version of the fine-tuning thesis in question is the strong fine-tuning for consciousness thesis, according to which (i) the values of the fundamental physical parameters are fine-tuned for consciousness and (ii) this fine-tuning for consciousness is not the inevitable by-product of fine-tuning for something more basic than consciousness, such as life. The chapter argues that, assuming a particular account of the nature of explanation—namely, the unificationist account—the strong fine-tuning for consciousness thesis entails that consciousness plays a fundamental explanatory role in nature, and so this thesis entails explanatory idealism. The chapter concludes by arguing that similar reasoning leads to the conclusion that consciousness is the final cause of the universe.

Keywords:   idealism, fine-tuning, anthropic principle, explanation, unificationism

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