This thesis will defend a new variety of panprotopsychism which does not have a class of so-called combination problems that some popular varieties of panprotopsychism have.
Panprotopsychism is the view that conscious entities depend on protophenomenal constituents and that these constituents are fundamental, ubiquitous and neutral. One very popular variety, Constitutive Russellian Panprotopsychism (CRP) has three additional distinctive doctrines. (1) Russellian Monism: protoconsciousness is located in a fundamental constituent’s intrinsic nature. (2) Neutral Monism: protophenomenal properties are neither physical nor phenomenal. (3) Constitution: the right combination of protophenomenal constituents alone is meant to produce consciousness.
There are at least three combination problems for CRP. The first is that the conditions for the combination of protoconscious entities, and the nature of these bonds, is a mystery. Consequently, we can conceive of a structurally and protophenomenally duplicate world without any phenomenal properties. This is the Conceivability Problem. Secondly, consciousness seems unified and monadic, which is incompatible with the idea that consciousness has parts. However, if consciousness cannot have parts strong emergence seems necessary, which is undesirable. This is the Composition Problem. Finally, even though microphysical and protophenomenal properties are meant to be isomorphic, the structure of our brains and visual fields are not. This is the Structural Mismatch Problem.
I defend Structural Transformational Identity Theory Panprotopsychism (STIP) as a superior alternative. STIP has three distinctive doctrines. (1) Identity Theory Panprotopsychism: fundamental constituents are both simultaneously physical and protophenomenal. (2) Transformational Fusion: multiple fundamental constituents go through intrinsic change to generate a singular simple. (3) Modified Ontic Structural Realism: fundamental constituents, including protophenomenal constituents, are not relata, but relations. Some of these relations are microphysical while others are protophenomenal. My conclusion is that the three combination problems for CRP do not exist for my STIP even though the latter view preserves all of the original intuitions of the former view.