"Crazyism" about the metaphysics of mind, as I define it, is the view that something bizarre and undeserving of credence must be among the core truths about the mind. In my central article on the topic, I develop the view by defending two subordinate theses: universal bizarreness and universal dubiety.
Univeral bizarreness is the view that well-developed metaphysical approaches to the mind will inevitably conflict sharply with common sense. My defense of universal bizarreness turns on the failure of any contemporary or historical philosopher to develop a thoroughly commonsensical metaphysics of mind. That empirical fact about the history of philosophy is best explained, I think, by the incoherence of common sense in matters of mental metaphysics. If commonsense is incoherent, no broad-reaching coherent metaphysical system could respect it all.
Universal dubiety is the view that all of the broad approaches to the metaphysics of mind -- materialism, dualism, idealism, or some rejection or compromise alternative -- are dubious, none warranting credence much above 50%. My defense of universal dubiety turns on the apparent inability of any combination of empirical scientific, abstract theoretical, or commonsensical methods, in anything like their current state, to resolve fundamental metaphysical questions of this sort.
The most common objection I hear to crazyism is that it's obvious. I am somewhat puzzled by this objection!
Is it obvious that all coherent, well-developed approaches to the metaphysics of mind conflict with common sense? Perhaps that was Kant’s view, especially in the antimonies, but Kant’s view of the antimonies is not universally accepted. Scientifically oriented materialists often reject common sense, but doing so is entirely consistent with thinking that there might be a commonsensical way of to develop dualism. Also, it remains common argumentative practice in the metaphysics of mind to highlight sharp violations of common sense in views one opposes – idealism, panpsychism, Chinese-nation functionalism, eliminative materialism – as though the bizarreness of those views were a powerful consideration against them. This practice seems problematic if it is generally agreed that all well-developed metaphysical theories sharply violate common sense.
Is it obvious that no existing combination of methods could, within the next several decades – within our active philosophical lifetimes – appropriately push us to a warranted belief (or credence much above 50%) in materialism or whatever option might usurp materialism’s current popularity in the philosophical community? This doesn’t seem to be the attitude of most of my materialist friends. Indeed, even other skeptics about our ability to solve the mind-body problem, such as Colin McGinn and Noam Chomsky, seem to assume a broadly naturalistic, scientific perspective toward the world, excluding from outset such options as idealism and substance dualism.
Finally, it's odd that the supposed obviousness of crazyism is offered as an objection to my work on the topic. Even if the view I am espousing is just boringly obvious to well-informed philosophers, it might still be worth gathering and presenting the considerations in favor of it, if (as I believe), it hasn't properly been done before. But I am eagerly open to reading suggestions on this last point!