Consciousness permeates reality. Rather than being just a unique feature of human subjective experience, it’s the foundation of the universe, present in every particle and all physical matter.I am not sure if this is nutty or not. We do not have a scientific definition of consciousness, so there is no way to test the ideas in this essay.
This sounds like easily-dismissible bunkum, but as traditional attempts to explain consciousness continue to fail, the “panpsychist” view is increasingly being taken seriously by credible philosophers, neuroscientists, and physicists, including figures such as neuroscientist Christof Koch and physicist Roger Penrose.
“Why should we think common sense is a good guide to what the universe is like?” says Philip Goff, a philosophy professor at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. “Einstein tells us weird things about the nature of time that counters common sense; quantum mechanics runs counter to common sense. Our intuitive reaction isn’t necessarily a good guide to the nature of reality.”
Nevertheless, there appears to be such a thing as consciousness, even if we cannot give a good definition of it.
Assuming you are a materialist, and not a dualist, the human brain is the sum of its constituent parts. Do those parts have a little bit of consciousness, or does consciousness only emerge after a certain cognitive capacity is reached? Both seem possible to me.
If consciousness is emergent, then we can expect AI computers to be conscious some day. Or maybe those computers will never be conscious until they are made of partially conscious parts.
There is an argument that decoherence times in a living brain environment are sufficiently fast that quantum mechanics cannot possibly play any part in consciousness. I do not accept that. The argument shows that you do not have Schroedinger cats in your head, or at least not for very long, but you quantum mechanics could have a vital role in decision making. We don't understand the brain well enough to say.
It may also turn out that consciousness will never be defined precisely enough for these questions to make sense.