32 - A New Argument for Panpsychism: The F-inductive Argument from Consciousness


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I would like to introduce what may be a new argument, the f-inductive argument from consciousness for panpsychism. (Scroll to the bottom of these shownotes for some helpful detail about the argument.)

Panpsychism entails the existence of consciousness, whereas most competing views do not. The evidence—consciousness, in this case—is not surprising on the hypothesis of panpsychism, but is surprising on the hypothesis of physicalism, as well as many of panpsychism’s rivals. The probability that consciousness would exist on panpsychism isn’t just high—it’s 1. The probability that we would find this evidence in a physicalist universe is less than that. In fact, it’s unexpected. So other evidence held equal, panpsychism has a notable edge here.

Transcripts available at emersongreenblog.wordpress.com

Contact me at emersongreen@protonmail.com or on Facebook

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Let B=background information or evidence; E=the evidence to be explained; H=an explanatory hypothesis; Pr(|H|)=the intrinsic probability of H; and Pr(x|y)=the epistemic probability of x conditional upon y.

C-inductive: Pr(H | E & B) > P(H | B)

F-inductive: Pr(E | H2 & B) > Pr(E | H1 & B)

P-inductive: Pr(H | E & B) > ½

Here is the F-inductive argument from consciousness for panpsychism:

Let E in this case be consciousness.

(1) E is known to be true, i.e., Pr(E) is 1.

(2) Panpsychism is not intrinsically much less probable than Physicalism, i.e., Pr(|Panpsychism|) is not much less than Pr(|Physicalism|).

(3) Pr(E | Panpsychism & B) > Pr(E | Physicalism & B).

(4) Therefore, other evidence held equal, Panpsychism is probably true. Pr(Panpsychism | B & E) > 0.5.

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