Bernardo Kastrup The Case for Idealism

The Case for Idealism

Bernardo Kastrup

The idea that reality exists outside and independently of mind seems so obvious as to be indisputable. But is it possible we've all got it completely wrong? Join philosopher and scientist Bernardo Kastrup as he argues that reality is fundamentally mental.

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    Bernardo Kastrup

About the Course


The idea that reality exists outside and independently of our minds seems so obvious as to be indisputable. Yet in philosophy, there is a rich tradition of turning this model on its head – arguing that reality is not fundamentally material, but fundamentally mental. While this idea, metaphysical idealism, has gone out of fashion, evidence is beginning to mount up suggesting it might actually be right.

What exactly is materialism, and why is it so popular? How can we rate a metaphysical system, and why does materialism fail? What is the hard problem of consciousness, and why is it important? What is panpsychism, and does it succeed where materialism failed? If there is only one consciousness, why does it seem like we are separate beings? Why do hallucinogenics reduce brain function, and why does this matter?

World-leading defender of metaphysical idealism Bernardo Kastrup, author of The Idea of the World and Meaning in Absurdity, draws upon analytic philosophical arguments, his scientific background and a deep knowledge of the philosophical tradition of metaphysical idealism to explain why reality is fundamentally mental.

By the end of the course, you will have learned:

  • why materialism is unscientific
  • what it means to have a good metaphysics
  • why panpsychism is more similar to materialism than is commonly thought
  • why the similarities between the universe and the brain are no coincidence
  • how dissociative identity order can explain more than we realise


As part of the course there are in-video quiz questions to consolidate your learning, suggested further readings to stimulate a deeper exploration of the topic, discussion boards to have your say and an end-of-course assessment set by Bernardo Kastrup.

IAI Academy courses are designed to be challenging but accessible to the interested student. No specialist knowledge is required.


About the Instructor

  • Bernardo Kastrup

    Bernardo Kastrup is a Dutch computer scientist, philosopher, and one of the most prominent defenders of "metaphysical idealism" - the notion that reality is essentially mental - in the academic world today. Bernardo has worked as a scientist in leading laboratories across the world including CERN and the Philips Research Laboratories, and he is a regular contributor to Scientific American.

Course Syllabus

  • Part One: Materalism's Mistakes
    Some think consciousness arises from the physical, others think that the physical is itself conscious. In part one of this course, Kastrup deconstructs the missteps of materialism and the mistakes of panpsychism.
  • Part Two: Why the Evidence Points to Idealism
    What do new developments in neuroscience suggest about the nature of reality? In part two of this course, Kastrup explains the fresh evidence that vindicates idealism.