Cognition Lunch Salon: Enthusiasm about Russellian monism
Presenter: Torin Alter (University of Alabama)
Abstract: According to Russellian monism, consciousness is constituted by intrinsic properties that underlie structural properties described by physics. Enthusiasm about this theory is on the rise. Is this enthusiasm justified? I will consider two reasons to think not. One is that the theory offers nothing truly new. The other is that it fails to deliver on its promise to well integrate consciousness into the natural, causal order. I will suggest that neither reason is compelling. I will also suggest that seeing why provides insight into what we should ask of a theory of consciousness and its place in nature.