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 


By: BenOh | December 11, 2016

This article aims to bridge phenomenology and the study of plant intelligence with the view to enriching both disciplines. Besides considering the world from the perspective of sessile organisms, it would be necessary, in keeping with the phenomenological framework, to rethink

 (1) the meaning of being-sessile and being-in-a-place;

(2) the concepts of sentience and attention;

(3) how aboveground and underground environments appear to plants;

(4) the significance of modular development for our understanding of intelligence; and

(5) the concept of communication within and between plants and plant tissues. What emerges from these discussions is the image of a mind embodied in plant life.

Recent advances in plant neurobiology and plan...

Category: Philosophy 


By: BenOh | December 04, 2016

Do rocks have minds? A minority of modern philosophers are prepared (but only, perhaps, after some prodding) to admit they believe the answer is ‘yes’ – or at least, ‘sort of’. In the past decade, a number of bona fide academics, such as Australia’s Freya Mathews, the USA’s David Skrbina, and the UK’s Galen Strawson, have emerged as champions of panpsychism: the view that not only rocks, but everything in the universe is – in some sense, and to some extent – conscious.

The Roots of Universal Consciousness

By the historical period, such animism was on the wane – but it wasn’t dead. In the Sixth Century BCE, the earliest recorded Greek philosopher, Thales, famously wrote “All things are full of gods.” Aristotle reported that Thales said this...

Category: Philosophy 


By: BenOh | December 06, 2015

"Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality" -Carl Sagan

It appears that we are approaching a unique time in the history of man and science where empirical measures and deductive reasoning can actually inform us spiritually. Integrated Information Theory (IIT)--put forth by neuroscientists Giulio Tononi and Christof Koch--is a new framework that describes a way to experimentally measure the extent to which a system is conscious.

As such, it has the potential to answer questions that once seemed impossible, like "which is more conscious, a bat or a beetle?" Furthermore, the theory posits that any system that processes and integrates information, be it organic or inorganic, expe...

Category: Philosophy 


By: BenOh | November 29, 2015

Excerpts from talk: 


"The first crazy idea is that consciousness is fundamental. Physicists sometimes take some aspects of the universe as fundamental building blocks: space and time and mass. They postulate fundamental laws governing them, like the laws of gravity or of quantum mechanics. These fundamental properties and laws aren't explained in terms of anything more basic. Rather, they're taken as primitive, and you build up the world from there. Now sometimes, the list of fundamentals expands. In the 19th century, Maxwell figured out that you can't explain electromagnetic phenomena in terms of the existing fundamentals — space, time, mass, Newton's laws — so he postulated fundamental laws of electromagnetism and postulated elec...

Category: Philosophy