If there is more to the world than just atoms swerving in the void, then we are going to have to use mostly non-scientific methods to investigate these other entities.
Perhaps the most logical starting point would be ourselves. Each one of us is necessarily the measure of our own perceptual world, and certainly the concept of the Self is a universal one. This is not to say that there are no skeptics, but those who deny the existence of the self are just as likely to end up by denying the existence of almost everything else as well, and we are right back to our deconstructive starting point.
What else might there be that we could agree upon? Phenomenologies of various sorts have been be used to explore for other universal attributes of the mind. It is not clear, however, that any very notable consensus is developing out of these efforts.
And so it seems about time to make my proposal. Admittedly it is something of a patchwork, and the only question is whether the whole is going to be more than the sum of its parts.
The primary pieces of the puzzle are just the emergent entities. Although we do not yet know specifically what these may be, we do know that the only claim to existence of these immaterial forms lies in their perceptibility and conceivability. If there exists anything more than mere collections of atoms, that existence must be in strict association with perceivers.
An irony of this observation is the implied inconceivability of a zombie world. The irony is that hypothetical zombies have recently figured prominently in philosophical argumentation over the ontology of consciousness, and it might seem that I am siding with the functionalists who insist that zombies are inconceivable. But I am taking their point and running it back. How so?
In making this move, I am taking a big step against mind-matter dualism, toward an inevitable immaterialism, but let us not skip ahead. I am arguing here mainly against naturalism. Naturalists accept emergent properties, but hold that they are purely spontaneous (i.e. natural) and have no logical prerequisites.
Maybe I had better pause here for a consideration of naturalism. Please pardon this spontaneous interruption.
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