Rather than attempting to explain the occurrence of consciousness via the primacy of matter, this work attempts to derive an objective, external, physical world from the occurrence of first-person awareness. To do so, at least three principles that are not currently in favor will be made use of: the occurrence of free will, teleological determinacy, and a type of formal determinacy to be herein termed “formational determinacy” (wherein the form determines the organization and processes of its constituents).
By the author’s appraisal, the two ready-established metaphysical systems which this work most closely resembles are those of objective idealism as specified by the pragmatist Charles Sanders Peirce—namely, such that physicality is considered to be effete mind whose natural laws are global habits—and of Neoplatonism, in particular the Neoplatonic notion of “the One” or, else termed, “the Good”. Overlaps with other metaphysical systems, such as that of Buddhism, can also be found. Of potential note, given these similarities, to the typical atheist this work might be interpreted as being of a theistic mindset while, to the typical theist, the same contents might be interpreted as espousing an atheistic philosophy.
Likewise by the author’s appraisal, among this work’s greatest strengths will be its explanatory power in addressing topics of value theory, including that of meta-ethics.
Among the most prominent challenges associated with this work will be the requirement that one let go of today’s commonplace presumptions—both implicit and explicit—of a physicalist ontology. To arrive at certain conclusions, collectively exhaustive ontological possibilities will often be appraised—with many of these possibilities being noncredible, if at all imaginable, from a physicalist worldview. Furthermore, the conclusions thereby obtained will at times contradict physicalist suppositions—as can be exemplified by the conclusion of free will’s occurrence and the teleological determinacy this entails. Nevertheless, it will be via these same, non-physicalist conclusions that the reality of an objective, physical world will be derived—this alongside derivations of a compatibilist system wherein a formational determinacy between mind and brain unfolds.
One of this work’s leading unresolved issues will be the metaphysical explanation of how life—and the awareness that life is deemed to entail—evolved from nonlife. Notwithstanding, in part because this work derives a metaphysical requirement for biological evolution, and in part because intrinsic to this overall work will be an epistemological obligation to honor data obtained from all branches of empirical science regarding objective reality, this work will staunchly conclude that life did indeed emerge from out of a universe that once was devoid of lifeforms. Due to the logical implications of this conclusion as derived from both the ontological and epistemological tenets to be herein presented, the work will then culminate in a generalized hypothesis of panpsychism, one whose metaphysical details await to be resolved.