Galileo’s Error: A Manifesto for a New Science of Consciousness

comments 19

I’m pleased to announce that I now have publishing contracts in US and UK for my new book ‘Galileo’s Error: A Manifesto for a New Science of Consciousness’. The book will be highly accessible and will explore the problem of consciousness and why a growing number of philosophers and neuroscientists are coming to see panpsychism as the best hope for a solution. It will be published in Autumn 2019 by Pantheon in US and Rider in UK. All I gotta do now is write it…

The Author

I am a philosopher and consciousness researcher at Durham University, UK. My research focuses on how to integrate consciousness into our scientific worldview.


  1. Lee Roetcisoender says


    Congratulations on your new book, and yes, I do concur that panpsychism is the only hope of explaining consciousness, but that explanation does not lie with the model of cosmo-panpsychism. The correct model would be micro-panpsychism. Fundamentally, the combination problem is not an obstacle for micro-panpsychism. The fundamental obstacle for any explanation of consciousness is the meta-problem of consciousness, which is the genetic defect in the underlying form of reasoning and rationality. Unless or until one is willing to address the genetic defect first, the mystery of consciousness will “never” be solved, it will forever remain a mystery.

  2. Lee Roetcisoender says

    Forgive me, I should have qualified my previous statement. I have developed a model of consciousness grounded in micro-panpsychism, and that model makes a bold prediction that there is genetic defect in reasoning and rationality. It is a primordial, fundamental property of consciousness itself, and that property is exacerbated in the zenith of consciousness known as human experience where reasoning itself becomes a property of consciousness.


    • Thanks Lee, sorry for not replying earlier…I actually didn’t get a notification about your comments…maybe because I’ve approved you before… I’d be curious to know how you get around the combination problem…

      • Lee Roetcisoender says

        I am an independent philosopher and noumenalist who has be working on my own for the last thirty-eight years. My model of consciousness is predicated upon micro-panpsychism which is grounded in the convergent point of singularity. Because it is grounded in the convergent point of singularity, the laws of physics do not apply and are not required to govern the complex relationships of those conscious phenomena which make up the phenomenal world. Therefore, there is no “combination problem” in my theory because there are only the relationships of those different forms of consciousness interacting with each other. As a form of consciousness ourselves, there are no “mysterious laws” which govern our relationships with each other because those relationships are grounded in the convergent point of singularity, and so it is with every other form of consciousness. And since consciousness is universal, the convergent point of singularity is inclusive and therefore fundamental in explaining those complex relationships.

        I will be the first one to admit it; my theory is crazy, but it’s the kind of crazy that will either get one excommunicated from the Church of Reason or a Noble prize in Oslo, There isn’t much room for it in between those two extremes, because once apprehended, it grows quickly and exponentially into a theory of everything. It doesn’t get any crazier than that…….. Neil deGrasse Tyson would become livid if he could apprehend it because the theory provides a framework for understanding the mysteries of the universe not accessible through our current paradigm.

      • Lee Roetcisoender says

        My theory is intellectual property so I will not give details in a public forum, only that micro-panpsychism is grounded in singularity. I sent you an email on April 7 via your .edu address and received back an automated message stating your were gone until the 16th. If you want more details I would be glad to provide them, but only through private email correspondence.


      • Lee Roetcisoender says

        Just so everybody understands, singularity is not idealism. My theory is not and does not conform to idealism.

  3. Great news! I look forward to reading this book. I wonder if you are familiar with Whitehead’s arguments against the “bifurcation of nature,” first articulated in “The Concept of Nature” (1920) and further unpacked in “Science in the Modern World” (1925) before being finally replaced with his own systematic form of process-relational panpsychism in “Process and Reality” (1929). He specifically targets Galileo as the primary source of this bifurcation. Dieter Debaise does a good job summarizing all this in his recent book “Nature as Event” ( I also discuss it in my book “Physics of the World-Soul” (PDF: )

  4. carlos says

    “panpsychism ad the best for a solution” — solution to what?

  5. By more accessible, I hope you mean that it will cost quite a bit less than the $74 your last book is going for on Amazon. Even the Kindle version is over $65!

    But I am pretty sure what you really mean is that it will be less technical and an easier read for the layperson.

    For myself I am still not sure that is a hard problem of consciousness. If an objective world doesn’t exist, then everything already is consciousness and there is no problem. If an objective world does exist (my preference), then still all of our interaction with it is mediated by mental processes, some conscious and some unconscious. So even the physical processes that the hard problem says can’t explain consciousness are even still understood only through mental process. The brain isn’t an objective, physical brain, but a brain mediated by mental process.

  6. Pingback: Panpsychism Discussed in the Swiss Press | Conscience and Consciousness

  7. Dear Philip,

    I cannot wait to read your book! If you need a proofreader I would be delighted to assist you! Please contact me via my email-address.

    One quick question though: I saw that you published an article “Why Panpsychism doesn’t Help Us Explain Consciousness” in 2009?!? Did you change your mind? Why?

    Looking forward to hearing back from you!


    • Thanks! The manuscript is submitted in fact. I still stand by the challenges I raise in that paper, but (A) I think all theories of consciousness face big challenges and those facing the panpsychist seem the least worst, (B) I hadn’t entertained the possibility of the ‘universe-first’ model of panpsychism I explore in my academic book ‘Consciousness and Fundamental Reality’, which offers one solution, (C) As I discussed in my new book, I now think radically emergentist forms of panpsychism are compatible with our empirical knowledge of the brain.

  8. James Beck says

    I distinguish between mental awareness and what I have experienced as consciousness (conscious awareness or consciousness expansion). I am sure that some practitioners of yoga and other ‘spiritual’ disciplines have experienced an awakening of consciousness (consciousness expansion), and realized it was clearly distinct from mental awareness but failed to communicate that distinction because of the limitations of language. How does one communicate a phenomenon that has no linguistic depiction?

    Based on my experience I have defined consciousness as direct awareness of existence unfiltered through mind (mind/brain/body) and the content of mind. Through my experience of consciousness along with this new linguistic way of describing/defining it I assert that consciousness is NOT the mind, of the mind or any aspect of mind. Consciousness does not think, cannot think, is not the space between thoughts and is not ‘no mind’. Consciousness SEES and KNOWS but does not think/analyze. Even though the process that most often leads to consciousness awakening involves physical and mental effort (mental focusing) as practiced by dedicated yogis when consciousness is experienced/realized there is no need to focus, quell or refine the thinking process because consciousness doesn’t even have the capacity to think.

    Please share if you have experienced consciousness as described above or would like to discuss the subject more? After hearing from you I can elaborate extensively and will share much more about what I have experienced in my meditations leading to consciousness expansion and the methods used to achieve consciousness expansion.

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