Panpsychism

Panpsychism

Update: 2024-02-229
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Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the idea that some kind of consciousness is present not just in our human brains but throughout the universe, right down to cells or even electrons. This is panpsychism and its proponents argue it offers a compelling alternative to those who say we are nothing but matter, like machines, and to those who say we are both matter and something else we might call soul. It is a third way. Critics argue panpsychism is implausible, an example of how not to approach this problem, yet interest has been growing widely in recent decades partly for the idea itself and partly in the broader context of understanding how consciousness arises.

With

Tim Crane
Professor of Philosophy and Pro-Rector at the Central European University
Director of Research, FWF Cluster of Excellence, Knowledge in Crisis

Joanna Leidenhag,
Associate Professor in Theology and Philosophy at the University of Leeds

And

Philip Goff
Professor of Philosophy at Durham University

Producer: Simon Tillotson

Reading list:

Anthony Freeman (ed.), Consciousness and Its Place in Nature: Does Physicalism Entail Panpsychism? (Imprint Academic, 2006), especially 'Realistic Monism' by Galen Strawson

Philip Goff, Galileo's Error: Foundations for A New Science of Consciousness (Pantheon, 2019)

Philip Goff, Why? The Purpose of the Universe (Oxford University Press, 2023)

David Ray Griffin, Unsnarling the World-Knot: Consciousness, Freedom and the Mind-Body Problem (Wipf & Stock, 2008)

Joanna Leidenhag, Minding Creation: Theological Panpsychism and the Doctrine of Creation (Bloomsbury, 2021)

Joanna Leidenhag, ‘Panpsychism and God’ (Philosophy Compass Vol 17, Is 12, e12889)

Hedda Hassel Mørch, Non-physicalist Theories of Consciousness (Cambridge University Press, 2024)

Thomas Nagel, Mortal Questions (Cambridge University Press, 2012), especially the chapter 'Panpsychism'

David Skrbina, Panpsychism in the West (MIT Press, 2007)

James van Cleve, 'Mind-Dust or Magic? Panpsychism versus Emergence' (Philosophical Perspectives Vol. 4, Action Theory and Philosophy of Mind, Ridgeview Publishing Company, 1990)

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Panpsychism

Panpsychism

BBC Radio 4