An elegant articulation of the panpsychist position.

In ancient Greek mythology, Scylla and Charybdis were sea monsters between which seafarers had to pass to sail between Sicily and mainland Italy. The sea that is philosophy of consciousness has the same monsters. Scylla represents the mind-body interaction problem and threatens to sink naturalistic or property dualism. Charybdis represents the knowledge argument and threatens materialism. Which wily ship of philosophy can sail between them without being wrecked? According to Philip Goff, that ship is panpsychism.

Panpsychism is the belief that pretty much everything, down as far as subatomic particles such as electrons, possesses consciousness. In fact, they are wholly suffused by consciousness, which is their intrinsic nature. It turns out that panpsychism comes up against its own monster, call it Combinprob, the combination problem. How do you get human consciousness out of trillions of individual subatomic particle consciousnesses sitting in the brain? Combinprob looks just as ugly as Scylla and Charybdis. No wonder Chalmers calls it a hard problem.

Link to book:

You may also like to browse other philosophy posts: