Panpsychism again?

The latest issue of Nautilus Magazine has a special issue on panpsychism, which means that I’m compelled to read and discuss several articles on this untestable and almost certainly false explanation for consciousness.  Just to refresh you, panpsychism is the view that humans are conscious (and perhaps other organisms) because the matter from which we … Continue reading Panpsychism again?

Sean M. Carroll shows that panpsychism is unlikely and unnecessary

I’m heartened to see that other scientists and philosophers of mind I respect, like Sean Carroll and Patricia Churchland, have analyzed the idea of “panpsychism” and found it wanting. As I noted yesterday, adding some of my own criticisms, panpsychism is somewhat of a philosophical fad (or even a religion). It claims that we’ll never … Continue reading Sean M. Carroll shows that panpsychism is unlikely and unnecessary

Panpsychism hangs around like a bad penny

I’ve written a fair bit about panpsychism (see here for all the posts), and I don’t really feel in the mood to summarize the problems at length. Suffice it to say that it’s a “theory”—probably an untestable one, or maybe it’s better seen as a religion—that every bit of matter in the Universe has some … Continue reading Panpsychism hangs around like a bad penny

Do electrons behave differently when they’re in brains? Sean Carroll takes Philip Goff apart on panpsychism

I’ve written a fair amount on this site about panpsychism,, the view that everything in the Universe, including electrons, rocks, and organisms, have a form of consciousness. The “conscious” molecules and atoms are supposed to combine, under certain unspecified and mysterious rules, into brains that have a higher-level consciousness.  Voilà: the “hard problem” of consciousness … Continue reading Do electrons behave differently when they’re in brains? Sean Carroll takes Philip Goff apart on panpsychism

Panpsychism hangs around like an unwanted guest

I’ve written a fair few critical posts about panpsychism, the idea that the “hard problem of consciousness” is solved by positing that all matter in the Universe is conscious. Advocates of panpsychism say that understanding consciousness in an organism like humans is impossible with present approaches, for figuring out how the feeling of “subjective experience”, … Continue reading Panpsychism hangs around like an unwanted guest

Even more on panpsychism

As I near the end of Philip Goff’s trade book (Galileo’s Error: Foundations for a New Science of Consciousness), aimed at convincing the public that panpsychism is true, I came across a tweet that led me to an online “letters” conversation between Goff and philosopher/biologist Massimo Pigliucci, which you can read in the second screenshot … Continue reading Even more on panpsychism

New Scientist touts panpsychism

“As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.” Proverbs 26:11 Matthew sent me a link to this new article in New Scientist. Yes, yet another credulous git has fallen for panpsychism. Click on the screenshot to read just the first three paragraphs (it’s paywalled, though the content of this … Continue reading New Scientist touts panpsychism

Panpsychism: an interview and a critique

Yes, we’re gonna have more on panpsychism today, and, after I read Goff’s book (coming via interlibrary loan) I think I’m pretty much done. I’ve now finished Annaka Harris’s book book Conscious: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind, and, as I said yesterday, it’s a good read but suffers from her … Continue reading Panpsychism: an interview and a critique

Sean Carroll vs. Philip Goff on panpsychism

Since we’ve been talking about panpsychism lately—that’s the theory that the entire Universe and its constituents are in some way conscious—I thought I’d post a podcast in which two opposing academics hash out the issues. I’ll be posting a bit more about panpsychism in the weeks to come as I read and learn more about … Continue reading Sean Carroll vs. Philip Goff on panpsychism

Panpsychism: a big bag of nothing

I was suckered by the Courtier’s Reply of panpsychists like Philip Goff, and so have finished his popular (i.e., trade) book, Galileo’s Error: Foundations for a New Science of Consciousness. I am not going to summarize it or review it at length, as it says little beyond what I’ve summarized previously. It has not convinced … Continue reading Panpsychism: a big bag of nothing