The Selection Problem for Constitutive Panpsychism

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (3):564-578 (2021)
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ABSTRACT Constitutive panpsychism is the doctrine that macro-level consciousness—that is, consciousness of the sort possessed by certain composite things such as humans—is built out of irreducibly mental features had by some or all of the basic physical constituents of reality. On constitutive panpsychism, changes in macro-level consciousness amount to changes in either the way that micro-conscious entities ‘bond’ or the way that micro-conscious qualities ‘blend’. I pose the ‘Selection Problem’ for constitutive panpsychism—the problem of explaining how high-level functional states of the brain ‘select’ micro-conscious qualities for bonding or blending. I argue that there are no empirically plausible solutions to this problem.

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Phil Woodward
Niagara University


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