Support Philosophy Bites

  • Donate in GB Pounds
  • Donate in Euros
  • Donate in US Dollars
  • Subscribe
    Payment Options

Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

« Peter Singer on Life and Death Decision-Making | Main | Nick Bostrom on the Status Quo Bias »

May 05, 2012



I am no philosopher, but this sounded like a crank idea to me. Maybe I missed the subtlety of the argument?

Panpsychism seems to be a proposed answer to the hard problem of how we can have conscious experience if we're made of stuff that cannot. To assume the latter statement is false - and that all the stuff of the universe has some kind of internal experience - seems to be no help. It simply assumes away the problem.

I don't see why one should need to abandon the idea that conscious experience is an 'emergent' phenomenon. (To use an overused term.) Working computers are made from components that cannot compute anything by themselves. Cells can reproduce and preserve information (in the technical sense), while being made from atoms that cannot.

I'm not even sure it's well defined once you think through the physics. At the bottom of mordern quantum physics there aren't even discrete 'things' like electrons that could have experience. These are local excitations of a certain quantum field. What is it here that can have experience?


Here's a nice discussion about panpsychism, emergence and related stuff:

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)