I don’t think we can make sense of an identity between a qualitative state of consciousness and a purely quantitative physical state. Read more A materialist might point to the adaptive value of consciousness: sensory experiences help us to navigate the world, pleasure and pain encourage us to seek what is good for our survival and avoid what is bad. For me, the highlight of the recent HLTGI festival was a two-hour discussion I had with Bernardo Kastrup, Sophie-Grace Chappell, and a number of festivalgoers on the Sunday evening. Professor Donald Hoffman is explicit about his position on panpsychism. It’s still the case that according to Christianity God had a physical body. My approach is via survival metaphysics. Put simply. (This echoes, to some extent at least, the debate which surrounded Niels Bohr’s Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics — see later section.) This is factually incorrect. Anti-realists accept that there is a mind-independent world. Non-reductionists postulate basic principles of nature to bridge the gap from more fundamental to less fundamental forms of consciousness. Philosophy of Consciousness • Idealism • Dualism • New Mysterianism • Neutral Monism / Panpsychism 9. to post comments or (I don’t use the term “qualia” here because that will lead to unclarity.) I think Bernardo ought to agree about the importance of giving constitutive as well as historical explanations. ii) and those descriptions are contingent — and dependent — upon persons/observers, concepts, theories, etc.. iii) then perhaps we may as well conclude that brains and neurons “do not exist unperceived”. Similarly, the qualities of personal perception (such as, say, pleasant warmth and white hues) could, at least in principle, be deduced from the transpersonal phenomenal states they are associated with (such as e.g. That route leads to idealism, subjectivism, solipsism and woo. I have been meaning for a while to take a deep dive into his papers and really work out what I think of the view, and this event gave me a good excuse. Thalesnotes that magnets and, under certain circumstances, amber, can movethemselves and concludes that they therefore possess minds. there is no such detectable substrate that is not an experience within consciousness. (Three words which many panpsychists often use together — see here.) That being said, not many (if any) panpsychists argue that tables and chairs are “conscious agents”. My claim is that Bernardo has not provided us with that explanation. “the sun and planets, tables and chairs, are not mind-independent, but depend for their existence on our perception”. This thread is archived. Intelligence and symmetry in nature and what it might tell us about reality First, the mind in all things is something internal to, or inherent in, things themselves (as opposed to being injected or sustained by some outside entity). For it is panpsychism that is physically incoherent, whereas analytic idealism is not only consistent with both microphysics and neuroscience, it even helps to make sense of a number of their observations. But that fact is compatible with many theories of consciousness. But if physicalism is true, the qualities of consciousness are identical with certain physical brain properties: the qualities and the brain properties are one and the same thing, just as water and H2O are one and the same thing. Regarding the physics, I think things are not as cut and dried as Bernardo thinks. Public exchange of letters with Massimo Pigliucci,' Letter Wiki. All physicalist theories I’ve ever come across hold that consciousness does have causal powers. Bernardo is an idealist and I’m a panpsychist. In terms of panpsychism: there are clear distinctions between Hoffman’s conscious realism and panpsychism. I turn now to Bernardo’s own view: analytic idealism. ' Panpsychism is crazy, but it's also most probably true, ' Aeon Magazine 'Panpsychism vs. Idealism,' Institute of Art and Ideas. Hoffman is against Kant’s transcendental idealism for the primary reason that he doesn’t deem it to be scientific. My objection wasn’t that disassociation doesn’t entail the existence of a new fundamental subject, or a new subject disconnected from the universal mind. In other words, disassociation doesn’t entail that there is more than one mind. Donald Hoffman’s philosophical position is called conscious realism.He opposes that position to panpsychism and to Kant’s transcendental idealism. Hoffman’s main problem with Immanuel Kant’s position on noumena is that he believes that it’s not scientific. Hoffman often defends his conscious realism by talking about its “mathematical models”, etc (or by using the words above — i.e., “a mathematical formulation”). Most panpsychists would be very happy with Hoffman’s sentence above. If there was just one mind, and that mind came to have certain of its experiences inferentially isolated from the others, all that would logically follow – in the absence of some further principles of nature – is that there is one mind with certain experiences inferentially isolated from the others. Leading philosophers at HowTheLightGetsIn Global In the absence of some reason to think dissociation gives us an explanation of the emergence of organic subject, my bet would be on theories in neuroscience that seem to have more empirical support. This includes not only human and animals, but inanimate objects such as rock and atoms. Afterall, if it was sufficient to give a historical explanation of the emergence of a given phenomenon, in terms of the adaptive value of its emergence, then how could we object to a materialist accounting for consciousness in such terms? Bernardo can’t assume without argument that dissociation alone is sufficient to produce a new subject because that would be to assume without argument the truth of his view. (In one place, Hoffman does say that he accepts what he sees as one type of panpsychism — the one that’s not, in his eyes, “dualist”.). Don't have an account? Panpsychism is of the heart/soul which divides to produce the Idealism of the mind. Similarly, it seems to me that Bernardo owes us an explanation of how sensory consciousness comes into existence from thought-like states of consciousness. The thing is that Hoffman makes the Copenhagen interpretation seem idealist nature. Elsewhere, however, Hoffman applies exactly the same argument to brains (as a whole), cups, trees, and other everyday macro-objects. “brains and neurons do not exist unperceived”, “most proponents of the Copenhagen interpretation embrace it only for the microscopic realm”, https://www.paulaustinmurphyonphilosophy.com/, http://poetrycomedyandstuff.blogspot.com/. So this isn’t that unlike people using mathematics and scientific terminology to defend — or back up — astrology, astral travelling, ley lines, Creationism, etc. So this is transcendental idealism; not immaterialism or subjective idealism. (This aspect of Hoffman’s conscious realism can’t be tackled now. Again, that’s fine as it stands, but we would still need a constitutive explanation of how consciousness comes into existence from purely physical states of affairs. That is: i) If we describe things as “brains and neurons”. Bernardo then tries to account for human/animal consciousness in terms of disassociation, a process through which a subset of the universal mind’s experiences cease to be cognitively integrated with the whole whilst remaining cognitively integrated with each other. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. That said, he’s hardly the first person to have done so (see here). More importantly (unlike conscious realism), panpsychists do claim that “tables and chairs [or their many parts] are conscious”; though they rarely (if ever) claim that they’re also “conscious agents”. Panpsychists aspire to account for human and animal consciousness in terms of more fundamental forms of consciousness. That is, brains and neurons (as well as other objects) don’t exist until we describe/observe them. With this claim of Kant, conscious realism and MUI theory agree. Both interpretations of panpsychism imply that every inanimate object has its own subjective inner life. • Problem: physical reality does not exist Mind Matter 10. It could be that naturalistic dualism is true, and there are fundamental psycho-physical laws governing this transition. As J… Both interpretations of panpsychism imply that every inanimate object has its own subjective inner life. He opposes that position to panpsychism and to Kant’s transcendental idealism. It's actually quite straight forward, in that BK's premise is that there is a realm outside of personal mentation, but that realm is entirely mental in nature, and what we experience as 'matter' is nothing but a experiential representation of transpersonal mental states. Panpsychism suggests that everything has a mind. Thus if consciousness has been with the universe (as it were) since the Beginning, then the issue of the emergence of consciousness becomes a non-problem. 100% Upvoted. Most of the objections Bernardo has put forth against panpsychism seem to be directed at the reductionist version. My concern with analytic idealism is that there seem to be two explanatory gaps at its core. It’s only when she actually has a red experience that she can gain this knowledge. This difference between panpsychism and Idealism/Nondualism is critical: the former proposes fragmentation as the fundamental reality, while the latter proposes unity, fragmentation being just an illusion arising from dissociative processes. To repeat. Hoffman, on the other hand, stresses the fundamentality of consciousness by writing it into the story at the Big Bang (actually, just after). Having said that, what Hoffman himself argues doesn’t make this distinction clear. Hoffman then expresses a position that isn’t at odds with either anti-realism or Kant’s transcendental idealism. Here, Philip defends panpsychism against the criticisms outlined by Bernardo in that discussion, and presents his own arguments against analytic idealism. Or if we’re thinking in terms of cosmopsychism: a basic law of nature that when the conscious universe is in a certain state, consciousness corresponding to certain of its parts emerges. In our debate, Bernardo responded to this point by saying that, according to materialism, consciousness has no causal efficacy, and hence its presence could not possibly be conducive to survival. And, if that’s correct, then that puts idealism and anti-realism in radically different places. He writes: “Conscious realism is not panpsychism, nor does it entail panpsychism.”. I don’t think we can make sense of an identity between a qualitative state of consciousness and a purely quantitative physical state. Indeed, the most influential argument against physicalism, the knowledge argument, would seem to support me in this contention. “Idealism” is no less vague because various a term. At HowTheLightGetsIn Online 2020 Philip Goff, Bernardo Kastrup and Sophie Grace Chappell debated the fundamental nature of reality. panpsychism: One-to-mapping of physical entities and minds. In addition, scientists aren’t philosophers. It's our nature of duality. Bernardo points to real-world cases of disassociation and suggests that they do seem to involve distinct subjects within the one person. David Chalmers’ naturalistic dualism, for example, accounts for consciousness by postulating special psycho-physical laws that bridge the gap from the physical to the mental. For example, here’s Hoffman applying it to DNA: “For instance, [conscious realism] entails that DNA does not exist when it is not perceived. Thus these two positions fit perfectly well together. The crucial question for deciding whether there is an explanatory gap from X to Y is: could we can deduce Y from X? It doesn’t follow that we’re wasting our time. But I don’t think it helps our cause to misrepresent the view we oppose. Christians believe that God became man, and hence that God had a physical body. One of the first Presocratic philosophers of ancient Greece,Thales (c. 624–545 BCE) deployed an analogical argument for theattribution of mind that tends towards panpsychism. ii) then that’s precisely because we had particles — and therefore consciousness — (just after) the Big Bang. peaceful feelings of kindness). What is the difference between idealism (such as, subjective idealism) and panpsychism? I would argue that it can’t do, precisely because I don’t think disassociation alone entails the existence of a new conscious subject (by ‘new’ I simply mean that there are now two rather than one). Another point is that Niels Bohr didn’t embrace idealism. There is no fundamental barrier of deducibility as in the hard problem. Despite having just stated that, there is a strong sense in which one can derive idealist conclusions from anti-realist statements. Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or Google to get started: Iain McGilchrist, Steve Fuller and Roger Penrose discusse the philosophy and science of consciousness, Most of the objections Bernardo has put forth. It is important to note here that material things are “real” in that that exist outside any one consciousness, … Why would the fact that some of my experiences become causally connected up in a certain way entail that a new conscious subject appears? As Hoffman puts it about one “interpretation” of Kant: “This interpretation of Kant precludes any science of the noumenal, for if we cannot describe the noumenal then we cannot build scientific theories of it.”, Yet Hoffman’s own conscious realism isn’t a scientific theory either. According to analytic idealism, at the fundamental level there is a single conscious subject: the universal mind. Hoffman hardly mentions it. This disassociated set of experiences, in virtue of its disassociation from the universal mind, then becomes a conscious subject in its own right. The argumentdepends upon the idea that enminded beings are self-movers. I regret that we didn’t get a chance to discuss this more, as I think this response misunderstands my objection. They simply argue that tables and chairs (or their many parts!) The main difference is that whilst panpsychists think that the physical world is fundamental, idealists think that there is a more fundamental reality underlying the physical world. Panpsychism: One-to-mapping of fundamental physical entities and minds. For example, it might just be a basic law of nature that when you have conscious particles arranged in certain ways, consciousness corresponding to the whole emerges. For instance, Karl Popper claimed that ‘Schopenhauer is a Kantian who has turned panpsychist’,  a phrase indicating the compatibility of his transcendental idealism and panpsychism. I’m not 100% sure what ‘modulation’ means. Marcus Aurelius: How To Live Without Fear, Beyond resilience: Toward ‘antifragile’ urbanism, On Definitions of the Word ‘Consciousness’ (1). This leads us to the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics. Sure, it’s clearly the case that Hoffman believes that it is. Philosophers often use the term qualia to refer to these subjective experiences. Idealism, on the other hand, seems to have it that literally everything is in the minds of subjects (or agents). Generalised . In our discussion at the festival (which you can watch some of on Bernardo’s YouTube channel here), Bernardo responded that disassociation doesn’t bring into being a ‘fundamentally new’ subject, as organic subjects are not distinct from the universal subject. 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