A Place for Consciousness: Probing the Deep Structure of the Natural World

By Gregg Rosenberg | Go to book overview

14
Applications

14.1 The Theory of Natural Individuals
The purpose of this book has been to place consciousness in nature. To find a place for consciousness, the previous chapters have developed a framework for understanding causation. This framework is the Theory of Natural Individuals, and, through it, experiencing is tied to the deep structure of the natural world. The three primary elements of the framework are:
The Theory of Causal Significance
The Carrier Theory of Causation
The Consciousness Hypothesis

Having a good framework is critical, but it may require us to undertake substantial further thought before we can fully apply it. In the last chapter, I applied the framework to the several issues raised in part I of the book, but there are many other important areas to which the Theory of Natural Individuals applies.

The Theory of Natural Individuals touches the philosophy of mind, physics, and cognitive science. Detailed discussions of how the Theory of Natural Individuals might be applied in these areas could probably fill several sequels to this book. I make some first comments in this chapter, but I do not pretend to do the issues justice. I only hope these sketches and observations, though inadequate, will help further clarify the commitments and usefulness of the framework. Therefore, this chapter discusses briefly the touch points between the Liberal Naturalist framework that I have called the Theory of Natural Individuals and a set of further applications of the framework.

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A Place for Consciousness: Probing the Deep Structure of the Natural World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Contents xvii
  • Part I - Liberal Naturalism 1
  • 1 - A Place for Consciousness 3
  • 2 - The Argument against Physicalism 13
  • 3 - Physicalist Responses to the Argument against Physicalism 31
  • 4 - The Boundary Problem for Experiencing Subjects 77
  • 5 - On the Possibility of Panexperientialism 91
  • 6 - On the Probability of Panexperientialism 104
  • 7 - Paradoxes for Liberal Naturalism 114
  • Part II - Faces of Causation 127
  • 8 - Against Hume 129
  • 9 - The Theory of Causal Significance 141
  • 10 - A Tutorial on Causal Significance 184
  • 11 - Is Connectivity Entailed by the Physical? 218
  • 12 - The Carrier Theory of Causation 230
  • 13 - The Consciousness Hypothesis 248
  • 14 - Applications 272
  • 15 - Conclusion 297
  • Notes 301
  • References 311
  • Index 319
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