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I only say decohered because the quantum realm doesn't seem to have the local reality to have locally functional qualia, but maybe it has more diffuse probabilistic qualia? Then again in our macro world, although we perceive separate units (individuals), and evolution works on that, in reality it's all flowing into each other.

Is quantum entanglement an example of consciousness at the quantum level?

By qualia I just mean phenomenal consciousness, phenomenality. But stripping away anything specific to the incredible evolved complexity of animal brains.

See Panpsychism.

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    "How plausible" on what basis beyond opinions? We do not even know what qualia are in people, and this goes several steps of speculation beyond that.
    – Conifold
    Oct 19, 2023 at 20:36
  • Well we know what people are - bits of Earth (mostly water) that grow functionally, with some macro electrochemical activity, and experience functional qualia.
    – Yop
    Oct 19, 2023 at 20:46
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    Are you familiar with the fallacy of division? Just because some composite (like humans) has a property (like having qualia) does not mean that its components (like chemicals) also have it. It is equally "plausible" that qualia are emergent on complexity of animal brains that you want to strip away and high level dynamic processes there. And this "plausibility" is just pointing fingers into the sky because we do not know enough even about the supposed prototype.
    – Conifold
    Oct 19, 2023 at 21:01
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    You seem to be giving a bland answer (that it's as plausible as that is only occurs with more complex functioning) in a snarky comment declaring the attempt pointless, rather than giving it as an actual "answer". It's a philosophy forum, who are you to declare any exploration of a key issue pointless in advance.
    – Yop
    Oct 19, 2023 at 21:10
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    Wrong, it’s not a philosophy forum. It’s a philosophy Q&A site. Also voting to close, since there’s no unbiased answer to this question, a question that is seeking opinions and discussion.
    – Hokon
    Oct 19, 2023 at 21:29

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I suspect your question is on the way to being closed, so I will try to type a hasty answer before the shutters come down. Leaving aside the fact that you would have to elaborate what you envisage when you talk about small inanimate objects having qualia (the spellchecker changed that to quail, by the way, which is a bit annoying on a philosophy site) there are some common-sense objections that your idea would need to address before I, for one, would consider it plausible. For example, consciousness seems to be associated with processes in brains, rather than just being an innate property of a brain, like its mass. Moreover, the processes consume energy. Everything we suppose to have any sort of mind, such as humans, dogs, ants, elephants, consume food to provide energy to power their activity, a significant proportion of which is expended by the brain. Inanimate objects don't consume energy, and thus have no power source for consciousness. There are other common sense objections too- why would a brain deprived of free oxygen loose consciousness if the essential ingredients for consciousness were present in its constituent particles? Why would a brain seem to have only one consciousness? Why can't half of my brain co-join mentally with half of yours? Why is consciousness in my head, when the stuff from which it is made, namely atoms of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, etc, also make up my feet? When panpsychism, or panqualism, is able to crush such objections in plain English, I will absolutely consider it plausible.

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  • Ty for trying to use the site for its supposed purpose. My response is probably futile then but do you think the process point can be addressed by functionalism? That in some weird way (though intuitive to us on one level), qualia are the functions of a given entity. When the constituents are not working together functionally, I gather they still have their own energy in the electromagnetic flow in and around atoms, but I don't know if that has a function in the same sense.
    – Yop
    Oct 20, 2023 at 12:17
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    @Yop -- these questions are highly relevant to any philosophy of mind speculation. One of the problems for most speculations is that they would predict things should have minds that apparently do not. For instance, we know that 99.9% of our brain functions are unconscious, and Functionalism predicts every one of these IS conscious, and necessarily so. Why is a brain conscious, and not a toenail, or a toenail clipping, per pan-psychism? Or our entire body? First order falsified testable predictions from the basic theory make this implausible.
    – Dcleve
    Oct 20, 2023 at 18:08
  • @Dcleve I think that's the key issue and I would've upvoted it as an answer. But I ask you, if the panpsychism is functionalist, it could reflect the overall functioning of a unit rather than each part any more? (a unit like "human ape" would have to have some ontological boundary). Alternatively, there could be consciousness within toenails, it's just that we're not toenails.
    – Yop
    Nov 2, 2023 at 22:15
  • @Yop -- Panpsychism has no intrinsic coupling relationship between consciousness and any bundle object. The only items that can coherently be claimed to be conscious would be elementary particles. As consciousness is not causal in most versions of pan-psychism, there is no way to test for their claims of consciousness. I am an interactive dualist -- one can apply empiricism to interactive dualism, it is a naturalist hypothesis. Pan-psychism is not. Answer upvote goes to Marco, who is NOT a dualist!!!!
    – Dcleve
    Nov 2, 2023 at 22:26
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    I'm not a panpsychist, I'm a monist who's exploring possibilities about the as yet "hard problem" ie. intractable under current paradigm. I do not see that dualism can be naturalistically causal, unlike panpaychism. What you call bundles could be functional units, and perhaps the panpsychism is functionally elementary. But that would require ontological functions somehow. But functionalism is the mainstream consensus philosophy of mind. I'm not sure why last bitchy comment necessary, perhaps taking cue from other patronising jerk who likes talk down.
    – Yop
    Nov 4, 2023 at 13:42

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