Gregg Rosenberg:

"A Place for Consciousness" (Oxford Univ Press, 2004)

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The US philosopher Gregg Rosenberg argues the case for panexperientialism while distinguishing it from panpsychism. He argues that experience "outruns" cognition in nature. But the book is more interesting for its criticism of science. Physics underexplains causality: it is not just consciousness that physics fails to explain; physics does not adequately explain causation either. Rosenberg provides an alternative framework in which two sets of properties are necessary in order for something to happen: effective properties and receptive properties. Effective properties are the ones that enable something to have an effect on something else. But these would not be enough; Rosenberg thinks that, for something to be an "effect" of a cause, that something must have the dual property of being receptive to the "cause". Physics is a theory of the world limited to effective properties. (I don't think this is true in general. See the transactional interpretation of Quantum Mechanics, that originated from Wheeler in the 1940s). Physical properties are merely dispositions. Something must "carry" them and instantiate them in the real world. Rosenberg shows that the obvious suspects cannot do the job because they would require carriers of their own. In the end, he shows that only phenomenal properties can do the job: they instantiate physical properties in the real world. In other words, phenomenal properties are the carriers of the effective properties described by Physics. However, effective properties are useless unless matched with receptive properties. Rosenberg looks for the carrier of receptivity and finds it in experience. Experiencing carries receptivity. Each conscious individual is equipped with an experiential receptive field. Phenomenal experience is revealed to be the fundamental substance of the universe, from which physical relationships arise. Phenomenal experience is the carrier without which causal relationships could not exist.

Alas, i find his arguments based on Conway's Game of Life program unconvincing.

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