Re: What exactly is "panpsychism"?

From: Mitchell Porter (
Date: Sat Jan 10 2004 - 04:07:01 MST


> > Please give a concise definition of panpsychism. What I have seen on
>seems to hinge a bit much on "pyschist" phenomenon which are mainly defined
>in terms of the "paranormal" or outside science. So I am confused. About
>the best spin I can have on it is some loose notion that all things take
>part in sentience at some level.

I think that's it exactly. It's one of those fuzzy philosophical isms
that takes very diverse forms, so it's hard to be more specific.


>Nothing to do with the paranormal.
>As defined in Hans Moravec's Simulation, Consciousness, Experience (1998)

That's "Simulation, Consciousness, Existence", if anyone's looking
it up... there's several copies out there.

>all interpretations of any physical process (including an absurdly simple
>t=+1) which can be seen through an arbitrarily complex interpretation
>algorithm to contain self-aware observers are by definition real to the
>observers that they contain. The interpretation itself is not needed since
>simulated observers do not need to be spied on in order to exist. The
>process itself can disappear as the interpretation becomes very complex.
>So everything that can exist, exists; furthermore every physical process
>embodies all possible worlds.

This is a very unusual form of panpsychism, and also a very
outlandish one (the part about "every physical process embodies
all possible worlds", anyway), and certainly not reasonable as
a general definition of panpsychism.

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