I think BK regards inanimate objects as the extrinsic appearance of the thoughts of M@L with no subjectivity of their own (even a relative state of unconsciousness), because their boundaries are arbitrary. Eg if a rock is crushed up into 1000 bits, does that mean a single state of relative unconsciousness is split up into 1000 such states? He argues in this paper (https://philpapers.org/rec/KASTUI) that the "'relative arbitrariness in the way we delineate their boundaries renders inanimate objects problematic candidates for the revealed appearance of alters of cosmic consciousness."AshvinP wrote: ↑Fri Aug 06, 2021 4:02 pmJustinG wrote: ↑Fri Aug 06, 2021 10:58 amI don't have a problem inferring that metabolizing organisms are alters in an idealistic model, though maybe not plants. But I also think that it makes more sense to infer that all cells within an organism (whether animal, plant or funghi) are also alters. Possibly organelles within cells, and even lower levels than that, as well .Shajan624 wrote: ↑Fri Aug 06, 2021 10:18 am Metabolizing organisms as alters follows from the ontological position of mind as the only fundamental reality.
Idealist has to explain the apparent reality of living and non-living things. Non-living things are explained as the ‘dashboard’ of perception (material stuff are actually subjective processes in M@L, seen across a dissociative boundary). Living things has to be different because they have subjectivity. They must be ‘little minds’ enclosed in a material shell called body.
Alters, if I understand correctly, is a way to explain the presence of autonomous metabolizing agents in a mind-only universe, but I think it leads to some difficulties.
What is the reason for assuming there are non-living 'things'? Idealism requires no such assumption. We are adding that assumption on to the givens of our experience, which is only the experience of living activity. To get to "non-living", we must naively assume our bare perceptions are revealing the full essence of the mineral kingdom. I see no warrant for that assumption under idealism (or even materialism). In terms of "subjectivity", we can posit a relative state of unconsciousness for the mineral and plant kingdoms, such as we experience in deep dreamless sleep, but we also know that we still experience at least duration during that state, and our subjectivity returns upon awakening. And/or we can posit the living beings responsible for those appearances are supersensible, i.e. we cannot currently sense them with normal cognition.
Incidentally, in the same paper BK gives more reasoning for his view that 'metabolizing organisms' are the level at which alter formation occurs:
"But can we assume that all living creatures have phenomenal inner
life? I believe we can: in so far as it resembles our own, the extrinsic
behaviour of all metabolizing organisms is suggestive of their having
dissociated phenomenal fields analogous to ours in some sense. This
is obvious enough for cats and dogs, but what about plants and single celled
organisms such as amoebae? Well, consider this: ‘many types
of amoeba construct glassy shells by picking up sand grains from the
mud in which they live. The typical Difflugia shell, for example, is
shaped like a vase, and has a remarkable symmetry’ (Ford, 2010, p.
26). As for plants, many recent studies have reported on their
surprisingly sophisticated behaviour, leading even to a proposal for a
new field of scientific enquiry boldly called ‘plant neurobiology’
(Brenner et al., 2006). Clearly, thus, even plants and single-celled
organisms exhibit extrinsic behaviour somewhat analogous to our
own, further suggesting that they, too, have dissociated phenomenal
fields. Of course, the same cannot be said of any inanimate object or
phenomenon (those that have been engineered by humans to merely
simulate the behaviour of living beings, such as robots, natural
language interfaces, etc., naturally don’t count)."