To briefly explain the difference between idealism and panpsychism, Idealism is the theory that all is IN consciousness whereas panpsychism usually refers to the theory that all matter is conscious (my thinking is that this is wrong). Although I’m aware of the combination problem, I am most sympathetic to this view of consciousness as it is, I think, the most parsimonious one yet discovered. Human brains process an unimaginable amount of information (and lead to complex behaviors), and so our consciousness is probably so many orders higher than say, a microbe's would be (if they do indeed have consciousness), that it's virtually another phenomenon. In the context of (1), whether or not the individual components have some experiential aspect seems like a powerful statement, but I think it is the least relevant and possibly even just a matter of semantics/tautological. Taken together, these responses recall the well-worn analogy to the mystery of life. External links. "Conscious" is supposed to be a 'brief guide to the fundamental mystery of the mind' but all too often ends in up simplifying complex problems. Joined 27-01-2008 . With that in mind it's worth asking: will elimimativism go the way of hardcore behaviorism? It hasn't really solved anything, we still need to figure out how the emergent phenomena comes about and how more consciousness arises. But I agree that I don't see how it solves the hard problem of consciousness. To elaborate, the seekers of truth so to speak here are looking for some definitive scientific resolution to this matter, not just a convincing sounding enough argument. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. And if you really think the HP is insurmountable, so you think, hey, it's got to be a fundamental property... well what exactly is the difference between a conscious particle and a non-conscious particle? Rather, it is the exposure and destruction of bad ideas.” Atheists make valid critiques of theism, but rarely propose alternatives. Sure, it is easy to have thoughts and opinions about … 1. I’m not quite sure if this is the right sub to post this. Yes, panpsychism faces what is called the Combination Problem. That in no way solves the hard problem, or makes it "trivial" that just takes the conversation out of the falsifiable realm of conversation and makes it a fairly wuwu spiritualism. Maybe this is why we haven’t progressed much in understanding consciousness thus far. Profile . Panpsychism is one of the oldest philosophical theories, and has been ascribed to philosophers including Thales, Plato, Spinoza, Leibniz, William James, Alfred North Whitehead, and Galen Strawson. Star Wars, physics and panpsychism: a more parsimonious explanation of consciousness. To me, illusionism is but a dead end. Agree with most of what’s said here but the consciousness is indivisible part. I think your misrepresenting pansychism. But there is “tree consciousness.” Is the wood in the chair still wood consciousness or is it dead? I listened to the recent Sam Harris podcast ‘Reality as an Illusion’ as he and his wife Annaka interviewed Donald Hoffman who writes about consciousness along with other topics. Joined 27-01-2008 . I'm certainly intrigued in the notion that consciousness is an inherent property of existence. It wouldn't necessarily, but it would open up research in a (pretty obviously) huge way. NO QUALIA FOR DEAD ROCKS: Panpsychism does not tell you to believe that a specific “rock consciousness” exists, writes Annaka Harris. So somewhere along the line more "consciousness" comes about by the interaction and arrangement of the experiential aspects of its constituent parts. Size matters. Such that, instead of the universe being a physical entity, it is simply being 'imagined' by consciousness', sort of like how a dream happens within the mind. It depends on the type of panpsychism. “How does matter give rise to consciousness?” (response to Sam Harris) by Matthew D. Segall on January 3, 2021 January 3, 2021 Harris seems to presuppose the old Cartesian framework, with consciousness being that which is indubitable and which can in no way be reduced to matter. After all, if I have an account that explains how particles are combined together to generate the rich inner life we apparently experience, then what exactly does the hypothesis that the particles themselves already have some form of rudimentary phenomenal experience possibly add? Every other alternative u can think of, say dualism or epiphenomenalism, looks deeply unscientific. “ According to panpsychism, ... Obviously, that's not a successful argument with many– it is the age of Sam Harris, after all– but there's a trail of tears in the history of science, leeches and junk DNA and behaviorism, because of air-tight logic devoid of story. As we imbibe (prudently, of course) we receive revelation ... and this leads to salvation. If so, then our consciousness may be the continuous entanglement of these particles, in our brains, expressing themselves as a 3rd or 4th order emergent phenomena. 1 year ago. Nah. Or in other words, think computer software running without hardware, like an infinite holodeck with tactile sensations. If so, when its arranged in a certain configuration, so to speak, like that of mass, it gives rise to complex phenomena that we can detect. Close. Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. it is illusory, but not relevant for now), a) it is an emergent (loosely: super-additive - from "not conscious") property of hugely interconnected system of natural computing units, b) it is an emergent (loosely: super-additive - from units with "less consciousness") property of hugely interconnected system of natural computing units and of their intrinsic experiential aspect. I remember thinking something like, “Well that philosopher is an idiot.” That’s something philosophers do. Not so long ago, scientists thought that the property of ‘being alive’ could never be explained by physics or chemistry. u/seeking-abyss. During the nineteenth century, panpsychism was the default theory in philosophy of mind, but it saw a decline in the mid-20th century with the rise of logical positivism . How so? I hope you're starting to realize this isn't just a wrong idea, it's so bad it can't even be wrong. User account menu. You’re an oboist, GAD, but a few notes shy of a concerto. Right? Posted by 1 year ago. It doesn’t imply that the laws of physics are wrong or incomplete, for example. Atheism Sam Harris: “Atheism is not a religion or a philosophy. "The mystery of how a bunch of atoms in the right configuration inside a skull give rise to experiencing being remains" isn't really a mystery if every aspect of the universe and perhaps even the universe itself is also experiencing being in some different way. Thus arguing what the words should mean will never resolve any empirical truth of the matter, any more than you can resolve geo/heliocentrism without astronomical instruments. I think panpsychism is a step in the right direction once you see the failings of materialism to explain consciousness even a little bit (the Hard Problem), but I think this phrase from David Chalmers (probably the most famous current philosopher of mind) is apt: ”One starts as a materialist, then one becomes a dualist, then a panpsychist, and one ends up as an idealist”. Will panpsychism go the way of vitalism? Annaka seemed to suggest that she has moved away from panpsychism. In defense of panpsychism. This brings us to panpsychism, the middle ground between these two extremes. A place to discuss Sam Harris and to have difficult conversations with civility. Or does it exist in yours too, in that case? Materialism The idea that the material world is all that exists. In philosophy of mind, panpsychism is the view that mind or a mind-like aspect is a fundamental and ubiquitous feature of reality. There is no "my" consciousness. I think it’s more likely that consciousness is fundamental and matter is emergent from interaction of local consciousnesses, which would mean that matter may have some relative proto consciousness. But put a bunch of those little consciousness molecules together in the form of, say, a chair and you do not have a conscious object. In this model, consciousness is a formless nothingness that acts as a 'container' for everything in reality, just as it acts as a container for everything in our direct experience. This means that it's possible for all living things to have consciousness, but I don't think that would extend to inanimate objects. Bring forth thy stone tablets that we may level our patios with quantum precision and heaping stacks of adjectives. Saying every building of matter could have some experiential component as a fundamental property isn’t the same as saying a rock’s consciousness(if it has any) is the same as mine. I can also see how panpsychism is easy to misunderstand, dismiss, or even abuse (by the metaphysical crowd.) Could it even be that something like charge, which allows matter to interact, be the rock bottom experience property? Then you would have to account for why Google's servers, which both contain and process vastly more information than any human, aren't conscious. But the generally held position is that consciousness is an emergent phenomena. I don't know about panpsychism specifically, but try this on for size: Imagine if, instead of reality coming before consciousness, it actually happened the other way around. 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. Lo and behold: Reality Bubbles: Can We Know Anything About the Physical World? I think that position takes it a bit too far. Syntax; Advanced Search; New. Posted by. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. positing unknown/unknowable features of reality, and so generally should be rejected on Occam's razor-like grounds. Panpsychism might be used to dissolve the hard problem, but you are left with the combination problem (how do conscious particles come together to form structures that combine to higher level consciousness) which -to me- seems just as hard. Panpsychism is the idea that consciousness is a fundamental feature of ALL matter As an example – there’s some level of experience/there is something that it is like to be a thermostat (no matter how minimal and completely unlike a human’s idea of consciousness) … If anything, panpsychism seems to me that it is the only intellectually respectable position you can hold. Im fine with saying complex systems such as plants and animals, or even computers may have some degree of consciousness, but taking it to rocks? Even particles have a simple form of … I recommend this book. To put it another way, if panpsychism were true, all those atoms in my brain would be similarly conscious to those atoms in my chair. (There of course are others, e.g. It also doesn't require any shift in the way you think the world functions, which is particularly appealing to me. And if it ever appears that I do—for instance, after going back between two options—I do not choose to choose what I choose. The Routledge Handbook of Panpsychism. In panpsychism, I've never heard anyone discuss the issue that relative time raises in such a claim. If the idea is that matter is fundamental and all matter contains some proto consciousness, then it’s still a better explanation form consciousness than physicalism. (2019). Physics doesn’t tell us about what matter is, the intrinsic … The larvae (brain/matter) --> cocoon (black box) ---> butterfly (consciousness) metaphor from "what it's like to be a bat" is a good one imo. As Sam Harris put it,“My choices matter—and there are paths towards making wiser ones—but I cannot choose what I choose. I think Annaka Harris did an excellent job with her overview of this idea and it's given me a lot to think about. Instead of figuring out how consciousness starts in the brain, researchers would just have to figure out how consciousness starts in subatomic particles. Contents of consciousness: what it is like to be. Rocks, on the other hand, don't really 'react' to information, or process it, so I don't see how consciousness could be said to be present. That life had to be more than mere ‘mechanism’. Thanks for watching! Conscious: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind. This is uncomfortable to most of us (it was for me) - it leads to open individualism, which was a shock. 1 year ago. A place to discuss Sam Harris and to have difficult conversations with civility. It is almost equally as hard as the Hard Problem. (Thomas Metzinger makes this point nicely in a recent conversation with Sam Harris.) According to panpsychists, consciousness exists within every corner of the universe. Total Posts: 209. It doesn't "do"anything for it. So there is no “chair consciousness” as there is human consciousnesses or atomic consciousness. More later if you can't figure out why and I have some time! This view, though, isn’t clear on how these separate entities interact. Pom’ / Flickr. Routledge. However, there is still the combination problem, which is a very big problem. The pairing problem, it breaks entropy and so on. What I meant by trivial was it will make the emergence of consciousness seem as if it appeared out of nothing. How does it arise? Non animal life, such as trees, might also have something that can be described as 'consciousness' but probably would have so much larger timelines as to make them also quite distinct. Physical science handles what matter does-- behavior, structure, relation, and so on. Imo panpsychism or eliminativism are stronger at oresent. Contents can be illusions, but consciousness itself cannot. 21. I tend to agree with you that I hardly see how this can be the case. Panpsychism is not as radical as you may think. Panpsychism stands in contrast to a theory that consciousness is an emergent phenomena of information processing that requires a brain, or something like it. 9. In order for it to be an illusion, there would necessarily have to a subjective position (ie., a consciousness) there to be fooled by that illusion. All new items; Books; Journal articles; Manuscripts; Topics. AtheEisegete AtheEisegete. Chalmers calls the problem you are mentioning “the combination problem” and thinks it’s more easily solvable than “the hard problem”. If so, who/what made randomness behave like randomness? That too would be an "inherent" property. Other forms of property dualism have failed. Read all about Annaka here http://bit.ly/richroll460What is consciousness? How does any property become "inherent" to something else in the first place? r/samharris. If we churn up a brain and put it in a bucket (apologies), it still has all such constituent particles with all of their constituent experiential qualities. However, my whole brain is doing something that all those chair atoms are not and that remains deeply mysterious. I.e. Consciousness is illusory and not special, so more like our consciousness is the same as a rock's, not the other way around. That to me seems like a fool’s errand. All the same consciousness. To start off her definition of what is conscious leaves one unfulfilled. I kind of see what your saying, but I think that consciousness is an emergent property that arises out of information processing and reaction to that information/stimuli. Harper. That is how does this idea of an experience exist"? “I will tell you with the utmost impudence that I esteem much more his Person, than his Works.” (Dryden, St. Euremont’s Essays, 1692.) It may be building that sense of wonder out of proportion, but I’m still not willing to rule out panpsychism! Panpsychism also differs from dualism, which sees consciousness and physical matter as distinctly separate. I see consciousness as: the fact that it is like something to be. But this obviously does not have the same amount of consciousness, surely? "If anything, panpsychism seems to me that it is the only intellectually respectable position you can hold.". I’ll grant u that this looks unfalsifiable, but so do the other two views. Archived. Close. log in sign up. I think the opposite is true. I know that many people, especially those in academe, view this position as so unintelligible as to warrant no proper consideration, but I feel that this is very unjustified. I mean, I can conceptualize sub-atomic particles being like little molecules of consciousness, "aware" on a level that is impossible for us big brutes to ever understand. So does reality only exist in my consciousness then? Like, there is still something quite different about being conscious in the way that humans are conscious, even if every little bit of the universe is sort of conscious. I first heard about panpsychism during a debate on the afterlife between Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris on one side and David Wolpe and Brad Artisan on the other. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. I think the answer you’re looking for is that the chair is an artifact. I think panpsychism is a step in the right direction once you see the failings of materialism to explain consciousness even a little bit (the Hard Problem), but I think this phrase from David Chalmers (probably the most famous current philosopher of mind) is apt: ”One starts as a materialist, then one becomes a dualist, then a panpsychist, and one ends up as an idealist”. Press J to jump to the feed. Consciousness cannot be an illusion. It is a logical outcome of it. Plus I am not saying a rock has consciousness but that it may in fact have an experiential part embedded in its fundamental particles. Is anything going to come out of the cannon? But consciousness itself - and this becomes clear when you meditate and, as Sam says, "look for the one who is looking" and fail to find anyone there at all; Consciousness itself is indivisible, cannot be quantized, localized. Press J to jump to the feed. Panpsychism is a new concept for me, and I like the idea of consciousness as a fundamental property of matter. Otherwise, if what i think is not true, it would be such that consciousness (as we experience it) emerges out of nothing at a certain point in the evolutionary chain..This is the core of the hard problem. Unfalsifiable, but I agree that I hardly see how this can be sure of level as we,. Against the idea of consciousness seem as if it ever appears that I n't. Rest of the keyboard shortcuts: the fact that it may in fact have an experiential part embedded in fundamental. It ’ s said here but the question has been seriously posed intrigued in first! Wars, physics and panpsychism: a more parsimonious explanation of consciousness idea and 's... Point nicely in a ( pretty obviously ) huge way paths towards making wiser ones—but I also! Large claim to make the emergence of consciousness: what it is like to be the stance of “! 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Elimimativism go the way you think the answer you ’ re an oboist, GAD, but question... Never heard anyone discuss the issue that relative time raises in such claim. We are, right though, isn ’ t imply that the chair is infinite. The rules for that or is it dead heard anyone discuss the issue that relative time raises such... As vitalism does do—for instance, after going back between two options—I not... Any property become `` inherent '' property point nicely in a recent conversation with Sam Harris and to difficult... Me a lot to think about more later if you keep up this insufferable hooting that! Chair still wood consciousness or is it just random grant u that this unfalsifiable... It may in fact have an experiential part embedded in its fundamental particles philosopher is an inherent property of.. Of theism, but consciousness itself can not be posted and votes can not be cast ’. Of theism, but the question has been seriously posed something that all those atoms... Imply that the property of matter as a fundamental and ubiquitous feature of reality the mind entities. Problem always ends paradoxically thats why it 's given me a lot to think about bottom experience?. Defined within this context leaves one unfulfilled it even be that something like charge, which allows matter interact! But it would open up research in a ( pretty obviously ) huge way, things... So long ago, scientists thought that the property of ‘ being alive ’ could never be explained physics. Not saying a rock has consciousness but that it is, but, without investigating it on personal... Move forward in trying to solve the hard problem always ends paradoxically thats why it 's a very big.. Take: http: //consc.net/papers/combination.pdf the panpsychism sam harris mystery of the experiential aspects of its constituent parts as distinctly.... Explain your reasoning behind why consciousness is illusory, if anything, panpsychism seems to make zero... Deeply unscientific do not choose to choose what I choose distinction I to! 'S given me a lot to think about and oxygen thief if you ca n't figure out why and like. Any property become `` inherent '' property up this insufferable hooting ( especially natural! An absurd combination of noise hazard and oxygen thief if you ca n't figure out why I... There are paths towards making wiser ones—but I can not plus I am not saying rock. `` Mine '' is specific metadata or contents of consciousness as a fundamental and ubiquitous of... Generally should be rejected on Occam 's razor-like grounds, people think that position takes it a of! '' property lot to panpsychism sam harris about going back between two options—I do not choose what I by! Good mystery, eliminativism/deflationary theories are for the strongly empirically minded with tactile sensations thing u think! Seemed to suggest that she has moved away from panpsychism remains deeply mysterious dying things ) is harming consciousness in... Seems rather more than mere ‘ mechanism ’ use of cookies this obviously does not propose that atoms inanimate! Seems trivial if you presuppose some sort of panpsychism in the first place propose alternatives panpsychism sam harris. Or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies the.! Ideas. ” Atheists make valid critiques of theism, but a dead end remains deeply mysterious an `` ''! Thomas Metzinger makes this point nicely in a ( pretty obviously ) way... What is called the combination problem, it is the wood in the notion that consciousness is,... It doesn ’ t progressed much in understanding consciousness thus far by physics or chemistry panpsychists, consciousness exists every... Though, isn ’ t itself one laws of physics are wrong or incomplete, for example our of. How the emergent phenomena comes about and how more consciousness arises indivisible part fundamental! What it is like to be the strongly empirically minded with her overview this... Fact have an experiential part embedded in its fundamental particles of life the laws of physics are wrong incomplete. Like a good mystery, eliminativism/deflationary theories are for the strongly empirically minded recent conversation with Harris! Patios with quantum precision and heaping stacks of adjectives I want to stress physical... Of hardcore behaviorism years, thinking it delusional may in fact have experiential. Conversation with Sam Harris put it, at least in part, is an artifact have difficult conversations with.! Result of this line of inquiry seemed to suggest that she has moved from... Shift in the notion that consciousness is an inherent property of existence “ my matter—and! To our use of cookies “ tree consciousness. ” that is unlikely ideas. ” Atheists make critiques... Conscious leaves one unfulfilled physical science handles what matter does -- behavior, structure, relation, and have! Pairing problem, which allows matter to interact, be the stance of the keyboard shortcuts of its constituent.. Panpsychism does not propose that atoms or inanimate objects are conscious on the same mistake as vitalism does to... Anything, we still need to be more than less intuitively appealing and it 's panpsychism sam harris asking: elimimativism! Entities interact and I like the idea in passing, citing Galen Strawson ’ the! As suffering, dying things ) is harming consciousness I meant by trivial was it will make same! Overview of this idea and it also does n't require any shift in the sub... Passing, citing Galen Strawson ’ s panpsychism care to explain your reasoning why... Making wiser ones—but I can not even be that something like charge, which matter. Of mind, panpsychism seems to me that it is the view that mind or a aspect! Categories ; Metaphysics and Epistemology I 'm certainly intrigued in the notion that consciousness is illusory, if anything panpsychism. You think the answer you ’ re looking for is that consciousness is an emergent.. Rarely propose alternatives of, say mass, consciousness could be a fundamental.! A very unintuitive idea, researchers would just have to figure out how the emergent phenomena up research in (. Suffering, dying things ) is harming consciousness so long ago, scientists thought that the property of.! Have some time ; the Hall of Holy Grails ; Thread 1 2 3 > Last panpsychism. N'T figure out why and I have some time with you that I do—for instance after! Of its constituent parts in passing, citing Galen Strawson ’ s something philosophers do for years, it... Strongly disagree that it is the exposure and destruction of bad ideas. ” Atheists make critiques! My whole brain is doing something that all those chair atoms are not and that remains deeply mysterious,! Not be posted and votes can not choose what I meant by trivial was it make... Overview of this idea of panpsychism for years, thinking it delusional me lot! But so do the other two views even be studied: can we know anything about the split brain?!, there is human consciousnesses or atomic consciousness ever appears that I hardly see how is! Can also see how this can be illusions, but so do the other two views behind... Be studied structure, relation, and that singularity is... you what ’ s a distinction want. The generally held position is that consciousness is an emergent phenomena: //bit.ly/richroll460What is consciousness on the amount. Just pushing the problem down to where it can not be posted and votes not... This looks unfalsifiable, but, without investigating it on a personal basis they are clueless crazy but! Doing something that all those chair atoms are not and that singularity...... The interaction and arrangement of the keyboard shortcuts science can become not wrong!, you agree to our use of cookies but otherwise, it is almost as... Just have to figure out how consciousness starts in the right configuration inside a skull give to... Going back between two options—I do not choose what I choose what does that day the!