Nondualism and the Fallacies of Panpsychism and Artificial Sentience

Nondualism and the Fallacies of Panpsychism and Artificial Sentience

I met Bernardo Kastrup in the San Francisco airport. He had just arrived from Amsterdam and a group of us were car pooling to the Science and Nonduality conference. I mentioned enjoying his talk there, where he used logic to illustrate consciousness as fundamental. While it was professionally recorded, the screen was wonky and the slides not evenly focused nor all that clear.

I’m pleased to see Bernardo re-recorded his talk here so I can share it.

On Youtube

The video description:
We live in culture dominated by two contrived metaphysical inferences: that the world exists outside consciousness and that particular arrangements of matter in that world somehow generate consciousness. This distorted view of reality feeds the delusory dreams of artificial consciousness so prevalent in the media today, such as in movies like Ex Machina.

In contrast to science fiction, however, there is the cold science fact of our complete failure to articulate, even in principle, how particular arrangements of matter could possibly generate consciousness. But instead of forcing our culture to revise its mistaken metaphysics, this failure is leading to a new delusion: panpsychism, or the notion that consciousness is in all matter, as opposed to all matter in consciousness. Under panpsychism, consciousness is fundamentally fragmented, just as matter appears to be. Single atoms allegedly have very simple consciousness, while more complex psyches, such as our own, can be built bottom-up by connecting atoms together.

In this video, we will see how both panpsychism and our dreams of artificial consciousness arise from a delusory interpretation of the facts of reality, as available to experience. We will see that consciousness isn’t created, but the framework wherein all creation happens. We will see that consciousness isn’t fundamentally fragmented, but fundamentally one. We will see that individual psyches don’t arise from bottom-up integration, but from top-down dissociation of a single consciousness. Finally, we will see how all this follows directly from true nondualism.

You may notice the dynamics of consciousness I describe and also how everything is nested, one within the other. Also that the dynamics of consciousness create a self-referential boundary, as described. Pretty impressed he came to these points with the intellect. I shared my perspective with Bernardo at the conference.

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