David Shariatmadari reviewing Stephen Poole, Rethink: the surprising history of new ideas, Guardian, 23 July 2016:
According to ancient Japanese religious practices, rivers, trees, rocks and buildings are imbued with a kind of life force. A more contemporary interpretation is gaining traction among some philosophers. Their argument goes like this: if our own awareness derives from matter (flesh, blood, brain cells and the like) then it does so either by “radical emergence” – coming into being via some extraordinary process of which we have no inkling – or it is simply a property of all matter. It’s hard enough to think of the chair on which you’re sitting as composed of billions of buzzing atoms. Now imagine it suffused with glimmers of consciousness too. And yet, for such scholars as Galen Strawson, compared to radical emergence, this is a more parsimonious account.
(I find ‘radical emergence’ more convincing, I think)
(The chairs are at a spa hotel in the Spanish Pyrenees south of the Port de Venasque.)