Panpsychism - a philosophy with a future
All living advanced complex organisms such as are selves have to have a conscious to survive as we evolved through biological evolution..
Evolution can explain this occurrence.
Sedate organic compounds such as rocks to do not because they are not complex and advanced.
A basic argument for panpsychism, as Strawson presents it, is that we know we are personally conscious. It's the one thing in the world we can be absolutely sure about. If we also agree that we are made of matter, and that we are conscious as material beings, without the aid of "spirit", then the question arises as to how consciousness comes about from our corporeal bodies. Logically there seems to be two possible explanations: 1) at a certain level of complexity consciousness "radically emerges" from matter where previously there was nothing, or 2) awareness is already a property of matter itself to begin with, so that consciousness does not "radically emerge" at a certain point of complexity, but is the extreme end of a continuum of awareness.
If you say there is no evidence for option 2, it's fair to point out that there is no evidence for option 1 either. It's commonly taken for granted that awareness is a special property of some beings, and it's postulated this property somehow emerges from dull matter. There is no prooof for these assertions either.
Some scientists are now devising ways of testing panpsychism, including David Chalmers. Sam Harris seems to find his ideas more compelling that those of Daniel Dennett who once argued that "consciousness is an illusion". They comment that Dennett seems to have modified that extreme position. They talk about panpsychism at around 45 minutes.
Support for panpsychism continues to grow.
SBF, The Goff essay was interesting, although I did not find it conclusive. Thanks for sharing it.
SBF: If you say there is no evidence for option 2, it's fair to point out that there is no evidence for option 1 either.
It does not follow that the denial of #2 implies that #1 is false also. I completely disagree. There's a huge, repeat HUGE, gap between the two statements. I believe you know this, so your statement surprises me.
SBF: It's commonly taken for granted that awareness is a special property of some beings, and it's postulated this property somehow emerges from dull matter. There is no prooof (sic) for these assertions either.
You are (or at least seem to be) contradicting yourself here. Indeed, you began your this post by stating that "we know we are personally conscious. It's the one thing in the world we can be absolutely sure about."
This is the fundamental premise from Descartes when he uttered his famous dictum: "Cogito ergo sum"
Consciousness and/or awareness exists. How it arose is the question. As I wrote earlier:
From whence does consciousness arise? That is the question.
Our present lack of knowledge of how that happened does not imply or even suggest that rocks and electrons are conscious too.
I remain unconvinced.
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.
Enjoyed reading your interesting post, SBF!
would a plasma constitute the melding of all the individual consciousnesses of all the included particles?
are we seeing the revival and justification of the pet rock phenomenon?
ps: just because the laws of creation/ nature allowed for the emergence of consciousness now, does not mean that it had to kick in right from the big bang on. imho
Can there be a consciousness without the first order of materialism ?
Within the theory of Panpsychisim an atom has a level of consciousness .
Can there be a consciousness without a brain?
perhaps the natural potential to combine to the next higher order is here re-labelled "consciousness?