Wednesday, October 25, 2017

"Philosophy Now" takes up "Radical Theories of Consciousness"

Issue 121 of “Philosophy Now” takes up “Radical Theories of Consciousness”.

After an editorial which explains who Galileo took consciousness out of the physical word, is followed by Philip Goff, “The case for panpsychism”.    

Sam Coleman takes up “neutral monism”.

But the main course is “The Integrated Information Theory of Consciousness” ](IIT) by Hedda Hassel March.  In this view, all baryonic matter may be capable of consciousness, but any being that is thoroughly integrated will become a center of consciousness. That is true of the human (or any higher animal) brain, even though “muscle memory” (what a pianist or baseball batter needs) and habit can keep some localization (which may be stronger in other animals, like the octopus). A plant is more like a society.  A siphonophore is supposed to be a colony of separate organisms that can test the idea of distributed consciousness and purpose.

If the soul really does migrate to some other physical structure after death (a black hole) integration of the souls by some sort of family group could lead to an immortal group mind which contains fragments of awareness of the individuals who contributed to it. 
For the finale Kelvin McQueen asks “Does consciousness cause quantum collapse?” 

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