Volume 5, Issue 2, 2007

Acategoriality and the Unity of Being in Hölderlin's Novel "Hyperion"
Doris Feil, München, Germany

It will be argued that a mode of consciousness which Jean Gebser introduced as "acategoriality" in the 1950s was anticipated by Hölderlin 150 years earlier. According to Gebser, acategoriality is an epistemic act oriented towards a primary experience of being, that is highly integrative and exceeds categorial knowledge. Hölderlin shows in his novel "Hyperion" how the individual subject can realize this experience. He proposes a comprehensive concept of integrative epistemic acts denoted as "intellectual intuition" whose most differentiated form is acategorial. The accurate description of an acategorial state in "Hyperion" will be related to an analytical framework formulated within the theory of complex dynamical systems. This framework provides a solution for an analytical problem that Hölderlin's conception of acategoriality raises. Conversely, Hölderlin's novel offers paradigmatic phenomenological examples for acategorial mental states that are useful for their detailed analytical understanding.

Mind, Matter and Monad
Gordon Globus, Departments of Psychiatry and Philosophy, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, USA

The indiscernability of the waking life and well-developed instances of the dream life suggests that the world perceived during waking is also "virtual'' - real in effect but not in fact. The naturalistic philosophical framework for virtual reality developed by Metzinger and by Revonsuo is discussed and critiqued. An alternative monadological realism is proposed and comparisons are made with Leibniz and Bohm.

Mind - Body - Spirituality
Harald Walach, School of Social Science & Samueli Institute, European Office
University of Northampton, Northampton, United Kingdom

The argument of this paper is that the modern brain-consciousness debate has left out one important element: the question of a transpersonal or spirit-like element of consciousness. Thus the problem really is not a mind-body-problem or brain-consciousness problem, but a mind-body-spirit or brain-consciousness-soul problem. Looking at the history of the debate it can be seen that, explicitly or implicitly, this aspect has always been part of the philosophical debate. Most notably, this can be seen in the Aristotelian concept of the soul, which held that form and matter were both together necessary to constitute a unity. But on top of that, a Platonic strand of teaching existed in Aristotle, which was lost. This tradition stipulated an aspect of the soul, the active intellect, that was separate and separable. This idea has inspired other and later writers into postulating an immortal part of the soul. In the modern debate this tradition has been lost and was frequently amalgamated with dualist positions. Phenomenological descriptions of mystical experiences, as well as other unusual (or exceptional) mind-matter anomalies suggest that this aspect of the problem needs reconsideration. For this purpose a transcendental kind of monism is suggested which does not violate the consensus that only a monist description of the world is scientifically viable. Such a position would, in addition, provide the option to incorporate the transpersonal side of the debate.

Last revision: 19 September 2007