Missing Entities: Has Panpsychism Lost the Physical World?

Journal of Consciousness Studies 28 (9-10):194-211 (2021)
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Panpsychists aspire to explain human consciousness, but can they also account for the physical world? In this paper, I argue that proponents of a popular form of panpsychism cannot. I pose a new challenge against this form of panpsychism: it faces an explanatory gap between the fundamental experiences it posits and some physical entities. I call the problem of explaining the existence of these physical entities within the panpsychist framework “the missing entities problem.” Spacetime, the quantum state, and quantum gravitational entities constitute three explanatory gaps as instances of the missing entities problem. Panpsychists are obliged to solve all instances of the missing entities problem; otherwise, panpsychism cannot be considered a viable theory of consciousness.

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Damian Aleksiev
University of Vienna


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