Panpsychism and the Religious Attitude
Publication Year: 2003
Published by: State University of New York Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
This work is an essay in defense of panpsychism, the view affirming the presence throughout nature of mentality in the form of a qualitative perspective on an environment. Panpsychism has had a long history marked by a variety of formulations and much controversy. It has had its advocates in the nineteenth and twentieth...
Panpsychism has been developed in a variety of ways through the course of philosophy. In the first section of this chapter, I offer an introductory sketch that abstracts some common features within this variety. In very general terms, panpsychism is the view that mentality is present in all natural bodies with unified and persisting...
2. Versions of Panpsychism
Panpsychism has its origins in Greek philosophy, but its formulation as a comprehensive metaphysical theory came only much later in the writings of Leibniz. Its contemporary version is commonly identified with that developed in the twentieth century by Whitehead and Hartshorne. The next four sections trace the central...
3. Humanist and Mechanist Alternatives
The dominance of humanism within philosophy since Descartes explains in great measure the incredulity with which panpsychism is usually greeted. Humanism seems to rest on three related considerations. First, there is appeal to the uniqueness of the human linguistic capacity. On the basis of this uniqueness, it is argued that we must...
4. Mental Ascriptions
So far I have been presenting panpsychism as a metaphysical doctrine and locating it relative to the alternatives of philosophical humanism and universal mechanism. The initial reasoned basis for the doctrine we have seen to lie in analogical inferences that compare human behavior and anatomical structures with those of other...
5. Mentality and Evolution
That matter could be created out of nothing we regard as an irrational dogma of Christian theology inconsistent both with Einstein’s equation e=mc² relating energy to matter and with the law of conservation of energy. If matter is in fact a form of energy, and energy can neither be created nor destroyed, then how could God have...
6. The Theistic Alternative
At the core of theism, as I shall understand it here, is the view that mentality can be attributed to the universe as the whole of which all individual natural bodies are a part. Just as we attribute mentality to certain natural bodies, so we must attribute it to this whole. Within theism there are many differences over how best to...
7. The Religious Attitude
To understand the relationship between panpsychism and religion we must first abstract a common religious attitude from the various forms in which it is expressed with the world’s religions. This attitude is characterized here as one that regards mentality as eternal and places a priority on a sense of the eternal in the way we...
Page Count: 212
Publication Year: 2003
OCLC Number: 55205672
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