A conscious universe

Panpsychism vs idealism

At HowTheLightGetsIn Online 2020 Philip Goff, Bernardo Kastrup and Sophie Grace Chappell debated the fundamental nature of reality. Here, Philip defends panpsychism against the criticisms outlined by Bernardo in that discussion, and presents his own arguments against analytic idealism. Read Bernardo's response here.

For me, the highlight of the recent HLTGI festival was a two-hour discussion I had with Bernardo Kastrup, Sophie-Grace Chappell, and a number of festivalgoers on the Sunday evening. Bernardo defends a form of idealism: roughly the view that the physical world is grounded in a more fundamental, mind-involving reality. I have been meaning for a while to take a deep dive into his papers and really work out what I think of the view, and this event gave me a good excuse.

Although I ultimately don’t quite buy Bernardo’s idealist view,

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Jeffrey Anderson 12 July 2020

Physicalism is the belief system of Artificial Intelligence..... we must cling to notions of inner consciousness and unpredictability like all life itself depends on it...as it does!

Dana Lomas 9 July 2020

There certainly seems to be some irreconcilable differences between BK's premise and PG's own. It's actually quite straight forward, in that BK's premise is that there is a realm outside of personal mentation, but that realm is entirely mental in nature, and what we experience as 'matter' is nothing but a experiential representation of transpersonal mental states. Whereas, PG's premise is that there is a realm out there, but that realm consists of some notion of a detectable substrate, as in QFT, that inherently has consciousness. And therein lies the essential difference, for under BK's idealism any such detectable substrate would still be an experiential representation of transpersonal Mind's' mentation, and thus not inherently conscious -- i.e. there is no such detectable substrate that is not an experience within consciousness. So while it's fine that the dialogue remains open, it seems somethings got to give.