Skip to main content

Panpsychism, physicalism and supernaturalism

If there is no real interiority and no more than physical interiority - consciousness is any kind of physical black box - then there could be physical interiority everywhere. If there is no non-physical interference making sure humans are the only existents capable of interiority, no physics can do the job. Physicalism itself paves the way for panpsychism. If we go for a reductive or eliminative form of physicalism, this takes the form of understanding consciousness or its ingredients in physical terms. In this case, it can arise everywhere. Such take is what I used to call supernaturalism while discussing Descola's Par delà nature et culture last year. Supernaturalism has that nature can explain away interiority. There is ultimately no proper room for culture in the naturalist disposition - it is either an epiphenomenon or a façon de parler. No matter the plausibility of supernaturalism, it entails open doors to panpsychism.

Galen Strawson's argument in "Realistic Monism: why physicalism entails panpsychism" as that there are fragments of subjectivity everywhere. His is not a potential panpsychism (i.e. everything could have a consciousness) but rather an actual one where consciousness is at least in embryo everywhere. His physicalism also is not of an eliminative kind and farther from a reductive kind. Still, panpsychism shows up. I guess both variants of the argument - not to get into details yet - suggest how difficult it is to hold the notion of nature as something alien to all interiority and yet understandable. To be sure, it could be the repository for the absolute other. But then, why would we conceive a special realm for whatever is the absolute other?


  1. This is a fascinating blog & I am just beginning to dwell in the realm of metaphysics. I never really thought about alternative science, however, since a few weeks ago, I got interested in these topics because I'm looking for something new to research, etc. & these kinds of topics are taking me by storm. I hope you'll enjoy my own blogs & maybe follow them. Just click on my username & you should find it.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Giving Birth

This is a month of giving birth: 1. On the first day of the month (my birthday) I sent out my book BUG (Being Up for Grabs) to publisher. A birth-giving moment. 2. On the forth, we started the Journal, called Journal of Questions. It is a Jabèsian and Jarryian endeavor that intends to reflect in many languages about the gaps between thought and translation. It will be available soon. 3. On the 10th, day before yesterday, offspring Devrim A. B. was born. Her name means revolution in Turkish and is a roughly common name. She's very attentive and concentrated - especially on her own fingers that she learned to molest in her youth during her womb months. She was gestated together with BUG. Hope the world enjoys.

My responses to (some) talks in the Book Symposium

Indexicalism is out: l   The book symposium took place two weeks ago with talks by Sofya Gevorkyan/Carlos Segovia, Paul Livingston, Gerson Brea, Steven Shaviro, Chris RayAlexander, Janina Moninska, Germán Prosperi, Gabriela Lafetá, Andrea Vidal, Elzahrã Osman, Graham Harman, Charles Johns, Jon Cogburn, Otavio Maciel, Aha Else, JP Caron, Michel Weber and John Bova. My very preliminary response to some of their talks about the book follows. (Texts will appear in a special issue of Cosmos & History soon). RESPONSES : ON SAYING PARADOXICAL THINGS Hilan Bensusan First of all, I want to thank everyone for their contributions. You all created a network of discussions that made the book worth publishing. Thanks. Response to Shaviro: To engage in a general account of how things are is to risk paradox. Totality, with its different figures including the impersonal one that enables a symmetrical view from nowhere

Hunky, Gunky and Junky - all Funky Metaphysics

Been reading Bohn's recent papers on the possibility of junky worlds (and therefore of hunky worlds as hunky worlds are those that are gunky and junky - quite funky, as I said in the other post). He cites Whitehead (process philosophy tends to go hunky) but also Leibniz in his company - he wouldn't take up gunk as he believed in monads but would accept junky worlds (where everything that exists is a part of something). Bohn quotes Leibniz in On Nature Itself «For, although there are atoms of substance, namely monads, which lack parts, there are no atoms of bulk, that is, atoms of the least possible extension, nor are there any ultimate elements, since a continuum cannot be composed out of points. In just the same way, there is nothing greatest in bulk nor infinite in extension, even if there is always something bigger than anything else, though there is a being greatest in the intensity of its perfection, that is, a being infinite in power.» And New Essays: ... for there is ne