“ For thousands of years, the going intuition was that people are crucial to everything else that exists”
Maybe they are, as Immanuel Kant put it, “Objects exist in reality but only a human mind can surround them with time and space …”
And both time and space are artifices, creations of the human mind.
Excellent article with some thought provoking ideas, I especially liked your paragraph about reason evolving on the African Savanna — not sure about the location, there’s evidence it might all have started on the Indian subcontinent, but then one of my Grandmas was from India so maybe I’m biased ;-) In evolutionary terms it makes sense but when exploring such ideas I always come back to the question of human consciousness: how did we develop the facility for toying with abstract concepts when there is no evolutionary advantage in it (in fact its a disadvantage, leading us to waste a lot of time that could have been spent hunting and gathering. Is there in fact another creature with no physical being inhabiting the bodies of us hairless apes.
Over 20 years ago as I was recovering from a major brain haemorrhage one of the doctors looking after my recovery plan said to me one day, “Medical science is just starting to learn that the brain and the mind are very different things.”
I have pondered on that one from time to time ever since.