The Case For Panpsychism

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Philosophy Now
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The Case For Panpsychism

Post by Philosophy Now » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:35 pm

Philip Goff thinks that everything has some degree of consciousness.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/121/The_Case_For_Panpsychism

Nick_A
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Re: The Case For Panpsychism

Post by Nick_A » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:46 pm

From the article:
This argument presses us to the conclusion that there must be more to physical entities than what they do: physical things must also have an ‘intrinsic nature’, as philosophers tend to put it. However, given that physics is restricted to telling us only about the behaviour of physical entities ¬– electrons, quarks and indeed spacetime itself – it leaves us completely in the dark about their intrinsic nature. Physics tells us what matter does, but not what it is.

What then is the intrinsic nature of matter? Panpsychism offers an answer: consciousness. Physics describes matter ‘from the outside’, that is to say, physics gives us rich information about the behaviour brought about by mass, spin, charge, etc. But there must be more to what something is than what it does; and according to panpsychism, mass, spin, charge, etc, are, in their intrinsic nature, forms of consciousness.
Plato spoke of matter as we see it as expressions of the “good” Plotinus speaks of it as expressions of the “One.”

The rise of secularism and the assumed authority of secular intolerance has made it seem that contemplating the intrinsic nature of the process of existence as having a conscious purpose cannot lead to anything but iron age superstition. As a result only a minority remain to value the process and not just record it. The majority have fallen victim to metaphysical repression.

http://trumpeter.athabascau.ca/index.ph ... /view/1183
Abstract
American philosopher Jacob Needleman once noted, “we live in a time of metaphysical repression and this repression must be lifted.” Symptomatic of this repression is the reduction of nature from physis to mere 'environment', about which he opines, “one cannot stand in wonder in front of the environment, one can only worry.” Were he seeking an able pair of hands to aid in the lifting of this repression, he might well look to those of Australian ecophilosopher Freya Mathews, whose book, For Love of Matter: A Contemporary Panpsychism (2003, SUNY Press) aims a dart to the heart of this repression. Mathews adds that the environment is not something we can encounter in a fully personal way either, it betokens a world that has been rendered mere backdrop, rather than the lodestar for human meanings and purposes. To breathe life back into the corpse that modern metaphysical repression has made of nature will require nothing less than a “metaphysics of reanimation” of a panpsychist bent that can allow again for enchanted encounter to occur.
Simone Weil describes algebra as one of the chief causes of the dominance of quantity over quality. The loss of the third direction of thought is the loss of “meaning.” Simone wrote as recorded in “Science, Necessity, and the Love of God:
What makes the abyss between twentieth-century science and that of previous centuries is the different role of algebra. In physics algebra was at first simply a process for summarizing the relations, established by reasoning based on experiment, between the ideas of physics; an extremely convenient process for the numerical calculations necessary for their verification and application. But its role has continually increased in importance until finally, whereas algebra was once the auxiliary language and words the essential one, it is now exactly the other way round. There are even some physicists who tend to make algebra the sole language, or almost, so that in the end, an unattainable end of course, there would be nothing except figures derived form experimental measurements, and letters, combined in formulae. Now, ordinary language and algebraic language are not subject to the same logical requirement; relations between ideas are not fully represented by relations between letters; and, in particular, incompatible assertions may have equational equivalents which are by no means incompatible. When some relations between ideas have been translated into algebra and the formulae have been manipulated solely according to the numerical data of the experiment and the laws proper to algebra, results may be obtained which, when retranslated into spoken language, are a violent contradiction of common sense…………….

…………… If the algebra of physicists gives the impression of profundity it is because it is entirely flat; the third dimension of thought is missing..
There may be some students reading this wondering what this third direction of thought is and can become open to consciously contemplate its meaning and how it is a beginning to the relevation of universal meaning and purpose of which Panpsychism is an expression.


Dr. Basarab Nicolescu is advancing knowledge of this third direction. He recently wrote the book “The Hidden Third.” If you need and are open to a mind stretch, contemplate this interview.

https://parabola.org/2017/07/30/the-hidden-third/
“The greatest responsibility of all: the transmission of the mystery.”
—Basarab Nicolescu
This is true but the modern flat secular world rejects all attempts in favor of what it calls educated opinions.

In response to this call, physicist and author Basarab Nicolescu’s recent fragmentary text offers a view of humanity’s current spiritual situation. In thirteen sections, items as brief as a few words are linked to delineate the cosmic obligation, at the same time respecting the silence of the sacred. Following suggestions of Maurice Blanchot, the fragments remind us that the whole is never given and that the beginning of understanding is always imminent. Fragmentation also mirrors a prime discovery that Nicolescu draws from his own area of scientific expertise, broken symmetry. Physicists now believe that a breakdown in laws of symmetry supplied the initial condition of the Big Bang. Thirdly, humans’ relation to God (or “Absolute Evidence” in Nicolescu’s account) and to the celestial order has ruptured. The holy reconciling force has withdrawn and the pathway once illuminated by it, is no longer visible. While we now pray for divine support, no reply is forthcoming.
The call, moreover, is blocked from our ears by deep habits of thought and language. Inherited from the ancient Greek world, their source lies in binary logic: either this or that but not both. Nicolescu’s rejection of binary-ism is strong: “The fiendish dialectics of binary thought have the redoubtable yet subtle force of being able to kill in the name of ideas.” The death consists in foreclosing the middle, the “third not given”: what is there before and remains there after the division into two. Yet that death preserves in hiding the excluded element, which allows a direct perception of multiple levels of reality, up to that of Absolute Evidence. Fear of confronting a many-dimensioned cosmos lies behind the embrace of the binary. We opt for ready knowledge and survival of the status quo rather than participation in a work of co-creation. Because we fail to see the ambiguity in “yes or no,” our spirit is blinded and put in shackles.
Quantum physics recognizes the milieu, the interval between, as the null space. It is pregnant with mystery. Similarly, “quantum imagination is the energizing circulation between two or more levels of reality linked by discontinuity.” Thus, poetry provides the precise means of recovering access to our work. The French edition of The Hidden Third bears the title Theorems Poetiques. Poetically honed words can take a quantum leap into meaning. With them, it is possible to engage the work bequeathed to the human place in the cosmos: to combat entropy with “anthropy,” involution with evolution. That way, the divine expenditure of creation is restored through a human search for consciousness. “Human” must be understood as both the species and the individual. Degraded as it descends from the galactic to the molecular, consciousness needs replenishment if the cosmoses are not to flounder. The need speaks to humanity’s place in the universe and at the same time directly addresses our responsibility with respect to the mysterium tremendum.
It does seem that the dominance of binary logic in matters of science and religion may lessen as explorations of the “hidden third” allow us to value universalism as initiating a human perspective including objective human meaning and purpose within a conscious universe over secularism which holds that visible human society is the ultimate form of consciousness.

Walker
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Re: The Case For Panpsychism

Post by Walker » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:02 pm

Philosophy Now wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:35 pm
Philip Goff thinks that everything has some degree of consciousness.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/121/Th ... anpsychism
I'd say that everything has some degree of access to the one consciousness.

jayjacobus
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Re: The Case For Panpsychism

Post by jayjacobus » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:50 pm

Consciousness in one sense is an interpreter of what the brain provides. Without a brain nothing is provided and consciousness knows nothing. Knows nothing, is nothing? What can it be other than nothing?

Nick_A
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Re: The Case For Panpsychism

Post by Nick_A » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:01 pm

jayjacobus wrote:
Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:50 pm
Consciousness in one sense is an interpreter of what the brain provides. Without a brain nothing is provided and consciousness knows nothing. Knows nothing, is nothing? What can it be other than nothing?
No-thing is pure consciousness outside of time and space replete with conscious potential. Nothing is the void absent of conscious potential. Existence is the process taking place between no-thing and nothing They sound alike but are on opposite ends of the spectrum
Last edited by Nick_A on Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

Impenitent
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Re: The Case For Panpsychism

Post by Impenitent » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:26 pm


Reflex
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Re: The Case For Panpsychism

Post by Reflex » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:55 am

Very interesting article, but it reminds me of what Robert Jastrow wrote: "For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance, he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

It's about time science caught up with theology. Anyway, I tend to think the idea of panpsychism (hardly a new idea) is basically correct and that higher forms of awarenwss are vortexes of energy-information in the undivided whole. As for materialistic science, William James said: "A new idea is first condemned as ridiculous and then dismissed as trivial, until finally, it becomes what everybody knows."

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Lacewing
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Re: The Case For Panpsychism

Post by Lacewing » Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:03 pm

I’m not fluent in using the language that these articles use... but such ideas are thought-provoking, so I’ll share my impressions the best I can. Consciousness is a tricky word (for me) because it seems associated with “thinking”, which is typically defined in terms of human thought, which is greatly limited. We can see many systems in nature that do not need to think -- rather, they flow and shift, seemingly as an EXPRESSION of a vast/endless connected field.

Panpsychism only makes sense to me if it is a way of describing that there is a form of consciousness in every thing BECAUSE every thing’s nature is a projection/manifestation of consciousness/awareness across a vast connected field. Therefore, there is consciousness radiating throughout every bit of it... manifesting, solidifying, flowing, dissolving, combining, grouping, disbanding, interacting, etc. Such consciousness/awareness does not require an agenda –- rather it "instinctively knows” what to be/do within the larger system.

jayjacobus
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Re: The Case For Panpsychism

Post by jayjacobus » Sun Aug 27, 2017 6:45 pm

Consciousness is a noun. What consciousness does are verbs. Without verbs consciousness is something other than conscious. What state is it? Call it that.

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Arising_uk
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Re: The Case For Panpsychism

Post by Arising_uk » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:28 am

Reflex wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:55 am
Very interesting article, but it reminds me of what Robert Jastrow wrote: "For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance, he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” ...
Of course the difference is that along the way the scientists did something useful for the rest of us.

How would you choose which theology to pick as if what Jastrow says is true then its empirical science that is the arbiter.
It's about time science caught up with theology. ...
Which theology?
Anyway, I tend to think the idea of panpsychism (hardly a new idea) is basically correct and that higher forms of awarenwss are vortexes of energy-information in the undivided whole. ...
Make an experiment to prove it then.
As for materialistic science, William James said: "A new idea is first condemned as ridiculous and then dismissed as trivial, until finally, it becomes what everybody knows."
Like the Theory of Evolution or the Heliocentric Theory then both ideas that the theologians roundly dismissed.

Reflex
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Re: The Case For Panpsychism

Post by Reflex » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:47 am

I'm just glad science is beginning to understand it doesn't have all the answers. Personally, I'm kinda split between an idealism and panpsychism.

https://youtu.be/NCzbnuCVpEs

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Arising_uk
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Re: The Case For Panpsychism

Post by Arising_uk » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:45 pm

Reflex wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:47 am
I'm just glad science is beginning to understand it doesn't have all the answers. ...
Since when has it ever thought this?

Reflex
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Re: The Case For Panpsychism

Post by Reflex » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:28 pm

Arising_uk wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:45 pm
Reflex wrote:
Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:47 am
I'm just glad science is beginning to understand it doesn't have all the answers. ...
Since when has it ever thought this?
Ever since it believed matter is all there is, or at least the bottom line. There is, nor was there ever, a logical reason to reject the notion that consciousness is a formative agent.

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Arising_uk
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Re: The Case For Panpsychism

Post by Arising_uk » Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:53 pm

Reflex wrote:Ever since it believed matter is all there is, or at least the bottom line. ...
Except all that they actually believe is that there is an external world that follows law-like laws.
There is, nor was there ever, a logical reason to reject the notion that consciousness is a formative agent.
Apart from the fact that rocks don't think.

d63
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Re: The Case For Panpsychism

Post by d63 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:07 pm

Once again, one of the main problems I tend to have with republicans in the White House is that they don’t allow me the luxury of dealing with less practical matters such as the nature of consciousness. I’m always, as my friend (my good friend (Greg​ puts it: all hands on deck.

Still, Philosophy Now (issue 121) has offered me a “slight reprieve” in that I can’t help but play with Dr. Goth’s “The Case for Panpsychism” (https://philosophynow.org/issues/121/Th ... anpsychism). In fact, I hope to get a letter to the editor out of it. Anyway:

“Panpsychism is sometimes caricatured as the view that fundamental physical entities such as electrons have thoughts; that electrons are, say, driven by existential angst. However, panpsychism as defended in contemporary philosophy is the view that consciousness is fundamental and ubiquitous, where to be conscious is simply to have subjective experience of some kind. This doesn’t necessarily imply anything as sophisticated as thoughts.”

The best approach to this is Douglas Hofstadter’s point concerning symbolic systems. But first we need to consider the nature of the perceiving thing. I would first ask the reader to treat what I am writing as if I was actually talking to them. Then I would ask them to think of their selves as listening to what I am saying. Then I would ask them to think of their selves thinking of their selves listening to what I am saying then think of their selves thinking about their selves listening to what I am writing. The thing is that they could go on like that forever until they’re like two mirrors reflecting each other. But what they can never actually look back at is what is looking out: the perceiving thing. And there is no reason to not assume that the perceiving thing looking out of an ant is any different than the perceiving looking out of us. The only difference is, as Goth and Hofstader rightly suggest, is the complexity of the symbolic systems that perceiving thing projects into the world through.

The thing we need to consider here is how simple systems must become before we can no longer consider them “conscious”.

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