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The Australian National University

Luke Roelofs: Revelation, Confusion, and Panpsychism

Date and time

Thu, 16/03/2017 - 03:30 - 05:30


Coombs Seminar Room A

Constitutive panpsychists face a dilemma over what is sometimes called the ‘revelation principle’, according to which being in a conscious state teaches you the nature of that conscious state. On the one hand, they rely on some version of this principle in arguing against physicalism. On the other hand, the principle seems to support a simple argument against constitutive panpsychism itself: human consciousness doesn’t seem introspectively like the combination of a trillion micro-consciousnesses, and given the revelation principle, if it were that, it would seem that way. I discuss the structure of this dilemma, and suggest ways for panpsychists to escape it, drawing on the concept of ‘confusion’ employed by the Early Modern Rationalists.

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