Panpsychism

By: BenOh | November 25, 2017

By John Horgan (Scientific American)

When it comes to science, ours is a paradoxical era. On the one hand, prominent physicists proclaim that they are solving the riddle of reality and hence finally displacing religious myths of creation. That is the chest-thumping message of books such as The Grand Design by physicists Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow and A Universe from Nothing by Lawrence Krauss. A corollary of this triumphal view is that science will inevitably solve all other mysteries as well.

On the other hand, science's limits have never been more glaringly apparent. In their desperation for a "theory of everything"—which unifies quantum mechanics and relativity and explains the origin and structure of our cosmos—physici...

Category: Reviews Book Article 

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By: BenOh | August 14, 2017

By Philip Goff


Goff argues that the philosophical project of “neuro-fundamentalism” has not gone well and we need a radical reconceptualization of the mind, the brain, and the relationship between them and suggests there's more recently a quiet revolution has been occurring in philosophy of mind which aims to turn the brain-first approach on its head.


https://blog.oup.com/2017/08/electrons-consciousness-philosophy/

Category: Philosophy 

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By: BenOh | March 01, 2017

Common sense tells us that only living things have an inner life. Rabbits and tigers and mice have feelings, sensations and experiences; tables and rocks and molecules do not. Panpsychists deny this datum of common sense. According to panpsychism, the smallest bits of matter – things such as electrons and quarks – have very basic kinds of experience; an electron has an inner life.


The main objection made to panpsychism is that it is ‘crazy’ and ‘just obviously wrong’. It is thought to be highly counterintuitive to suppose that an electron has some kind of inner life, no matter how basic, and this is taken to be a very strong reason to doubt the truth of panpsychism. But many widely accepted scientific theories are also crazily counter to co...

Category: Philosophy 

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By: BenOh | February 24, 2017

Here's a TED talk by Stefano Mancuso on how plants behave in some oddly intelligent ways: fighting predators, maximizing food opportunities ... But can we think of them as actually having a form of intelligence of their own? Italian botanist Stefano Mancuso presents intriguing evidence.

Category: Science 

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By: BenOh | February 23, 2017

The chapter presents the Hegelian Argument for panpsychism. It is inspired by Hegel’s dialectical method in exploring the possibility of a conceptual middle-ground between materialism and dualism. It seeks a ‘synthesis’ between these two antithetical positions. The chapter establishes this synthesis by elucidating the opposition of materialism and dualism, as well as their respective strengths and weaknesses: Materialism is supported by causal arguments, which claim that causal explanations must be grounded in physical properties. If phenomenal properties are to be causally relevant, they have to be grounded in physical properties. This entails the truth of materialism. Conceivability arguments undermine the truth of materialism: There is n...

Category: Philosophy 

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