The book in a nutshell: In A Place for Consciousness: Probing the deep structure of the natural world, Gregg Rosenberg lays out a sophisticated dual aspect panpsychist theory of consciousness and causation. He skillfully avoids most of the problems faced by traditional panpsychist approaches including those of Russell, Lockwood and Chalmers. A Place for Consciousness begins by detailing the problem of accommodating consciousness within the natural order. After carefully motivating the point that a theory of consciousness requires an understanding of causation, the book segues into a thorough examination of causation. Humean and constructivist views of causation are examined and then demolished. Then the author introduces the key notion of receptivity which can be understood as "the power to be affected." Receptive properties can be visualized as a causal mesh connecting different individuals and are contrasted from effective properties. The latter are properties of individuals which are capable of affecting the states of other individuals. Receptive and effective properties of a system are shown to be a circular pattern of contrastive differences that need to be instantiated by a further pattern of contrastive differences that are extrinsic to the system. Unfortunately, physics does not have a deeper system of internal contrasts that carry its contrastive differences. The author closes the loop by showing that phenomenal properties can be pressed into service as an intrinsic pattern of differences capable of carrying the contrasts in physics. In this way, the carrier theory of causation gets underneath physics and provides a role for consciousness in the experiencing of intrinsic phenomenal properties.
An itemized summary follows. If there is interest, I'll expand the overall summary.
1. A directed graph of receptive connections is needed before physics can get going. The directed graph specifies a mesh which binds individuals into a causal structure. This receptive structure is not supervenient on the physical.
2. Causation and maybe even spacetime can be placed within the framework of this directed graph.
3. Receptive properties are to be contrasted from effective properties. The latter are the usual sort studied by physics and specify the way in which individuals affect the states of other individuals. Receptive and effective properties are a circular pattern of contrastive differences.
4. Physics does not specify a deeper, more fundamental level of internal contrasts to carry its contrastive differences.
5. Phenomenal properties are exactly the sort of intrinsic properties capable of carrying the contrasts found in physics.