References are from "Galen Strawson: 5 Questions on Mind and Consciousness," in Mind and Consciousness: 5 Questions, Grim, P. (Ed.), Automatic Press/VIP (2009).
Galen Strawson makes the following argument:
Real materialism incorporates real realism about experience. It accepts that all mental goings on, including crucially all experiential goings on, are wholly physical goings on, but doesn't take it to follow, reductively, that there must somehow be less to experience than we thought.... Rather, it concludes that there must be more to matter than we thought.... (194-95)
Strawson makes it clear that when he speaks of there being "more to matter," he means that
any genuinely naturalistic, parsimonious, plausible and indeed 'hard-nosed' materialist position [must] take seriously the possibility that panpsychism or equivalently panexperientialism--the view that everything has mental or experiential being, whatever other being it has--may be true.... (197)
It's pretty obvious, though, that this argument doesn't work for your garden variety "real" phenomenon. Take the weather, which seems "real" enough:
Real materialism incorporates real realism about the weather. It accepts all meteorological phenomena, but it doesn't follow that there must be somehow less to weather than we thought. Rather, it follows that there must be more to matter than we thought. Any genuinely naturalistic materialist position must take seriously the possibility that panmeteorism may be true.
Clearly, that argument is a non sequitur, and a rather spectacular one. So why does the analogous argument for panspychism get a free pass?
A typical response would be to say that weather is clearly a physical phenomenon, whereas phenomenal consciousness isn't, so you can't compare the two. But that response simply denies Strawson's premise that consciousness is a "material" phenomenon. Besides which, even on its own terms, the response is worse than irrelevant: the fact that weather is a stipulatively material phenomenon makes it only that much more suitable than consciousness as a premise in an argument about the nature of the material world.
Of course, most people intuitively just feel like they can understand the multiple levels of physical explanation that bridge the fundamental objects of physics to the macro-level phenomena we call "weather," whereas they feel like there can be no way to build that bridge in the case of consciousness. I don't think that feeling is right. (For one thing, we probably don't even really understand the fundamental objects of physics themselves; and to the extent that we do "understand" them, we probably understand consciousness too.) But even if we assume the explanatory asymmetry is true, the move from this felt explanatory gap to the conclusion that matter must have a mental aspect is an utterly vacuous move of the sort famously lampooned by Molière centuries ago. Worse than illegitimate, it is by now just embarrassing.
(H/T Rob Sica.)