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Paddy Gormley's Meta Matters project reappraises the hypothesis that the material world is an illusion. This hypothesis, though far from new, has never been taken seriously by more than a few supporters, and has been increasingly marginalised by the ever-growing weight of scientific evidence about matters material.

Ironically, though, the new logic for immaterial reality is largely founded upon scientific research, and in particular upon the developments in materials science that have fuelled the rise of virtual reality technologies since the late 20th century.

Jeremy Paxman wrote (in the Financial Times Diary, 13th February 2015: click for PDF):

"... Paddy Gormley, a charming philosopher whose mission in life
seems to be to act as the reincarnation of the 18th-century Bishop Berkeley,
who claimed that the world was a figment of our imaginations".

Since 2008, Meta Matters project founder Paddy Gormley has been working to:

  • reveal powerful new evidence in support of the theory that the universe does not exist in material form;
  • expose fundamental flaws in scientific reasoning;
  • explore some of the many new possibilities for the nature of existence that present themselves to a truly open mind.

This website features a selection of Meta Matters project materials, including:

  • click-to-play excerpts from sixteen (quarter-hour) radio talks that form the backbone of the project;
  • a short film, which considers the 3D cinema as a metaphor for immaterial existence;
  • audio talks and audience discussions in which Paddy Gormley openly challenges basic scientific assumptions;
  • details of Paddy Gormley's weekly, free-thinking, philosophical discussions for Crisis, the homeless charity.

Click for a PDF of this postcard

Click the image for a PDF of the project postcard,
which includes a further illustration on the reverse.

Paddy Gormley observes that powerful new evidence has emerged in support of the seemingly lost cause of idealist philosophy. Ironically, the evidence has emerged as the result of scientific research.  Specifically, technologies such as computer games and 3D cinema show that immaterial worlds, far from being inconceivable, are persuasive and easy to create.  The rapidly increasing prevalence of such technologies proves that humans are extremely susceptible to spurious sensory experiences.  Computer programming geeks are the Intelligent Designers of the 21st Century.

Idealist thinking, far from going away, is here to stay.  In the Meta Matters project, Paddy Gormley considers the implications for 21st century humanity, bringing this important debate into the public domain for the first time by banishing all jargon, and opting instead for plain and simple language. In Meta Matters, everything is philosible.

meta matters radio talks

Since March 2009, Paddy Gormley has been exploring these themes in a series of radio talks.  He has already completed two series of eight talks each, respectively concerned with reappraisals of the philosophies of scientific realism and idealism. Click right for synopses and audio excerpts from all sixteen talks. 

He envisages several further series, on topics including:

  • memory, imagination and the evolution of language;
  • the social implications of immaterial existence;
  • a reappraisal of the case for the existence of God, based exclusively on the agnostic principles of Meta Matters, and without recourse to scriptures or dogma.

Scientific Unrealism

The now near-universal belief in material existence owes much to the rapidly growing body of scientific knowledge. Idealist philosophies, by contrast, have long been considered insubstantial (in every sense of the word), and their proponents dismissed as solipsistic cranks. 

Click here for synopses and excerpts

Paddy Gormley is actively seeking partners for the Meta Matters project. 

All enquiries to paddy@paddygormley.info.

Creative Thinking

Paddy Gormley conducts weekly Creative Thinking sessions for Crisis, in which homeless and otherwise marginalised people discuss philosophical issues.

He finds that people who have to deal with life-changing problems are more inclined to challenge conventional thinking than those who lead more predictable lives.

These sessions were inspired by the Meta Matters project, and often address similar issues.

Click the image below for a selection of Creative Thinking course programmes, including the summer 2015 programme with which Paddy Gormley celebrates ten years of teaching at Crisis: a reprise of Do Machines Listen?, the pioneering programme that launched this Creative Thinking format in 2010.
Click for a selection of Paddy Gormley's course programmes for Crisis
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Websites by Paddy Gormley