Panpsychism - a philosophy with a future

by slimboyfat 140 Replies latest social current

  • slimboyfat

    At one time scientists believed that living things and non-living things were made of different material, accounting for the unique properties of living things. This idea is called vitalism and is no longer popular.

    What does remain popular (in fact is still the dominant view) is a similar idea that things that experience the world (humans, frogs, mice) are different from things that don't experience the world (potatoes, rocks, snowflakes). But in order to believe there is a distinction between things that experience the world and things that don't, you either need to believe in dualism (the idea that spirit enables experience outside of the material world) or that experience and consciousness emerge from unconscious matter. Many increasingly find neither of these explanations satisfactory, which is why many, including prominent scientists and philosophers are now endorsing varieties of panpsychism.

    Panpsychism is the idea that experience is a property of all matter, and that human consciousness is different in degree rather than kind from the rest of the universe.

    Philosophers such as Galen Stawson and Thomas Nagel endorse varieties of panpsychism. Scientists are also beginning to support the idea, such as the neuroscientist Stefan Koch, who gives his reasons in this video.

  • cofty
    consciousness emerge from unconscious matter


    Evidence-free woo woo funded by the Templeton Foundation to the tune of $3.7m.

    Jerry Coyne on panpscychism here ...

    and here ...

  • cofty
    in fact is still the dominant view...

    Dominant as in 9.999999999999999999999999999999999% of actual scientists.

  • waton

    may be when protons, in a supernova, are forged into gold nuclei, they have kind of an orgasm? feeling for all?

  • never a jw
    never a jw

    Consciousness, a matter of "degree". Why not? I even like the idea, as long as it's kept n the realm of philosophy... for now.

    No evidence? ...I think there's enough evidence in the animal kingdom to make speculative inferences.

    However, I will apply the idea only to live matter.

  • FadeToBlack

    Is there a special 'gesturing' course you need to attend before you can present a TED talk?

    I only ask because they all seem to have the same strange mannerisms. I usually can't watch more than a minute or two of any presentation. And the audience seems to display the same bobble-head behavior I remember from the KH.

  • cofty
    However, I will apply the idea only to live matter. - never a jw

    Which is to totally miss the point.

    The clue is in the "pan" of pansychism. In other words these, Discovery Institute funded, geniuses are proposing that rocks are conscious.

  • slimboyfat

    Some very senior scientists and philosophers now support the idea, including British scientist Roger Penrose, and America philosopher Thomas Nagel. They may still be a minority, but the idea is getting more popular - because it makes sense.

    Sam Harris said it is an interesting idea and discussed it with David Chalmers.

  • OrphanCrow


    An ancient belief system - all things have life, "even the rocks will speak"

    A common teaching of indigenous tribes of North America and possibly the oldest form of belief system that there is

  • Hanged Man

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