The incoherence challenge for subject combination: An analytic assessment.
Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy, Early View (Online First).
Panpsychism is now a bona fide potential solution to the metaphysical quandary of consciousness. Much of the debate concerning the viability of panpsychism is centered on the combination problem (CP). Intriguingly, the literature analyzing this problem displays two competing interpretations which differ in their modal force. According to the first, which we call the ‘no-necessitation view', CP consists in the absence of a priori necessitation of macro-level phenomenal facts from micro-level phenomenal facts. In contrast, the second interpretation, which we label the ‘incoherence charge’ (IC), goes further by insisting that it can be positively demonstrated that micro-experiences cannot combine to yield integral macro-experiences. While conceivability arguments are vulnerable to debates over conflicting intuitions, as well as to the claim that a more complete picture will grant the desired necessitation, IC has the advantage that, if true, it removes these concerns and approaches a more final verdict. Nevertheless, while conceivability arguments are widely discussed IC has not been equally well understood or recognized. In this paper we conduct a systematic investigation and reevaluation of IC, as it applies to constitutive micropsychism (or, micro-reductive panpsychism). We argue that the problem is real and therefore that constitutive micropsychism is a blind alley.
combination problem, incoherence charge, panpsychism, phenomenal holism, subjective perspective
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