Panpsychism and the Inner-Outer Gap Problem

The Monist 105 (1):25-42 (2022)
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Abstract

Panpsychism is viewed by its advocates as resolving the main sticking points for materialism and dualism. While sympathetic to this approach, I locate two prevalent assumptions within modern panpsychism which I think are problematic: first, that fundamental consciousness belongs to a perspectival subject and second, that the physical world, despite being backed by conscious subject, is observer-independent. I re-introduce an argument I’d made elsewhere against the first assumption: that it lies behind the well-known combination and decombination problems. I then propose a new argument against the second assumption: that it leads to an equally pernicious difficulty I call the “Inner-Outer Gap Problem.” The variant of panpsychism I continue to develop and defend, Perennial Idealism, avoids these assumptions and their problems, allowing real progress on the mind-body problem. Perennial Idealism is a type of panpsychist idealism rather than panpsychist materialism.

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Miri Albahari
University of Western Australia

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