Consciousness: not explained by panpsychism (General)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, August 07, 2018, 17:58 (46 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: QUOTE: …"If the more fundamental ingredients of reality are non-spatiotemporal, it is difficult to see how they can also be experiential. For if there is no time at this level, how could there be experience?

So maybe the “more fundamental, non-spatiotemporal ingredients of reality” are not non-spatiotemporal, or maybe they are not more real than the spatiotemporal reality. Here’s a simple test for the author, which I have recommended a hundred times before: step in front of a bus, and then tell me your criteria for what constitutes fundamental reality.

QUOTE: ”there seems to be an explanatory gap between the non-spatiotemporal and the experiential. They are different kinds of things. Consciousness may arise from an elaborate dance among non-spatiotemporal ingredients, but if it does, the choreography eludes us."

Experience is not possible without time. There is no “explanatory gap” here if you accept the reality of time as sequence – see below – and we all know that the source of consciousness still eludes us, no matter how much we faff around with concepts of spacetime, so what was the point of all this?

DAVID: For me spacetime presents no problem. It is timeless but our conscious experience orders events in an arrow to the future and time appears.

dhw: For me it’s the same old story wrapped up in verbiage. We don’t know the source of consciousness, and none of this disproves the possibility that “each spatiotemporal thing has a mental or ‘inner’ aspect” (dictionary definition of panpsychism). Some people equate this idea with the presence of their God in all things (top-down consciousness), while others may use the concept as the basis for a bottom-up evolution of consciousness. As for the reality of time, if you believe in the sequence of cause and effect, you can’t say spacetime is timeless, because there is a before and after. If you don’t believe in the reality of cause and effect/before and after, try the above test. And I’ll be a devil here, and tell you that I really and truly believe that even if there were no humans consciously experiencing events, there would still be causes and effects/befores and afters going on in the universe.

The article does carry Einstein to illogical extremes, but the equations allow time in both directions. Does math always tell the whole truth? Before humans appeared there was a progression of events which upon our arrival we have studied. Time was always present as before and after.


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