Panpsychism - a philosophy with a future

by slimboyfat 140 Replies latest social current

  • slimboyfat
    That is like asking what colour is love?

    Not really, because love doesn't have a colour, but a crystal has existence.

    You assume it's a stupid question because you assume that non-living matter has no awareness. But that's the very thing under discussion. What is the basis for the assumption that most things are unaware?

    Sam Harris didn't seem to think it was a stupid question. Did you listen to his discussion?

  • slimboyfat


    a materialist asks: how can you know that matter is aware?

    a panpsychist asks: how can you know that matter is unaware?

    You seem to think the first question is reasonable but the second question is not. Which is your privilege. But my question is why you think the first question has any more merit than the second one? Materialism may be ascendant and have tradition and popularity on its side. But is there any actual logical or empirical reason to priorotise the first question over the second?

  • waton

    just because some questions can be formulated and stacked in sequence does not bestow merit to most of them.

  • Finkelstein

    Slim says ....

    awareness is simply a lower level of mental state than consciousness.

    Aren't you taking a illogical leap of argument or a logical fallacy based upon a lack of empirical evidence. ?

  • slimboyfat
    just because some questions can be formulated and stacked in sequence does not bestow merit to most of them.

    Well indeed. What I am asking is if there is any logical or empirical reason for assuming matter is unaware, rather than the opposite. Not assuming that any particular stance has merit merely because it can be formulated into a statement or a question.

    Simply asserting that matter is unaware and that any other view is ridiculous is not an argument. It involves neither logic nor evidence. It's simply an appeal to tradition or bias, and an exercise in rhetoric.

  • waton

    Sbf: I am a deist, and believe matter, energy and their structure and the laws they work with, were given at the moment of creation, in other words they are on auto pilot. To elevate that propensity of any entity to do the right thing does not require it to be "aware".

    You called it a "Philosophie " fine, let Sophia sing, but proposing it as a scientific theory is a different matter. making a prediction for example, at what point would aware matter like my rock collection feel and react to prodding?

  • jp1692
    SBF: My question is why [do] you think the first question has any more merit than the second one?

    I already addressed that. The first question demands evidence for an assertion raised. The second question merely attempts to turn it around on those demanding evidence thereby shifting the burden of proof.

    That is intellectually dishonest.

    If I assert a belief in ghosts, you are justified in asking for evidence for my claim. It is not scientific or even rhetorically fair for me respond, “No. You need to prove they don’t exist.”

    Again, “the philosophic burden of proof lies upon a person making unfalsifiable claims, rather than shifting the burden of disproof to others."

    And "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

  • LoveUniHateExams

    LoveUni, you think everything is clear cut - no, not everything.

    But it's important not to muddy the waters at every possible opportunity. Otherwise no conclusions would be reached, no consensus achieved and nothing would get done.

    If philosophers spent all their time arguing over words (the tools of philosophy) and their definition or appropriateness, no issues would ever get thought out and resolved. You'd end up with philosophers arguing amongst themselves about whether this word or that word constitutes a micro-aggression.

    BTW Thanks for the link, I'll read it when I have the time.

    "Evolutionary history suggests that life involves a range of co-evolving hierarchies, and that non-life and life share a huge and biologically significant territory that buffers and makes more complex any account of either." - this may be so, but we're discussing whether rocks are conscious. There are also some long, fancy words in that quote. Let's chuck 'em away and talk in plain English where possible.

    As far as anyone can be certain, only living entities have consciousness - e.g. I am living and I have consciousness right now as I'm typing out this post. I assume the same to be true for you and other posters.

  • LoveUniHateExams

    What is it like to be a human?

    What is it like to be a dog?

    What is it like to be a bat?

    What is it like to be a spider?

    What is it like to be a tree? - all good questions.


    What is it like to be a crystal?

    What is it like to be an atom? - ridiculous questions!

  • slimboyfat

    He funny that you included trees!

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