A free energy reconstruction of arguments for panpsychism

Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-18 (forthcoming)
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Abstract

The paper draws on scientific resources formed around the notion of Free Energy Principle to reconstruct two well-known defences of panpsychism. I reconstruct the argument from continuity by expanding the mind-life continuity thesis under the rubric of the Free Energy Principle, by showing that FEP does not provide an objective criterion for demarcating the living from the inanimate. Then I will reconstruct the argument from intrinsic nature. The FEP-based account of consciousness is centred on the notion of ‘temporal depth’ of generative models. I argue that even evolution can be modelled as a temporally deep system. Since we have no access to the intrinsic perspective of evolution to see whether or not it models itself as a temporally deep system, we must draw an analogy from our own case and conclude that evolution is consciousness involving. Thus the paper reconstructs two main arguments for panpsychism.

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Majid D. Beni
Middle East Technical University

Citations of this work

Towards a Neutral-Structuralist Theory of Consciousness and Selfhood.Janko Nešić - forthcoming - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science:1-17.
The Curious Incident of Indistinguishable Selves A Reply to Nešić.Majid D. Beni - forthcoming - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science:1-8.

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