Neurophenomenology and Neoplatonism

In: The International Journal of the Platonic Tradition
Bruce J. MacLennan University of Tennessee Knoxville

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The worldview emerging from neurophenomenology is consistent with the phenomenological insights obtained by Neoplatonic theurgical operations. For example, gods and daimons are phenomenologically equivalent to the archetypes and complexes investigated in Jungian psychology and explicated by evolutionary psychology. Jung understood the unconscious mind and physical reality to have a common root in an unus mundus (with physical and psychical aspects). Parallel reductions in the phenomenological and neurological domain imply elementary constituents of consciousness associated with simple physical systems, that is, natural processes experienced both externally (objectively) and internally (subjectively). Analysis reveals they have both an eternal formal structure and a material substrate that allows the formal structure to evolve in time with both phenomenal and physical aspects. Since all physical processes fit this description, a form of panpsychism is implied. These developments can inform our understanding of the Forms, the World Soul, and individual souls in Neoplatonism.

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