Panpsychism and complexity

If the doctrine that all extended substances have a corresponding thought-attribute. That is, that every physical object to have a mind.

Then what about pebbles and rivers?

Well, we could simply say that the level of complexity determines the level of mentality. Human beings are highly complex and are minded in a very sophisticated way, where pebbles have a mentality next to nonexistent or ‘dormant’ in relative terms to us.

Here is the thought:

What about highly complex works of engineering; such as neural networks, nanotechnologies and digitised data: are they minded?

It wouldn’t seem too unreasonable to say they were if we accept some import of panpsychism. Whether we could communicate is another issue…

Evanescence and ‘Lithium’

Evanescence has a song on their new album called “Lithium”. A reference to the psychotropic drug; Sinistre seems to think this is highly inauthentic on the basis that Amy Lee (lyricist) doesn’t have any documented relevant experience with mental health issues and in an interview, states how the drug itself is referred to as an analogy to the state of her soul. Sinistre, speaking on as Destre in dormant, deems this highly inauthentic; like if a non-Jew were to write about experience of the holocaust. Authenticity is a social and aesthetic value we attribute to persons and artworks and seems a pretty uncontraversial metric by which we judge music or other artforms.

I, as always, must play devil’s advocate. This is just a harmless metaphor; a referent to an internal state where this is the only physical marker we can attribute which others may understand most poignantly; insofar as people identify with the sentiment of the song, this marker is successful; Lee IS being authentic, as she is depicting an experience she actually has, albeit through a drug she has never taken. Lee is authentic, and Lee has made successful art.

Ceteris paribus doesn’t help, given my closeness to Destre. I’m too close to him to be objective about the issue.

– Michael