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Title: The combination problem for panpsychism : a constitutive Russellian solution : an investigation into phenomenal bonding panpsychism and composite subjects of experience
Author: Miller, G. E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7656 7273
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2018
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In this thesis I argue for the following theory: constitutive Russellian phenomenal bonding panpsychism. To do so I do three main things: 1) I argue for Russellian panpsychism. 2) I argue for phenomenal bonding panpsychism. 3) I defend the resultant phenomenal bonding panpsychist model. The importance of arguing for (and defending) such a theory is that if it can be made to be viable, then it is proposed to be the most promising theory of the place of consciousness within nature (Chalmers, 2016a; Strawson, 2006a). This is because constitutive Russellian panpsychism has all the theoretical virtues of physicalism and dualism but does not face the problems they do (Alter and Nagasawa, 2015a; Chalmers, 2016a). The combination problem, however, is the most significant problem for the Russellian panpsychist (Chalmers, 2016b; Goff, 2017a), and, hence, in order to show the viability of the theory I address this problem. Moreover, I present a novel 'mereological argument' for panpsychism which makes it necessary that the Russellian panpsychist addresses (and solves) the combination problem. The focus of this thesis is therefore addressing this problem. I argue that the combination problem can indeed be solved. To do so I argue for the phenomenal bonding solution proposed by Goff (Goff, 2016, 2009a). I argue that this solution works and that we can form a positive concept of the phenomenal bonding relation (Miller, 2017). This forces the panpsychist to make sense of how experiencing subjects can be proper parts of other experiencing subjects (Miller, 2018). I then argue that this can indeed be made sense of and show that we can indeed be composite subjects made of other subjects. To show that we can be subjects made up of other subjects I defend this proposal from various objections from throughout the literature. All these objections can be responded to by the constitutive Russellian phenomenal bonding panpsychist. Ultimately this leaves us with a novel and interesting account of what conscious subjects are, and what the material world is: they are both composite entities made wholly of conscious matter.
Supervisor: Dainton, Barry ; McLeod, Stephen Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral