Experience unbound: Neutral monism, contextual emergence and extended cognitive science

Michael Silberstein, Elizabethtown College


The goal of this paper is to defend the following claims: (1) neutral monism is the best metaphysical alternative when it comes to the question of how the mental and physical relate (Sect. 1), (2) neutral monism is not just more metaphysics, properly understood, it already has a budding scientific expression in the form of embodied, embedded and extended cognitive science (Sect. 2), (3) neutral monism and extended cognitive science are both best viewed as instances of contextual emergence (Sect. 3), (4) adopting (1)-(3) above in earnest deflates many ancient metaphysical conundrums and puts the world right again safe from philosophers. Which is to say that (1)-(3) is good metaphysics and good science.