Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis


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Is Panpsychism Putting Francis Crick’s Pack of Neurons to Flight?

Science writer John Horgan remembers Crick in the ‘90s when reductionism was riding high in neuroscience. What’s happened since?
As the years wear on, consciousness will likely remain irreducible and the neuroscientists may end up having to address plausible claims for dualism soon too. Read More ›
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Why Panpsychism (Everything Is Conscious) Is Gaining Ground

Many life forms do unexpectedly remarkable things. It is simpler to broaden the circle of consciousness than to keep on trying to prove that human consciousness is just an illusion
Panpsychism will face a setback, however, when it tries to show that human consciousness is merely on a continuum with animal consciousness. It isn’t. Read More ›
Goldenrod plant

Evolutionary Biologist Defines Goldenrod Plant as “Intelligent”

The media release for the journal paper, sponsored by Cornell University, illustrates the growing comfort of science with panpsychist (everything is conscious) ideas
Andre Kessler is influenced by the idea that plant cells are like bees and the plant is like a colony, where the members think collectively. Read More ›
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A Darwinian Biologist Winces at Bees That Have Feelings

The problem Jerry Coyne has with Lars Chittka’s evidence for emotions among bees points to a growing conflict between naturalism and panpsychism in science
For a naturalist, the problem with accepting consciousness as real is that it is also immaterial, even in an animal like a dog that has a minimal self. Read More ›
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If We Doubt That Plants Have Minds, Are We “Soul-Blind”?

The concept of “plant mind” as a trend in science — a trend consistent with growing panpsychism— has begun to worry some researchers
If panpsychism continues to gain ground, the human mind can at last be acknowledged to exist — along with the cabbage mind and possibly the electron mind. Read More ›
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From a Philosopher: Philosophy of Consciousness Is “Bizarre”

Eric Schwitzgebel admits to his host at Closer to Truth that “every single view in the history of the philosophy of mind is bizarre”…
He blames our “folk intuitions” for the problem. Some thinkers would say that the problem arises from seeking a materialist solution to an immaterial reality. Read More ›
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Can Viruses Cheat? Cooperate? That’s What Sociovirologists Claim

What does it mean to say that a defective string of genes’s behavior could be self-defeating? Or self-preserving? Where did the “self” come in?
Perhaps sociovirology is an instance of the slow creep of panpsychism in the sciences. But it is early days yet to be sure. Read More ›
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Panpsychism Going Mainstream in Popular Media?

Significantly, Hawkins does not try to privilege conventional “consciousness is an illusion” over panpsychism (“everything is conscious”). He treats the two views equally
Panpsychism is very much a materialist theory. It avoids absurdity by admitting that human consciousness is real — but then tries to make it part of nature. Read More ›
earth on precipice

Gaia Reborn? New Climate Book Sees Earth as Living Entity

The Gaia hypothesis, pioneered by Lynn Margulis and James Lovelock was once ridiculed but Ferris Jabr thinks we should take it seriously to fight climate change
This idea, which can be placed along the panpsychism spectrum, risks making climate issues a religion and will cast specifically human rights into doubt. Read More ›
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Philosopher Explains How We Can Know That Consciousness Is Real

Although it doesn’t emerge in this interview, Strawson is a panpsychist; thus he can maintain a materialist position and still argue that consciousness is real. Read More ›
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If Science Doesn’t Support Dualism — Well, It Should

At Big Think, Kmele Foster interviews five figures in consciousness studies. Not one is a dualist but a listener may come away with a new appreciation for dualism
Dualism — human consciousness is real, immaterial, and special — is the only approach to consciousness that accords with the evidence. Read More ›
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Can the Simplest Animal Minds Explain Human Minds?

Kristin Andrews thinks consciousness researchers should discard the assumptions of “overwhelmingly white, male and WEIRD” philosophy profs and study more crabs
Panpsychism is a faith, like materialism; its assumptions and assertions are not “value-free.” We are likely to be unpacking them for some time. Read More ›
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If Science Were Just Bookkeeping, Fine-Tuning Wouldn’t Matter

Astrophysicist Marcelo Gleiser wishes we would just quit asking questions about why the universe is fine-tuned — as if we could…
Calling assertions about fine-tuning — whether from theists or panpsychists — “astrotheology” will not help resolve any issues. Read More ›
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Are Plants Cognitive, Intelligent Organisms? A Controversy Brews

Some plant biologists want to see them that way; others continue to insist on a Darwinian view
Darwinians may need to learn how to “adapt” to a new environment where panpsychism is increasingly an underlying assumption in science and science writing. Read More ›

In Neuroscience Flap, Science Media Tackle “Pseudoscience” Claim

As the leading theory of consciousness is tarred by neuroscientists as “pseudoscience,” science media struggle to outline just WHAT science is
If materialism collapses — and this episode seems like an early warning — what will science look like? Will the same people continue to dominate? Read More ›
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Attack on Top Consciousness Theory Springs From Abortion Politics

If that sounds surprising and unscientific, read on. Pro and con, they make it clear
What’s really interesting is that all these neuroscientists see panpsychism as just as much of a threat to easy abortion as traditional monotheistic ethics is. Read More ›
Bone Cell Structure: Unveiling the Building Blocks of Bones - Generative AI

Can Cells Learn? Can Molecules Communicate? What We Are Learning…

We are learning that the world of life is full of intelligence that we just did not know about
These discoveries fuel panpsychism at the expense of materialism. But panpsychism’s downfall is that it cannot address an intelligence that is beyond nature. Read More ›
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Leading Consciousness Theory Slammed as “Pseudoscience.” Huh?

Integrated Information Theory’s panpsychist leanings are the 124 neuroscientist critics’ real target
Curiously, the coverage at Nature doesn’t address the critics’ concerns about IIT’s panpsychism. But it’s at Nature’s doorstep whether or not it’s noted. Read More ›
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If Panpsychism Is Now Mainstream, Is Fine-Tuning Next?

In his new book, panpsychist Philip Goff argues for fine-tuning of the universe and cosmic purpose
Can Goff get science gatekeepers to accept fine-tuning simply by slamming traditional religion? If he does, we will certainly know that things are changing. Read More ›
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The Mind: A Neuroscientist and a Psychiatrist Walk Into a…

Psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist, conversing with Christian neuroscientist Sharon Dirckx about materialism’s deficits, shows considerable sympathy for panpsychism
What’s most interesting about this discussion is how well the life of the intellect, engaged by science, gets on without any form of eliminative materialism. Read More ›