Panpsychism

By: BenOh | January 29, 2018

Some of the world's most renowned scientists are questioning whether the cosmos has

an inner life similar to our own.


For centuries, modern science has been shrinking the gap between humans and the 

rest of the universe, from Isaac Newton showing that one set of laws applies equally to

 falling apples and orbiting moons to Carl Sagan intoning that “we are made of star 

stuff” — that the atoms of our bodies were literally forged in the nuclear furnaces of 

other stars.


Even in that context, Gregory Matloff’s ideas are shocking. The veteran physicist at 

New York City College of Technology recently published a paper arguing that 

humans may be like the rest of the universe in substance and in spirit. A 

“pr...

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By: BenOh | January 29, 2018

Consciousness permeates reality. Rather than being just a unique feature of human subjective experience, it’s the foundation of the universe, present in every particle and all physical matter.


This sounds like easily-dismissible bunkum, but as traditional attempts to explain consciousness continue to fail, the “panpsychist” view is increasingly being taken seriously by credible philosophers, neuroscientists, and physicists, including figures such as neuroscientist Christof Koch and physicist Roger Penrose.


“Why should we think common sense is a good guide to what the universe is like?” says Philip Goff, a philosophy professor at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. “Einstein tells us weird things about the nature of time that cou...

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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...

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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...

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