Clear indications of panpsychist doctrines are evident in early Greekthought. All this displays the very common problem of conflating (or confusing) idealism and anti-realism. Hoffman often defends his conscious realism by talking about its “mathematical models”, etc (or by using the words above — i.e., “a mathematical formulation”). I regret that we didn’t get a chance to discuss this more, as I think this response misunderstands my objection. iii) Idealism and Anti-Realism iv) Kant’s Transcendental Idealism v) The Copenhagen Interpretation. Instead, some panpsychists would say that tables and chairs are made up of entities which contain (or instantiate) “phenomenal properties/qualities” (or “(proto)phenomenal properties”). Standardly, physicalists hold that: (A) Conscious states are identical with physical brain states(B) Physical brain states have causal efficacy. Philosophy 1153 Idealism, Solipsism, and Panpsychism – Chapter 4 Response Panpsychism and solipsism are two philosophical ideas that deal with the question of minds. The second explanatory gap concerns an aspect of Bernardo’s view I haven’t mentioned yet, and this is that the transition from universal mind to organism mind involves a move from thoughts to sensory qualities. 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. Hoffman’s position can be seen as a take on panpsychism in that he states that “consciousness is fundamental”. Indeed, the most influential argument against physicalism, the knowledge argument, would seem to support me in this contention. With this claim of Kant, conscious realism and MUI theory agree. Anti-realists accept that there is a mind-independent world. That is: i) If we describe things as “brains and neurons”. The cosmopsychist, in contrast, works within a field-ontology interpretation, and identifies fundamental forms of consciousness with universe-wide fields. Perhaps this is a bad example because at least DNA is a microphenomenon, if not a subatomic phenomenon. There are obvious similarities to cosmopsychism, but the difference is that for the analytic idealist the universal mind is a reality which underlies the physical world, whereas for the cosmopsychist the universal mind is the physical universe. What is the difference between idealism (such as, subjective idealism) and panpsychism? Consciousness is fundamental.”. Thus, four versions of panpsychism are distinguishable: dualistic atomistic panpsychism, dualistic holistic panpsychism, idealistic atomistic panpsychism, and idealistic holistic panpsychism. 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? There are two ways of construing this: micropsychism and cosmopsychism. As Bernardo puts it (p. 140 of this): If we take the human psyche as a representative sample of how cosmic consciousness operates — which is the best we can do, really — we can infer that, ordinarily, these phenomenal contents are internally integrated through cognitive associations: a feeling evokes an abstract idea, which triggers a memory, which inspires a thought, etc. ' Panpsychism is crazy, but it's also most probably true, ' Aeon Magazine 'Panpsychism vs. Idealism,' Institute of Art and Ideas. 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. I ask that question because he doesn’t explain it in the passages just quoted (though he may well do elsewhere). The thing is that Hoffman makes the Copenhagen interpretation seem idealist nature. Yet, as is the case on so many occasions, anti-realism is basically seen as idealism (or, at the least, as a variety of idealism). peaceful feelings of kindness). ), The rest of the Hoffman quote above makes some correct distinctions between panpsychism and conscious realism. As J… Now this isn’t an expression of anti-realism because an anti-realist wouldn’t say that any x doesn’t exist “when unperceived”. Instead, panpsychists believe that there’s consciousness (or there are phenomenal properties) all the way down to the particle and all the way up to the animal brain. It’s the other way around. So this isn’t that unlike people using mathematics and scientific terminology to defend — or back up — astrology, astral travelling, ley lines, Creationism, etc. But there are important differences. Non-reductionists postulate basic principles of nature to bridge the gap from more fundamental to less fundamental forms of consciousness. In fact, in my first book I defended a cosmopsychist form of panpsychism and the view I am currently developing is a form of cosmopsychism. Thus he believes that he can offer a scientific theory of it. It may even be the case that Hoffman’s conscious realism has a lot in common with panpsychism. But in any case, the point is moot as a panpsychist need not commit to particles. According to analytic idealism, at the fundamental level there is a single conscious subject: the universal mind. Idealism: One-to-one mapping of physical entities and object-minds, but object-minds do not necessarily exhaust the mind of God. Most of the objections Bernardo has put forth against panpsychism seem to be directed at the reductionist version. This disassociated set of experiences, in virtue of its disassociation from the universal mind, then becomes a conscious subject in its own right. Thus there’s no need for (radical/strong) emergence. So let’s reiterate what’s just been said above (i.e., before the subheading). save hide report. Read Bernardo's response here. Surely it’s best to say that some things (whatever they are) exist mind-independently. Of course many current theorists disagree.”, The wording in the above isn’t quite right. Surely someone who is born blind will never form the idea of white, no matter how much they meditate on peace and kindness. Afterall, cognitive integration is just a matter of causal relationships (Bernardo confirmed this in our discussion). I turn now to Bernardo’s own view: analytic idealism. So this is transcendental idealism; not immaterialism or subjective idealism. However, there are also very clear and strong similarities. But I don’t think it helps our cause to misrepresent the view we oppose. Of course it can now be said that even if Hoffman’s conscious realism (CR) isn’t identical to panpsychism — and also that it doesn’t “entail panpsychism”, that still doesn’t mean that it has nothing in common with it at all. “the sun and planets, tables and chairs, are not mind-independent, but depend for their existence on our perception”. It’s still the case that according to Christianity God had a physical body. Bernardo objects that none of the equations of physics refer to qualities, which he takes to entail that: if physicalism is true, qualities have no role to play in the causal story of the universe. Panpsychism is the all-pervading consciousness as the ground or true nature of reality directly from our soul energy that supports the illusion of material, but also gives rise to the Idealism of the Mind. Again, perhaps in real world cases, dissociation does lead to new subjects; but, again, that doesn’t show that disassociation alone accounts for the emergence of those new subjects (as opposed to, say, underlying psycho-physical laws of nature). On the face of it, this is a transition between two radically different categories of phenomenology. 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. Hoffman then makes various distinctions between his own position of conscious realism and panpsychism. Bernardo is an idealist and I’m a panpsychist. Christians believe that God became man, and hence that God had a physical body. Take this passage: “The story that there was first the Big Bang and then, billions of years of later, life, and then, hundreds of millions of years later, consciousness, is fundamentally wrong. It’s hard to see how there could be an intelligible transition from abstract thoughts to the rich qualities of sensory experience: colours, sounds, smells and tastes. It’s only when she actually has a red experience that she can gain this knowledge. Panpsychism also rejects the emergence of consciousness from the physical and stresses, instead, that it’s not the case that (to use Hoffman’s words) it’s “a latecomer in the evolutionary history of the universe” that “aris[es] from complex interactions of unconsciousness matter and fields”. My approach is via survival metaphysics. 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. If it is a fact that disassociation gives rise to multiple subjects, then a naturalistic dualist will simply tailor the psychophysical laws to account for that fact. He opposes that position to panpsychism and to Kant’s transcendental idealism. The problem is that they don’t exist as the sun, planets, tables and chairs. Sign in To be clear: I reject materialism as much as Bernardo does. Thus these two positions fit perfectly well together. According to analytic idealism, at the fundamental level there is a single conscious subject: the universal mind. (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”.). It doesn’t follow that we’re wasting our time. (Bernardo continued this disagreement in a blog post he wrote following our debate; I have counter-responded in this blog post.). (This raises the question: What does Hoffman mean by “agent”?). Panpsychism and Buddha-nature. 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. (Though DNA is determined by — and dependent upon — quantum phenomena.) panpsychism: One-to-mapping of physical entities and minds. Both of us think the fundamental nature of reality is constituted of consciousness. And, if that’s correct, then that puts idealism and anti-realism in radically different places. It's our nature of duality. To Hoffman, on the other hand, consciousness is fundamental in that the contents of an individual’s consciousness (or the contents of various collectives of “conscious agents”) is literally constitutive of reality or the whole of the universe (as well as everything in it). Nonetheless, he does mention the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics favourably. However, why embrace the idealist conclusion that everything that exists only does so in the minds of persons? Here, Philip defends panpsychism against the criticisms outlined by Bernardo in that discussion, and presents his own arguments against analytic idealism. Don't have an account? 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. 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. And he strongly distinguish his own position from transcendental idealism. Something exists when we don’t look that causes us, when we do look, to perceive DNA, but, whatever that something is, it’s not DNA.”. We don’t need special laws of nature to bring statues into being; you just need to mold the clay in the right shape and – bingo – you’ve got a statue. And that’s still the case even if those contents belong to some kind of collective of consciousnesses (i.e., that of a collective of what Hoffman calls “conscious agents”). Whereas, PG's premise is that there is a realm out there, but that realm consists of some notion of a detectable substrate, as in QFT, that inherently has consciousness. On the surface at least, Hoffman seems to take a very strong idealist position when he says that “brains and neurons do not exist unperceived”. This clearly isn’t as grand a claim as claiming that they tables and chairs are “conscious”. For example, it could just be a basic law of nature that in cases of dissociation new subjects emerge. Before human and animal subjects emerged, on Bernardo’s view, all of the experiences of the universal mind were cognitively integrated, in something like the way the experiences of a human mind are cognitive integrated. Of course, in contrast to magic, we know that sensory qualities have emerged, and hence there must be an explanation of how they came into existence. Secondly, not all — or even most — scientists “believe that space, time, and objects exist even if they’re not perceived”. In terms of panpsychism: there are clear distinctions between Hoffman's conscious realism and panpsychism. Thus most scientists have little time for phrases like “objects exist even if they’re not perceived”. Philosophers often use the term qualia to refer to these subjective experiences. “Idealism” is no less vague because various a term. That is: i) If we have consciousness all the way down to particles. In terms of panpsychism: there are clear distinctions between Hoffman’s conscious realism and panpsychism. Panpsychists aspire to account for human and animal consciousness in terms of more fundamental forms of consciousness. They simply argue that tables and chairs (or their many parts!) My claim is that Bernardo has not provided us with that explanation. There are also cosmopsychist versions of idealism where the whole universe is conscious, and on. The starting point of the theory is the assumption that an all pervading cosmic consciousness is the single ontological ultimate. Therefore, it is entirely plausible that transpersonal states qualitatively different from colors and flavors could give rise to the colors and flavors on our screen of perception, through some form of modulation. access to that reality. (This is exactly what Bishop Berkeley argued; thought not, of course, about “brains and neurons”.) He writes: “Many interpretations of Kant have him claiming that the sun and planets, tables and chairs, are not mind-independent, but depend for their existence on our perception. Philosophy of Consciousness • Idealism • Dualism • New Mysterianism • Neutral Monism / Panpsychism 9. Despite that, only the mathematical models or “formulations” used in conscious realism are scientific (or mathematical). 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. join now (only takes a moment). Panpsychism is the view that mind or soul is a universal feature of all things; this has been a common view in western philosophy going back to the Presocratics and Plato. 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. Now, to state the obvious, there’s a vast difference between a electron (for example) and a tree (for example). The objections he raises are certainly powerful challenges, but there are some very good responses to these kinds of challenges, and these responses have not been conclusively refuted. I begin with some necessary background details concerning contemporary panpsychism and the problems it faces, and then proceed to the theory itself. I’ve tackled it here.). The core thesis of that argument is that Mary in her black and white room cannot deduce what it’s like to see red no matter what physical information she has. Having said that, what Hoffman himself argues doesn’t make this distinction clear. Panpsychism: generalised formulation. 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. 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