Although he declares that consciousness is not an illusion, Massimo Pigliucci, author with Gregory Lopez of A Handbook for New Stoics: How to Thrive in a World Out of Your Control (2019), doesn’t like the idea that consciousness is an “illusion” but he also doesn’t like the suggestion that there is more to reality than just plain matter. His views on the subject, in a recent essay at Aeon, help us understand the impasse naturalism finds itself in where consciousness is concerned.
As noted at Mind Matters News,
First, the fact that we are even asking these questions sets us quite apart from all and any of the innumerable life forms that have come to exist on Earth over billions of years. There is no reason to believe that “we have to thank billions of years of evolution by entirely mindless natural selection for these causally efficacious representations,” as Pigliucci claims. Human-like consciousness did not happen to any other life form and we cannot produce it in any of them. His claims are a mere statement of faith in “mindless natural selection,” marketed via fellow naturalists to the public at large as a finding of science.“Yes, consciousness is real but that’s not the half of it” at Mind Matters News
It’s time to revive dualism: “And lastly, Pigliucci insists, without offering evidence, that dualism is “antiscientific.” Dualism is a logical conclusion from our circumstances; we are beings of both mind and matter. And those who would refute dualism tend to involve themselves in stranger claims, as we have seen.”