Great article.

Donald Hoffman really goes down the consciousness rabbit hole… although he’s a very smart guy, and his views, however implausible a priori, appear a bit less so once he explains them.

I don’t find panpsychism at all compelling, though — nor particularly useful in our quest for deciphering how consciousness arises and functions in us.

I personally find the philosophical details surrounding consciousness endlessly fascinating, but probably they are not all crucial.

Totally agree. I believe the same is very much true with respect to whatever position one may adopt regarding free will. Some notions are just too removed from our daily experience, from our natural psychology, to have much of an impact on how we decide to conduct our lives.

I suspect that part of our difficulty in dealing with the consciousness conundrum arises from conflating reality domains that should remain distinct and separate, such as when one is considering feelings and intentions, for example — appropriate and useful terms for describing and understanding human psychology — and then somehow connects or applies those concepts to the realm of physical particles. And vice versa, as when one misguidedly questions the validity or reality of concepts such as the self, volition and feelings, because nothing of the sort exists at the level of fundamental physics.

I develop this idea further here:

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store