Mind-Body Problem
Metaphysics is that branch of traditional (originally baseline) philosophy that examines the nature of reality, including the relationship between mind and matter, substance and attribute, fact and value. It includes such diverse explanations of reality as materialism, dualism, nominalism, etc.

Not all metaphysical options have been shown to be tenable. The mind-body Identity theory was the first casualty. This form of naive naturalism, indicating that there is a little "picture" in our heads that perfectly reflects the external world; essentially the materialism of the Greek atomists, of Lucretius, Gassendi, Hobbes, D'Holbach, Marx and Lenin, was disproved as far back as the early information age. At that time, the claim that the mind is identical to the brain in all respects, that mental states are identical to brain states, facts about mentality are reducible to physical facts, i.e. facts about matter and material processes, was shown to be untenable by such diverse philosophical-materialist approaches as Modern Functionalists, Property Dualists, and Supervenience theorists, all of whom agreed that human consciousness is irreducible to or inexplicable in terms of natural processes. They held that subjective mental phenomena and experiences - called qualia - are unique to that person and incommunicable and unknowable to any one else. They moreover showed that qualia and other such properties of consciousness could not be translated into the terms of physical science in any meaningful way and hence represented a reality not amenable to the laws of nature

The even more conclusive disproof of Cartesian Dualism - the idea that mind and body are two completely distinct entities which somehow co-existed and could interact - finally came during the middle interplanetary age. Although Cartesian Dualism of a neo-Ecclesian kind had a brief and energetic revival in the 2nd century AT, following a great enthusiasm and interest in the nature of AI; all such interpretations and variations (including ontological epiphenomenalism) were revealed to be absurd by the logico-mathematical medias and hypertexts of Ramatha Singh, Gordon Qyang, and other superbright philosophers of the 3rd and 4th centuries.

By the early Federation age the hyperturing AI Thought of Ganymede, one of the Twenty Four, demonstrated conclusively (to any intellect of first toposophic or greater that is....) that only five (strict definition) or 7 (loose definition) metaphysical options were tenable. These are Noetic Monism, Emergent Materialism, Emergent Chaotism, Transomegism, Emanationist Panentheism, Reflective Monism, and Hyper-reflective Monism.

While Thought of Ganymede's seminal virchpaper has been commentated and elaborated on many times, no sophonts of less than first toposophic have been able to disprove eir central thesis in a way that is credible to transingularitan entities. And those First and Second Toposophic powers who have however modified, elaborated, extended or refuted it, as well as suggesting both more (hyper-loose) and less (hyper-strict) metaphysical options, have done so in ways that are incomprehensible to beings of less than first toposophic, although their findings have been acknowledged by their transapient peers.

 
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev

Initially published on 24 March 2001.