Author: Philip Goff

‘Galileo’s Error’ published!

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My book ‘Galileo’s Error: Foundations for a New Science of Consciousness’ was published this week. To mark the occasion, I have been involved in putting out a variety of podcasts, videos and articles on its themes. Here is a selection: Philip Pullman and I were interviewed on the consciousness, panpsychism and the philosophy of His Dark Materials on the BBC’s flagship radio news show (around 1 hour, 22 secs in). Pullman and I also had a public discussion on […]

Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness

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I’ve just finished a draft of a new paper, exploring whether reflection on consciousness can help us make progress on foundational questions in quantum mechanics. You can access it here: http://www.philipgoffphilosophy.com/uploads/1/4/4/4/14443634/quantum_mechanics_and_the_consciousness_constraint1.pdf It’s going to come out with a volume called ‘Quantum Mechanics and Consciousness,’ which will be published with Oxford University Press (edited by Shan Gao). All comments welcome! It’s not incredible accessible, I’m afraid. Below is the first section, which gives the big picture. […]

The New Copernican Revolution: A Response to John Horgan

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Panpsychism gets flak from a lot of directions. But a new one on me was John Horgan’s accusation that panpsychists are guilty of ‘geo-centrism,’ the attempt to drag us back to the pre-Copernican view that reality revolves us human beings: As far as we know, consciousness is property of only one weird type of matter that evolved relatively recently here on Earth: brains. Neo-geocentrists nonetheless suggest that consciousness pervades the entire cosmos. It might even […]

Can Panpsychism be Tested and Does It Matter?

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Last week I had a twitter argument with Barry Smith about panpsychism and this week I had a twitter argument with Massimo Pigliucci about panpsychism. A similar issue came up in both, so I thought I’d write a post about it. Actually, it concerns an objection that is often raised against panpsychism, which goes as follows: (A) We don’t have any evidence that consciousness exists outside of brains. We need to be careful about how […]

What Game of Thrones can Teach us about Brexit

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Half the people wanted Jon Snow to be executed for treason; half the people wanted him to be exonerated. The decision to send him permanently to the wall left no one happy, which, as Tyrion wisely observed, is the definition of a compromise. No one was happy but no one went to war.   In 2016 the UK voted 52 to 48 to leave the European Union. With a result so close, a compromise position […]

What have Consciousness, Religious Fictionalism, and a Leading Hotel Comparison Website got in Common?

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This is just a quick plug for some recent/forthcoming things I’m doing, in case anyone’s vaguely interested. Last week I did a talk for Trivago Academy, which is a series of talks by academics Trivago put on for general public at their HQ in Dusseldorf. It was really nice to talk to the general public instead of academics. Plus there was free beer. I had a good conversation with a man who has invented the […]

Religion But Not As We Know It

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Last week I published an article for the Times Literary Supplement outlining three alternative approach to religion, one of which was religious fictionalism. A religious fictionalist is (roughly) someone who finds value in practicing a religion despite holding that the contentious claims of the religion (e.g. God exists, Jesus rose from the dead) are false. Publishing this article felt a little bit like coming out for me. Every time someone asks me the dreaded question […]