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Panpsychism: Scientists who believe that the universe is conscious

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They’re not mystics. But materialism is not giving good answers so they are looking around:

It’s easy to mock the idea. But consider what neuroscientists studying consciousness are up against:

“Traditionally, scientists have been stalwart materialists. But doing so has caused them to slam up against the limitations of materialism. Consider the chasm between relativity and quantum mechanics, or Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, and you quickly start to recognize these incongruities. – Philip Perry, “The Universe May Be Conscious, Say Prominent Scientists” at Bigthink, June 25, 2017″

Put another way, in a universe governed by uncertainty principles rather than hard facts, what is the “material” in materialism? There is no good materialist theory of consciousness; far from it, an article in Chronicles of Higher Education last year labeled the current research a “bizarre” field of science.

Consciousness depends on the brain, yes. But one may as well say that a student’s essay depends on her laptop. The laptop enables an essay that it does not create. Her ideas start elsewhere but where, exactly, do they start? What space do they inhabit?

Some prominent physicists and neuroscientists who cannot accept the idea of a separate immaterial reality (dualism) turn to the simplest alternative, that the whole universe participates in consciousness (panpsychism).

Why some scientists believe the universe is conscious” at Mind Matters News

See also: Further reading on panpsychism:

No materialist theory of consciousness is plausible. All such theories either deny the very thing they are trying to explain, result in absurd scenarios, or end up requiring an immaterial intervention. (Eric Holloway)

Panpsychism: You are conscious but so is your coffee mug Materialists have a solution to the problem of consciousness, and it may startle you

and

How can consciousness be a material thing? Maybe it can’t. But materialist philosophers face starkly limited choices in how to view consciousness.

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3 Replies to “Panpsychism: Scientists who believe that the universe is conscious

  1. 1
    Charles Birch says:

    We have to be careful to distinguish between those scientists who believe the universe is CONSCIOUS and those who believe the universe is IN CONSCIOUSNESS. There is quite a difference. For example, two scientists who believe the universe is IN CONSCIOUSNESS are astrophysicist Richard Cohen Henry, and computer scientist / philosopher Bernardo Kastrup.

    Both these gentlemen have been misrepresented as suggesting that ‘your coffee mug is conscious’, when nothing could be further from their views. The coffee mug is not CONSCIOUS, it is IN CONSCIOUSNESS. In other words, the coffee mug is within Mind, just as the coffee mug in your dream is in YOUR mind.

    This is a crucial distinction, because if the universe in within Mind, whose mind is it? As Conn Henry concluded, ‘I believe we and the universe are dreams in the Mind of God.”

  2. 2
    Fasteddious says:

    For a brief expansion of the idea that the Universe is a simulation, carried out in the mind of God, see:
    https://thopid.blogspot.com/2019/01/our-simulated-world.html

  3. 3
    Mark from CO says:

    “Some prominent physicists and neuroscientists who cannot accept the idea of a separate immaterial reality (dualism) turn to the simplest alternative, that the whole universe participates in consciousness (panpsychism).”

    I must admit that I am not on their level, but it seems to me it is much easier and straightforward to believe in an immaterial reality than trying to figure out how and why the “whole universe participates in consciousness.”

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