Archive | August, 2017

Radical Theories of Consciousness

1 Aug

I guest edited this month’s edition of Philosophy Now magazine on ‘Radical Theories of Consciousness’. It’s available now in UK in WHSmith’s and similar shops with lots of mags. Will be out in US and Canada later in the year.

There are articles by me (on panpsychism), Sam Coleman (on neutral monism), Hedda Hassel Mørch (on IIT), and Kelvin McQueen (on consciousness and quantum mechanics). There’s also a response to my work on panpsychism from Raymond Tallis, and a beautiful poem by Thomas Machter, which I reproduce below (I might include some more of his poems in future posts).

Living With A Panpsychist

by Thomas Machter

“Simpler to suppose: all has thought.
Safer to say: in a never
fresh universe, nihil novum.
Subtler to see: that to itself
mind reveals the very nature
of the nature in which it sits.

Am I pissing up the wrong tree?”
Evenings are long, distractions are
great; so what if fine error breeds.
What is it to me if my love
miss-takes the universe and time,
to build an implausible frame?
Reason has led her there, I guess.
But atoms with experience?
“My love! Why go on with this? No,
you’re not barking up the wrong tree;
you’re entangled in its highest
branches, howling wild at the moon!”

I soon regretted this sarcasm,
relented, and apologised.
Chastened, I spread myself far out.
What must it be like to believe
some cranky wayward subtle scheme?
I sunk myself into a broad
range, a general passion, a wide
scope. What thought can not be worked through?
Mind’s a match for the universe.
I contain every conviction.