Advertisement

Erkenntnis

pp 1–21 | Cite as

Is the Integrated Information Theory of Consciousness Compatible with Russellian Panpsychism?

  • Hedda Hassel Mørch
Article

Abstract

The Integrated Information Theory (IIT) is a leading scientific theory of consciousness, which implies a kind of panpsychism. In this paper, I consider whether IIT is compatible with a particular kind of panpsychism, known as Russellian panpsychism, which purports to avoid the main problems of both physicalism and dualism. I will first show that if IIT were compatible with Russellian panpsychism, it would contribute to solving Russellian panpsychism’s combination problem, which threatens to show that the view does not avoid the main problems of physicalism and dualism after all. I then show that the theories are not compatible as they currently stand, in view of what I call the coarse-graining problem. After I explain the coarse-graining problem, I will offer two possible solutions, each involving a small modification of IIT. Given either of these modifications, IIT and Russellian panpsychism may be fully compatible after all, and jointly enable significant progress on the mind–body problem.

Notes

Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Giulio Tononi, Erik Hoel, David Chalmers, Torin Alter, Luke Roelofs, Neil Mehta, Kelvin McQueen and participants and referees at the conferences “IIT: Foundational Issues” (NYU 2015), “Non-physicalist Views of Consciousness” (Cambridge University 2016), “The Science of Consciousness” (Tucson, Arizona 2016) and “Minds Online” (2016) for helpful comments on this paper. This work has been funded by The Research Council of Norway through a FRIPRO Mobility Grant, Contract No. 240328/F10. The FRIPRO Mobility Grant scheme (FRICON) is co-funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under Marie Curie Grant Agreement No. 608695.

References

  1. Alter, T., & Nagasawa, Y. (2012). What is Russellian Monism? Journal of Consciousness Studies, 19(9–10), 67–95.Google Scholar
  2. Armstrong, D. M. (1978). A theory of universals. Universals and scientific realism volume II. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Barrett, A. B. (2014). An integration of integrated information theory with fundamental physics. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 63.Google Scholar
  4. Bird, A. (2007). Nature’s metaphysics: Laws and properties. Oxford: Clarendon Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brogaard, B. (2016). In search of Mentons. In G. Brüntrup & L. Jaskolla (Eds.), Panpsychism: Contemporary perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Cerullo, M. A. (2015). The problem with phi: A critique of integrated information theory. PLoS Computational Biology, 11(9), e1004286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chalmers, D. J. (1996). The conscious mind: In search of a fundamental theory. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Chalmers, D. J. (2003). Consciousness and its place in nature. In S. P. Stich & T. A. Warfield (Eds.), Blackwell guide to philosophy of mind. Malden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  9. Chalmers, D. J. (2009). The two-dimensional argument against materialism. In B. P. McLaughlin & S. Walter (Eds.), Oxford handbook to the philosophy of mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Chalmers, D. J. (2015). Panpsychism and panprotopsychism. In T. Alter & Y. Nagasawa (Eds.), Consciousness in the physical world: Essays on Russellian Monism. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Chalmers, D. J. (2016). The combination problem for panpsychism. In G. Brüntrup & L. Jaskolla (Eds.), Panpsychism: Contemporary perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Chalmers, D. (forthcoming). Idealism and the mind-body problem. In W. Seager (Ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Panpsychism. Routledge.Google Scholar
  13. Dretske, F. I. (1977). Laws of nature. Philosophy of Science, 44(2), 248–268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ellis, B. D. (2001). Scientific essentialism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Goff, P. (2006). Experiences don’t sum. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 13(10–11), 53–61.Google Scholar
  16. Goff, P. (2009). Why panpsychism doesn’t help us explain consciousness. Dialectica, 63(3), 289–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Goff, P. (2015). Against constitutive Russellian monism. In T. Alter & Y. Nagasawa (Eds.), Consciousness in the physical world: Perspectives on Russellian Monism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Goff, P. (2016). The phenomenal bonding solution to the combination problem. In G. Brüntrup & L. Jaskolla (Eds.), Panpsychism: Contemporary perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Hoel, E. P., Albantakis, L., Marshall, W., & Tononi, G. (2016). Can the macro beat the micro? Integrated information across spatiotemporal scales. Neuroscience of Consciousness, 2016(1), niw012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hoel, E. P., Albantakis, L., & Tononi, G. (2013). Quantifying causal emergence shows that macro can beat micro. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(49), 19790–19795.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hume, D. (1739-40/2000). A treatise of human nature. In J. Cottingham (Ed.), Oxford Philosophical Texts. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Jackson, F. (1982). Epiphenomenal qualia. Philosophical Quarterly, 32(April), 127–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jackson, F. (1986). What Mary didn’t know. The Journal of Philosophy, 83(5), 291–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. James, W. (1890). The principles of psychology (Vol. 1). London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  25. James, W. (1912). Essays in radical empiricism. New York: Longmans, Green & Co.Google Scholar
  26. Kim, J. (1988). Explanatory realism, causal realism, and explanatory exclusion. Midwest Studies in Philosophy, 12(1), 225–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Koch, C. (2012). Consciousness: Confessions of a romantic reductionist. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  28. Kripke, S. A. (1980). Naming and necessity. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Ladyman, J., & Ross, D. (2007). Every thing must go: Metaphysics naturalized. Oxford: Clarendon Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Langton, R. (1998). Kantian humility: Our ignorance of things in themselves. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Lewis, D. (1973). Causation. Journal of Philosophy, 70(17), 556–567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lockwood, M. (1993). The grain problem. In H. M. Robinson (Ed.), Objections to physicalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Mach, E. (1886). Beiträge Zur Analyse Der Empfindungen. Jena: Verlag von Gustav Fischer.Google Scholar
  34. Mach, E. (1894). Populärwisschenschaftliche Vorlesungen (p. 1923). Vienna: Böhlau Verlag (reprint of the fifth edition).Google Scholar
  35. Mach, E. (1905). Erkenntnis Und Irrtum (5th ed., p. 1976). Dordrecht: Reidel (translated as Knowledge and error).Google Scholar
  36. Martin, C. B., & Heil, J. (1999). The ontological turn. Midwest Studies in Philosophy, 23(1), 34–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mørch, H. H. (2014). Panpsychism and causation: A new argument and a solution to the combination problem. Doctoral Dissertation. Departement of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas, University of Oslo, Oslo.Google Scholar
  38. Nagel, T. (1979). Mortal questions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Papineau, D. (2001). The rise of physicalism. In C. Gillett & B. Loewer (Eds.), Physicalism and its discontents. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  40. Pereboom, D. (2015). Consciousness, physicalism, and absolutely intrinsic properties. In T. Alter & Y. Nagasawa (Eds.), Consciousness in the physical world: Perspectives on Russellian Monism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Russell, B. (1927). The analysis of matter. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co.Google Scholar
  42. Schopenhauer, A. (1966a). The world as will and representation (E. F. J. Payne, Trans) (Vol. 1). New York: Dover.Google Scholar
  43. Schopenhauer, A. (1966b). The world as will and representation (E. F. J. Payne, Trans) (Vol. 2). New York: Dover.Google Scholar
  44. Schwitzgebel, E. (2015). If materialism is true, the United States is probably conscious. Philosophical Studies, 172(7), 1697–1721.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Seager, W. (1995). Consciousness, information and panpsychism. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2(3), 272–288.Google Scholar
  46. Seager, W. (2006). The ‘intrinsic nature’ argument for panpsychism. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 13(10–11), 129–145.Google Scholar
  47. Seager, W. (2010). Panpsychism, aggregation and combinatorial infusion. Mind and Matter, 8(2), 167–184.Google Scholar
  48. Seager, W. (2016). Panpsychist infusion. In G. Brüntrup & L. Jaskolla (Eds.), Panpsychism: Contemporary readings. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Searle, J. R. (2013). Can information theory explain consciousness? New York Review of Books, 60(1), 30–41.Google Scholar
  50. Sellars, W. S. (1965). The identity approach to the mind–body problem. Review of Metaphysics, 18(March), 430–451.Google Scholar
  51. Sellars, W. S. (1971). Seeing, sense impressions, and sensa: A reply to Cornman. Review of Metaphysics, 24(March), 391–447.Google Scholar
  52. Shoemaker, S. (1980). Causality and properties. In P. van Inwagen (Ed.), Time and cause: Essays presented to Richard Taylor. Dordrecht: Reidel.Google Scholar
  53. Strawson, G. (2006a). Realistic monism: Why physicalism entails panpsychism. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 13(10–11), 3–31.Google Scholar
  54. Strawson, G. (2006b). Panpsychism? Reply to commentators with a celebration of descartes. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 13(10–11), 184–280.Google Scholar
  55. Strawson, G. (2008). The identity of the categorical and the dispositional. Analysis, 68(4), 271–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Stubenberg, L. (2015). Russell, Russellian monism and panpsychism. In T. Alter & Y. Nagasawa (Eds.), Consciousness in the physical world: Perspectives on Russellian Monism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  57. Tegmark, M. (2016). Improved measures of integrated information. PLoS Computational Biology, 12(11), e1005123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Tononi, G. (2004). An information integration theory of consciousness. BMC Neuroscience, 5(1), 42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Tononi, G. (2008). Consciousness as integrated information: A provisional manifesto. The Biological Bulletin, 215(3), 216–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Tononi, G. (2011). Integrated information theory of consciousness: An updated account. Archives Italiennes de Biologie, 150(2–3), 56–90.Google Scholar
  61. Tononi, G., Albantakis, L., & Oizumi, M. (2014). From the phenomenology to the mechanisms of consciousness: Integrated information theory 3.0. PLoS Computational Biology, 10(5), 1003588.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Tononi, G., Boly, M., Massimini, M., & Koch, C. (2016). Integrated information theory: From consciousness to its physical substrate. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 17(7), 450–461.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Tononi, G., & Koch, C. (2015). Consciousness: Here, there and everywhere? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences, 370(1668), 20140167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Tooley, M. (1977). The nature of laws. Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 7(4), 667–698.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Wishon, D. (2015). Russell on Russellian Monism. In T. Alter & Y. Nagasawa (Eds.), Consciousness in the physical world: Perspectives on Russellian Monism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  66. Wishon, D. (2017). Russellian acquaintance and Frege’s puzzle. Mind, 126(502), 321–370.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and IdeasUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  2. 2.Center for Mind, Brain and ConsciousnessNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations