Panpsychism: Four Premises

I think panpsychism follows from a few fairly unobjectionable premises. Thomas Nagel, in his 1979 essay, Panpsychism, advanced a similar case (though he doesn’t endorse panpsychism in the essay). I’m going to quote the first page or so of Nagel’s essay to set the stage, and contrast his four premises with my own.  “By panpsychism … Continue reading Panpsychism: Four Premises

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Slavery in the Bible

Back when I was in high school, losing my faith, the slavery in the Bible inspired the first skeptical, critical thoughts I had about the legitimacy of the Bible as a moral guide and the goodness of god. After all, slavery sure seems like it’s wrong, so you wouldn’t expect anything but an unequivocal condemnation … Continue reading Slavery in the Bible

Reformed Epistemology

Alvin Plantinga is one of the most respected Christian philosophers alive. William Lane Craig described Reformed epistemology as “one of the most significant developments in contemporary religious epistemology.” Plantinga once served as the president of the American Philosophical Association. In 2017, he was awarded the Templeton Prize. The University of Notre Dame's Center for Philosophy … Continue reading Reformed Epistemology

The Hard Problem of Consciousness and Panpsychism

There is only unfeeling, non-conscious matter on the most fundamental levels of our universe. It’s not like anything for an electron, presumably. There’s no feeling or sensation, no emotion, no qualitative experience at all, of any kind. Now follow the plot of emergence that science has pieced together from the most fundamental levels of the … Continue reading The Hard Problem of Consciousness and Panpsychism

What do you mean by ‘consciousness’?

We’ve touched on the definition of consciousness, and we will many more times, but it’s worth planting it here for reference. What is consciousness?  Even though it’s the most familiar thing in the world, it’s notoriously difficult to put it into language. As I mentioned in the last episode, no one seems to be exactly … Continue reading What do you mean by ‘consciousness’?

Panpsychism: Setting the Stage

I heard about panpsychism for the first time during a debate about the afterlife between Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris on the one side and David Wolpe and Brad Artisan on the other. Rabbi Wolpe mentioned the idea in passing, citing Galen Strawson’s panpsychism.  I remember thinking something like, “Well that philosopher is an idiot.” … Continue reading Panpsychism: Setting the Stage

Irreducible Complexity Revisited

Some of Behe’s fans have found the anti-ID episodes I’ve made recently, and I’ve noticed that according to them, no one is ever quite representing Behe’s position fairly. But he has an annoying habit of “addressing” criticism without really addressing it. He’ll acknowledge that critics of irreducible complexity invoke exaptation, and he writes something that … Continue reading Irreducible Complexity Revisited