The Epicurean philosophy of pure physicalism is attractive to many but the logic of it, followed consistently, refutes itself.
Essentially, panpsychism offers a way for scientists to address human consciousness, as currently understood, without explaining it away as an illusion. It would allow us to say that if Zombie-Jane existed, she would be missing something critical that Jane has (and so does everything else, to some extent). Whether that makes panpsychism a better explanation of reality than idealism or dualism is a separate question. Like all points of view, they have their own issues but the Zombie isn’t one of them.
Egnor: None of the good philosophy being done today is being done by any materialist. That is that whatever good philosophy is being done, and there is some, is being done by people who at least in part reject materialism. The good part of their philosophy is the part that rejects materialism.
Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor was permitted the opening statement. Now here’s Papineau’s reply (partial transcript).
The shift toward emergentism will probably begin to affect debates over evolution. Evolution theories based on physicalism will likely face challenges from unexpected quarters.
An “anti-God” stance is, in some ways, more complex and less satisfactory than a conventional “pro-God” stance.
But wait, say others, the hard problem of consciousness is not so easily dismissed.
(I think we’ve corrupted KF’s thread long enough.) The entire problem of mind/matter dualism is rooted in a single error of thought: the reification of an abstract descriptive model of experience into an causal agency independent of the mind that conceives it and the mental experience it is extrapolated from. It is similar to the Read More…