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What's wrong with panpsychism?
#1
I personally don't feel attracted to panpsychism, although I know it is rather popular both among people with a spiritual world view and among broad-minded naturalists.


Here's a short summary of my problems:  Three Problems with Panpsychism
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#2
Quantum Mechanics indicates consciousness is fundamental. Matter is derived from consciousness. This is incompatible with panpsychism

https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/s...ce_quantum

The evidence from cosmology that an intelligence created the physical universe is also incompatible with panpsychism.

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/articles-an..._cosmology
The first gulp from the glass of science will make you an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you - Werner Heisenberg. (More at my Blog & Website)
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#3
Very relevant points, Jim, thank you!
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#4
Interestingly, I recently found out from Bernardo Kastrup that the philosopher David Chalmers might be coming round to thinking that Idealism might be the way to go after dabbling with panpsychism for a few years.
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#5
This is the page Chalmers used during his talk.  Smile


   
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#6
(09-01-2017, 04:16 PM)Stan Woolley Wrote: This is the page Chalmers used during his talk.  Smile

Interesting, last time I checked he was a dualist. So he's now reached level 3... Cool!
Didn't see it coming.

Cheers
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#7
(09-01-2017, 04:16 PM)Stan Woolley Wrote: This is the page Chalmers used during his talk.  Smile

Oh, by the way, what talk would that be?
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#8
(09-01-2017, 07:29 PM)Bucky Wrote: Oh, by the way, what talk would that be?

That would be some talk in (I think) the Far East that a few philosophers including Bernardo and Chalmers attended.
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#9
(09-01-2017, 09:54 AM)Titus Rivas Wrote: Here's a short summary of my problems:  Three Problems with Panpsychism

Very good stuff, Titus, thanks for sharing! The first objection strikes me as the most cogent - which perhaps is why you put it first.
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#10
(09-01-2017, 09:54 AM)Titus Rivas Wrote: I personally don't feel attracted to panpsychism, although I know it is rather popular both among people with a spiritual world view and among broad-minded naturalists.


Here's a short summary of my problems:  Three Problems with Panpsychism

It strikes me that panpsychism tends to lead to a bottom-up model of consciousness. Naturalists can still have their emergentism, and give primacy to matter, if even elementary particles possess a minimal degree of consciousness. This then enables the hand-waving explanations of how somehow aggregations of matter complexified over time, culminating in the human brain with its relatively gargantuan degree of consciousness.

To my mind, at the bottom of this is still the idea of excluding the possibility that the universe arose as a result of consciousness: there's still the underlying desire to rely on stochastics, or random chance acting on matter to explain the universe and its evolution.

OTOH, Idealistic monism posits that intelligence (in the sense of highly complexified consciousness, even if that consciousness is not self-aware) of some sort has always existed, and that the process of universe formation and evolution are top-down. All phenomenal reality is how the universe appears, not how it actually is. So what is it that can observe appearances? Why, primal consciousness itself, of course.

One issue is giving up the notion of an omnipotent creator, one that can do simply anything, at least in the universe that has actually come to be. Maybe primal consciousness doesn't know exactly how its process of expressing itself will turn out, and can't do simply anything within its own method of unfolding; it's fully invested in evolving, coming to know itself through the medium of its own appearances or creations. Maybe it doesn't know in the sense we understand the term except through us, self-reflective beings that Bernardo Kastrup believes are alters -- myriad appearances (to itself) of its own dissociated self that reflect what it is coming to know.

Maybe it's not so much that it has given us free will, as that it can't help but express itself freely, given its constitution. Free will, intelligence, self-reflective consciousness and so on are descriptions we alters apply to things that have a reality, but that we model using words/concepts, which limit us in the ways we can interpret the world and lead to all sorts of difficulties and contradictions. As Donald Hoffman (see my post in the Federico Faggin thread) says, it could all be part of the "desktop interface" we use to interpret the world, but behind that is the operating system, the programming, etc, which we are largely unable to quite grasp.

Panpsychism could be like one icon on the desktop, so to speak. And, to some extent, also Idealism, Substance Dualism, and all the other -isms. They represent our gropings (or source's gropings) towards knowing itself, as expressed in words/concepts with all their limitations. That isn't to say that some of them aren't nearer to reality than others, of course. Right now, personally, after being tending towards Idealism for a number of years, I quite suddenly find myself in a state of agnosticism. Little bits of several "-isms" strike chords and it's all a bit of a mishmash. Whether something will eventually drop out of that is anyone's guess.
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