Thursday, May 08, 2008

Panpsychism at Tucson 2008

Panpsychism appears to have featured significantly in the recent Tucson Towards a Science of Consciousness 2008 Conference, to the extent that this reviewer remarks that "Pansychism is no longer crazy - it's the norm".

Other reviews of the conference can be found on David Chalmers' blog here.

A list of abstracts for the various presentations at the conference is here (search using the term "panpsychism" to find abstracts related to this topic, as they are not all under the one heading).

I note that William Seager is continuing work in relation to the "intrinsic nature" argument for panpsychism, which he has previously addressed in the first two papers here (the second paper addressing the issue in the context of Gregg Rosenberg's book).

The abstract for Daniel Krieglstein's presentation "Emotion: The Building Block for Panpsychism" looks intriguing. Noting the observation of social psychologists that in group settings a single emotional state can appear to take over the individuals of the group, the author suggests a formula for higher order experiences and unified behaviour:

"Xp + XoN + E = XpoN

In that, X is a given phenomena, Xp is the experience of that phenomena by a single (p)erceiver, XoN is one or more (o)ther points of perception for that phenomena, and E is an error term. The result is XpoN which is a truth about the given phenomena that is shared by the (p)erceiver and the (o)thers, but transcends the limited perception of either, to become a higher order experience with unique properties."

I see some resonances here with Hartshorne's "compound individual" and Whitehead's proposition that "the many become one and are increased by one".

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Long since I had conceived God as a human social construct becoming an acting abstract entity. Whitehead's notion of the many adding together to become one and the one being added is close. Emotion as a Basis for so-called psyche is good.
In my thought is: reaction-sensation-emotion-cognition-conscious will-Universal Conscious, a.k.a. [God] proceed. In this immediate preceding expressed thought of mine, I say the process is both forward and backward. Likely it is even holistic, systemic, or circular.
"God Bless Us All."