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Volume 52 Issue 5
May 2020
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Citation: Jingkun CHEN. Physicalist Panpsychism: The Combination Problem and Phenomenal Bonding Solution[J]. Academic Monthly, 2020, 52(5): 30-38. shu

Physicalist Panpsychism: The Combination Problem and Phenomenal Bonding Solution

  • As a view compatible with physicalism, contemporary panpsychism takes consciousness or mentality as a fundamental and ubiquitous property in the universe. Panpsychism faces a notorious “combination problem” when it holds that human consciousness can be somehow constituted by more fundamental consciousness. Philip Goff raises a so-called “subject-summing problem”: how do subjects and their experiences add up so as to constitute further subjects and their experiences? Goff suggests a possible solution by “phenomenal bonding relation”, but he doubts whether we can form a positive concept of this phenomenal relation, while George Miller gives a positive phenomenal bonding relation by co-consciousness. I will argue that the concept of phenomenal relation may be incoherent, it cannot function to bond as it was supposed to, and the macro-consciousness can hardly be explained by phenomenal bonding.
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        Physicalist Panpsychism: The Combination Problem and Phenomenal Bonding Solution

        Abstract: As a view compatible with physicalism, contemporary panpsychism takes consciousness or mentality as a fundamental and ubiquitous property in the universe. Panpsychism faces a notorious “combination problem” when it holds that human consciousness can be somehow constituted by more fundamental consciousness. Philip Goff raises a so-called “subject-summing problem”: how do subjects and their experiences add up so as to constitute further subjects and their experiences? Goff suggests a possible solution by “phenomenal bonding relation”, but he doubts whether we can form a positive concept of this phenomenal relation, while George Miller gives a positive phenomenal bonding relation by co-consciousness. I will argue that the concept of phenomenal relation may be incoherent, it cannot function to bond as it was supposed to, and the macro-consciousness can hardly be explained by phenomenal bonding.

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