Panpsychism

By: BenOh | November 16, 2015


Michael Blamauer, The Mental as Fundamental: New Perspectives on Panpsychism, Ontos, 2011, 172pp., $93.00 (hbk), ISBN 9783868381146.

Reviewed bySam Coleman, University of Hertfordshire


Panpsychism is hot stuff. Since Strawson's (2006) provocative argument (accompanied by a swathe of high-profile replies) that physicalism entails panpsychism, there have been papers aplenty and a big book (Skrbina's 2009 collection, Strawson featuring once more, as well as some contributors to the present volume). And now we have another book -- again a volume of essays (ten of them) by various fruitcakes (as a fellow panpsychist fruitcake I can say this). Most here propound panpsychism of some sort; two criticize it (Pierfrancesco Basile, Michael Blamauer), pr...

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By: BenOh | November 13, 2015


Review

“This is a rare and splendid book that takes you right into the heart and soul of the world. Read it and be transformed.” (Stephan Harding, Ph.D., head of Holistic Science, Schumacher College, UK, and author of Animate Eart)

“The twentieth century was the great age of physics, and the twenty-first is the age of biology. According to Stephen Harrod Buhner, we must interact empathically with the biosphere by opening our perceptual gates to perceive through all body sensations. He deliciously explores music, writing, art, and plants as tools for reclaiming our feeling sense of nature. Plant Intelligence and the Imaginal Realm is a work of heartfelt wisdom written so exquisitely that it took my breath away, a must read for anyone who wants...

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By: BenOh | November 13, 2015

Consciousness is the most familiar phenomenon. Yet it is the hardest one to explain. Even today, it is still unclear whether and how consciousness emerges from mere matter or whether consciousness is a fundamental property of matter. The crux of the issue is to decide if consciousness has causal efficacies in the physical world, which is not classical but quantum at the deepest level. If consciousness is fundamental as panpsychism holds, then the fundamental consciousness property should take part in the causal chains of the quantum world and should present itself in our investigation of the world. Is consciousness causally efficient in the quantum world then? How to find the quantum physical effects of consciousness if they indeed exist?


Th...

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By: BenOh | November 13, 2015


SummaryRead First Chapter image missing

An anthology of readings in panpsychism, spanning two millennia.

Panpsychism is the view that mentality extends from humans to animals, insects, plant cells, and other natural bodies exhibiting persisting unity of organization. Formulated in ancient times, it has since undergone a series of reformulations and defenses against criticisms, and is now experiencing a revival of interest. This comprehensive anthology, which includes selections spanning two millennia, chronicles the history of panpsychism, beginning with the early cosmologists of Greek philosophy and continuing into the present. The major philosophers responsible for developing and defending modern panpsychism are represented, including Leibniz, Fechner, Clifford, and Whitehead; detractors such as Edwards and Popper are also featured. An introduction outlines the principal issues raised in the selections, while commentaries accompanying the selections place them in context.

"Here we have, for the first time, a collection of a rich range of historical and contemporary materials on panpsychism, made easily accessible with helpful commentary. It is amazing that this has never been done before." — Peter H. Hare, editor of Doing Philosophy Historically

D. S. Clarke is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He has written many books, including Panpsychism and the Religious Attitude, also published by SUNY Press.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgments

1. Introduction

1.1. The Extent of Mentality 
1.2. Obstacles to the Acceptance of Panpsychism
1.3. Analogical Inferences
1.4. The Origination Argument
1.5. Epistemological Issues

2. Aristotle

2.1. Aristotle's Criticisms of His Predecessors
2.2. The Hierarchy of Souls
2.3. Human Immortality

3. Tiantai Buddhism

4. St. Thomas Aquinas 

5. Gottfried Leibniz 

5.1. Substantial Form in the Discourse on Metaphysics
5.2. The Defense of Panpsychism in Correspondence
5.3. Final Formulation in the Monadology

6. John Locke

7. Nineteenth-Century Versions

7.1. Gustav Fechner
7.2. William Kingdon Clifford
7.3. William James
7.4. Friedrich Paulsen

8. Process Philosophy

8.1. Alfred North Whitehead's Process and Reality
8.2. Hartshorne's Version of Panpsychism
8.3. Griffin on the Mind-Body Problem

9. Twentieth-Century Criticisms

9.1. Paul Edwards on Analogy and the Origination Argument
9.2. Karl Popper's Criticisms
9.3. Wittgenstein on Attributing Pain
9.4. Gilbert Ryle on Analogies and the Mental

10. Thomas Nagel

10.1. Definition of Panpsychism
10.2. Explaining the Necessary Physical/Mental Relation
10.3. Realism and Mental States
10.4. Conclusion

11. Recent Defenses

11.1. David Chalmers: Double Aspects of Information
11.2. Gregg Rosenberg: Analogies to the Infrahuman
11.3. William Seager: The Generation Problem Restated

12. Conclusion

References

Index

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