Panpsychism is the idea that everything in the universe feels experiences, not just humans (or animals, or some other "thinking" category of beings).tl;dr: All arguments against panpsychism are foolish appeals to an evolved useful instinct, which like all other useful instincts only reflect what was useful for survival - not any fundamental aspect of the universe.
The arguments against panpsychism are so poorly conceived that I have found myself swayed to believe in panpsychism.
They all basically boil down to an appeal to a baseless belief - that it must somehow be necessary to "think" in order to "feel". It's just saying, "Come on, that lump of rock obviously can't think, so how can it experience anything?"
But...well, how is that even a given? We have no problem saying that when you throw a rock, it will then feel
air resistance; it will _feel_ gravity. We have no problem talking about its behavior
. Why do anti-panpsychists insist that this experience of feeling things is not "real". It's certainly real enough for us to very successfully use in aiming artillery shells at targets or interplanetary probes at planetary bodies.
The answer is that it just is intuitively
silly. But why? Evolution. These fools are simply succumbing to a very useful survival trait ingrained into our thinking patterns.
There was a survival benefit to categorize objects into "thinking" beings with "free will" vs "unthinking" objects which simply passively react to external forces. The reason this is useful is because the latter can be very reliably predicted, while the former may always surprise you (perhaps fatally). For example, consider a lion. No matter how friendly a lion may seem to be, it's simply never a good idea to get too close to it. Maybe it'll be hungry that day. Maybe it'll just attack you for the heck of it. Either way, you'd be dead and you'd lose your ability to pass along your genes.
So, there's a strong instinctive categorization we use to separate the world into "thinking" capricious things which can have motivations and "free will", vs "unthinking" inanimate objects.
Is there any rational reason to expect this useful survival instinct to reflect a deep fundamental reality of the universe? No. There is not. It's just an instinct.
We have lots of instinctive categorizations. We've got a strong instinctive way to determine whether a human is male or female. That's a pretty darn useful survival capability for passing along the genes. Does it reflect some fundamental reality of the underlying nature of the universe? No. It does not.
That's all that Searle has - a foolish appeal to an instinct. And that's all that *anyone* before or after Searle has ever had to oppose panpsychism.