Panpsychism

Panpsychism

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In philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, panpsychism is the view that all matter has a mental aspect, or, alternatively, all objects have a unified center of experience or point of view. Baruch Spinoza
Baruch Spinoza
Baruch de Spinoza and later Benedict de Spinoza was a Dutch Jewish philosopher. Revealing considerable scientific aptitude, the breadth and importance of Spinoza's work was not fully realized until years after his death...

, Gustav Theodor Fechner, Friedrich Paulsen
Friedrich Paulsen
Friedrich Paulsen was a German philosopher and educator.-Biography:He was born at Langenhorn and educated at Erlangen, Bonn and Berlin, where he became extraordinary professor of philosophy and pedagogy in 1878...

, Ernst Haeckel
Ernst Haeckel
The "European War" became known as "The Great War", and it was not until 1920, in the book "The First World War 1914-1918" by Charles à Court Repington, that the term "First World War" was used as the official name for the conflict.-Research:...

, Charles Strong
Charles Strong
Charles Strong was a Scottish-born Australian preacher and first minister of the Australian Church.-Early life:...

, and partially William James
William James
William James was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher who was trained as a physician. He wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, educational psychology, psychology of religious experience and mysticism, and on the philosophy of pragmatism...

 are considered panpsychists.

Panexperientialism, as espoused by Alfred North Whitehead
Alfred North Whitehead
Alfred North Whitehead, OM FRS was an English mathematician who became a philosopher. He wrote on algebra, logic, foundations of mathematics, philosophy of science, physics, metaphysics, and education...

, is a less bold variation, which credits all entities with phenomenal consciousness but not with cognition
Cognition
In science, cognition refers to mental processes. These processes include attention, remembering, producing and understanding language, solving problems, and making decisions. Cognition is studied in various disciplines such as psychology, philosophy, linguistics, and computer science...

, and therefore not necessarily with full-fledged minds.

Panprotoexperientialism is a more cautious variation still, which credits all entities with non-physical
Physicalism
Physicalism is a philosophical position holding that everything which exists is no more extensive than its physical properties; that is, that there are no kinds of things other than physical things...

 properties that are precursors to phenomenal consciousness (or phenomenal consciousness in a latent, undeveloped form) but not with cognition itself, or with conscious awareness.

Etymology


The term "panpsychism" has its origins with the term pan, meaning "throughout" or "everywhere", and psyche, meaning "soul" as the unifying center of the mental life of us humans and other living creatures."

The use of psyche is controversial due to it being synonymous with soul, a term usually taken to have some sort of supernatural quality; more common terms now found in the literature include mind
Mind
The concept of mind is understood in many different ways by many different traditions, ranging from panpsychism and animism to traditional and organized religious views, as well as secular and materialist philosophies. Most agree that minds are constituted by conscious experience and intelligent...

, mental properties, mental aspect, and experience
Experience
Experience as a general concept comprises knowledge of or skill in or observation of some thing or some event gained through involvement in or exposure to that thing or event....

.

In relation to other metaphysical positions


Panpsychism can be understood as related to a number of other metaphysical positions.

Idealism


It agrees with idealism
Idealism
In philosophy, idealism is the family of views which assert that reality, or reality as we can know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial. Epistemologically, idealism manifests as a skepticism about the possibility of knowing any mind-independent thing...

 that in a sense everything is mental, but whereas idealism treats most things as mental content, panpsychism treats everything as mind. Also unlike idealism, panpsychism does not deny the existence, in some sense, of physical properties, although they may be relegated to a secondary status.

Dualism


Superficially, panpsychism seems to be a form of property dualism
Property dualism
Property dualism describes a category of positions in the philosophy of mind which hold that, although the world is constituted of just one kind of substance - the physical kind - there exist two distinct kinds of properties: physical properties and mental properties...

, since it regards everything as having both mental and physical properties. However, some panpsychists say mechanical behaviour is derived from primitive mentality of atoms and molecules—as are sophisticated mentality and organic behaviour, the difference being attributed to the presence or absence of complex
Complexity
In general usage, complexity tends to be used to characterize something with many parts in intricate arrangement. The study of these complex linkages is the main goal of complex systems theory. In science there are at this time a number of approaches to characterizing complexity, many of which are...

 structure in a compound object. So long as the reduction of non-mental properties to mental ones is in place, panpsychism is not a form of property dualism
Property dualism
Property dualism describes a category of positions in the philosophy of mind which hold that, although the world is constituted of just one kind of substance - the physical kind - there exist two distinct kinds of properties: physical properties and mental properties...

. Note that this kind reductionism is the opposite of reductive physicalism.

Neutral monism


There are also varieties of monism
Monism
Monism is any philosophical view which holds that there is unity in a given field of inquiry. Accordingly, some philosophers may hold that the universe is one rather than dualistic or pluralistic...

 that don't presuppose (like materialism and idealism do) that mind and matter are fundamentally separable. An example is neutral monism
Neutral monism
Neutral monism, in philosophy, is the metaphysical view that the mental and the physical are two ways of organizing or describing the same elements, which are themselves "neutral," that is, neither physical nor mental. This view denies that the mental and the physical are two fundamentally...

 first introduced by Spinoza
Baruch Spinoza
Baruch de Spinoza and later Benedict de Spinoza was a Dutch Jewish philosopher. Revealing considerable scientific aptitude, the breadth and importance of Spinoza's work was not fully realized until years after his death...

 and later propounded by William James
William James
William James was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher who was trained as a physician. He wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, educational psychology, psychology of religious experience and mysticism, and on the philosophy of pragmatism...

. Panpsychism can be combined with this view.

Physicalism and materialism


Reductive physicalism, a form of monism
Monism
Monism is any philosophical view which holds that there is unity in a given field of inquiry. Accordingly, some philosophers may hold that the universe is one rather than dualistic or pluralistic...

, is incompatible with panpsychism. Materialism
Materialism
In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance...

, if held to be distinct from physicalism, is compatible with panpsychism insofar as mental properties are attributed to physical matter, which is the only basic substance.

Holism


Panpsychism is related to the more holistic
Holism
Holism is the idea that all the properties of a given system cannot be determined or explained by its component parts alone...

 view that the whole Universe
Universe
The Universe is commonly defined as the totality of everything that exists, including all matter and energy, the planets, stars, galaxies, and the contents of intergalactic space. Definitions and usage vary and similar terms include the cosmos, the world and nature...

 is an organism that possesses a mind (see pandeism
Pandeism
Pandeism or Pan-Deism , is a term describing beliefs incorporating or mixing logically reconcilable elements of pantheism and deism Pandeism or Pan-Deism (from and meaning "God" in the sense of deism), is a term describing beliefs incorporating or mixing logically reconcilable elements of...

, pantheism
Pantheism
Pantheism is the view that the Universe and God are identical. Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal, anthropomorphic or creator god. The word derives from the Greek meaning "all" and the Greek meaning "God". As such, Pantheism denotes the idea that "God" is best seen as a process of...

, panentheism
Panentheism
Panentheism is a belief system which posits that God exists, interpenetrates every part of nature and timelessly extends beyond it...

 and cosmic consciousness
Cosmic consciousness
Cosmic consciousness is the idea that the universe exists as an interconnected network of consciousness, with each conscious being linked to every other...

). It is claimed to be distinct from animism
Animism
Animism refers to the belief that non-human entities are spiritual beings, or at least embody some kind of life-principle....

 or hylozoism
Hylozoism
Hylozoism is the philosophical point of view that all matter is in some sense alive. This may include the view that "inanimate" matter has latent powers of abiogenesis, a widely held position in the scientific community...

, which hold that all things have a soul or are alive, respectively. Gustav Theodor Fechner claimed in "Nanna" and "Zend-Avesta" that the Earth is a living organism whose parts are the people, the animals and the plants.

Hylopathism


Hylopathism
Hylopathism
Hylopathism, in philosophy, is the belief that some or all matter is sentient or that properties of matter in general give rise to subjective experience. It is opposed to the assertion that consciousness results exclusively from properties of specific types of matter, e.g...

 argues for a similarly universal attribution of sentience to matter. Few writers would advocate a hylopathic materialism, although the idea is not new; it has been formulated as "whatever underlies consciousness in a material sense, i.e., whatever it is about the brain that gives rise to consciousness, must necessarily be present to some degree in any other material thing". Similar ideas have been attributed to philosopher David Chalmers
David Chalmers
David John Chalmers is an Australian philosopher specializing in the area of philosophy of mind and philosophy of language, whose recent work concerns verbal disputes. He is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Centre for Consciousness at the Australian National University...

.

Emergentism


No form of panpsychism attributes full, human-style consciousness to the fundamental constituents of the universe, therefore all versions need a certain amount of emergence
Emergentism
In philosophy, emergentism is the belief in emergence, particularly as it involves consciousness and the philosophy of mind, and as it contrasts with reductionism. A property of a system is said to be emergent if it is in some sense more than the "sum" of the properties of the system's parts...

—that is, weak emergence
Weak emergence
Weak emergence is a type of emergence in which the emergent property is reducible to its individual constituents.This is opposed to strong emergence, in which the emergent property is irreducible to its individual constituents....

, in which more sophisticated versions of basic properties emerge at a higher level. No version of panpsychism requires strong emergence
Strong emergence
Strong emergence is a type of emergence in which the emergent property is irreducible to its individual constituents. Some philosophers have proposed that qualia and consciousness demonstrate strong emergence...

, in which high-level properties do not have any low-level precursors or basis, and instead emerge "from nothing"
Ex nihilo
Ex nihilo is a Latin phrase meaning "out of nothing". It often appears in conjunction with the concept of creation, as in creatio ex nihilo, meaning "creation out of nothing"—chiefly in philosophical or theological contexts, but also occurs in other fields.In theology, the common phrase creatio ex...

. Indeed, avoidance of strong emergentism is one of the motivations for panpsychism.

Panexperientialism, panprotoexperientialism, and panprotopsychism


Panexperientialism or panprotopsychism are related concepts.
Alfred North Whitehead
Alfred North Whitehead
Alfred North Whitehead, OM FRS was an English mathematician who became a philosopher. He wrote on algebra, logic, foundations of mathematics, philosophy of science, physics, metaphysics, and education...

 incorporated a scientific worldview into the development of his philosophical system similar to Einstein
Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history...

’s Theory of Relativity
Theory of relativity
The theory of relativity, or simply relativity, encompasses two theories of Albert Einstein: special relativity and general relativity. However, the word relativity is sometimes used in reference to Galilean invariance....

. His ideas were a significant development of the idea of panpsychism, also known as panexperientialism, due to Whitehead’s emphasis on experience, though the term itself was first applied to Whitehead's philosophy by David Ray Griffin
David Ray Griffin
David Ray Griffin is a retired American professor of philosophy of religion and theology. Along with John B. Cobb, Jr., he founded the Center for Process Studies in 1973, a research center of Claremont School of Theology which seeks to promote the common good by means of the relational approach...

 many years later. Process philosophy
Process philosophy
Process philosophy identifies metaphysical reality with change and dynamism. Since the time of Plato and Aristotle, philosophers have posited true reality as "timeless", based on permanent substances, whilst processes are denied or subordinated to timeless substances...

 suggests that fundamental elements of the universe are occasions of experience, which can be collected into groups creating something as complex as a human being. This experience is not consciousness; there is no mind-body duality under this system as mind is seen as a very developed kind of experience. Whitehead was not a subjective idealist and, while his philosophy resembles the concept of monad
Monadology
The Monadology is one of Gottfried Leibniz’s best known works representing his later philosophy. It is a short text which sketches in some 90 paragraphs a metaphysics of simple substances, or monads.- Text :...

s first proposed by Leibniz, Whitehead’s occasions of experience are interrelated with every other occasion of experience that has ever occurred. He embraced panentheism
Panentheism
Panentheism is a belief system which posits that God exists, interpenetrates every part of nature and timelessly extends beyond it...

 with God encompassing all occasions of experience, transcending them. Whitehead believed that the occasions of experience are the smallest element in the universe—even smaller than subatomic particle
Subatomic particle
In physics or chemistry, subatomic particles are the smaller particles composing nucleons and atoms. There are two types of subatomic particles: elementary particles, which are not made of other particles, and composite particles...

s.

Argument for panpsychism


In his book titled Mortal Questions, Thomas Nagel
Thomas Nagel
Thomas Nagel is an American philosopher, currently University Professor of Philosophy and Law at New York University, where he has taught since 1980. His main areas of philosophical interest are philosophy of mind, political philosophy and ethics...

 defines panpsychism as, "the view that the basic physical constituents of the universe have mental properties," effectively claiming the panpsychist thesis to be a type of property dualism
Property dualism
Property dualism describes a category of positions in the philosophy of mind which hold that, although the world is constituted of just one kind of substance - the physical kind - there exist two distinct kinds of properties: physical properties and mental properties...

. Nagel argues that panpsychism follows from four premises:

(1) "Material composition", or commitment to materialism
Materialism
In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance...

.
(2) "Nonreductionism", or the view that mental properties cannot be reduced to physical properties.
(3) "Realism" about mental properties.
(4) "Nonemergence", or the view that "there are no truly emergent properties of complex systems".

Nagel notes that new physical properties are discovered through explanatory inference from known physical properties; following a similar process, mental properties would seem to derive from properties of matter not included under the label of "physical properties", and so they must be additional properties of matter. Also, he argues that, "the demand for an account of how mental states necessarily appear in physical organisms cannot be satisfied by the discovery of uniform correlations between mental states and physical brain states." Furthermore, Nagel argues mental states are real by appealing to the inexplicability of subjective experience, or qualia
Qualia
Qualia , singular "quale" , from a Latin word meaning for "what sort" or "what kind," is a term used in philosophy to refer to subjective conscious experiences as 'raw feels'. Examples of qualia are the pain of a headache, the taste of wine, the experience of taking a recreational drug, or the...

, by physical means.

Many arguments for panpsychism claim physicalism
Physicalism
Physicalism is a philosophical position holding that everything which exists is no more extensive than its physical properties; that is, that there are no kinds of things other than physical things...

 is incapable of accounting for subjective experience or qualia
Qualia
Qualia , singular "quale" , from a Latin word meaning for "what sort" or "what kind," is a term used in philosophy to refer to subjective conscious experiences as 'raw feels'. Examples of qualia are the pain of a headache, the taste of wine, the experience of taking a recreational drug, or the...

; also, the problems found with emergentism
Emergentism
In philosophy, emergentism is the belief in emergence, particularly as it involves consciousness and the philosophy of mind, and as it contrasts with reductionism. A property of a system is said to be emergent if it is in some sense more than the "sum" of the properties of the system's parts...

 are often cited by panpsychists as grounds to reject physicalism.

Criticism


Most physicalists argue against panpsychism by denying (2) of Nagel's argument. If mental properties are reduced to physical properties of a physical system, then it does not follow that all matter has mental properties: it is in virtue of the structural or functional organization of the physical system that the system can be said to have a mind, not simply that it is made of matter. This view allows for certain man-made systems that are properly organized, such as some computers, to be said to have minds. This may cause problems when (4) is taken into account. Also, qualia
Qualia
Qualia , singular "quale" , from a Latin word meaning for "what sort" or "what kind," is a term used in philosophy to refer to subjective conscious experiences as 'raw feels'. Examples of qualia are the pain of a headache, the taste of wine, the experience of taking a recreational drug, or the...

 seem to undermine the reduction of mental properties to brain properties.

Another criticism is that it can be demonstrated that the only properties shared by all qualia
Qualia
Qualia , singular "quale" , from a Latin word meaning for "what sort" or "what kind," is a term used in philosophy to refer to subjective conscious experiences as 'raw feels'. Examples of qualia are the pain of a headache, the taste of wine, the experience of taking a recreational drug, or the...

 are that they are not precisely describable, and thus are of indeterminate
Indeterminate
Indeterminate has a variety of meanings in mathematics:* Indeterminate * Indeterminate system* Indeterminate equation* Statically indeterminate* Indeterminate formIt is also a term in botany and gardening:*Indeterminate growth...

 meaning within any philosophy which relies upon precise definition. This has been something of a blow to panpsychism in general, since some of the same problems seem to be present in panpsychism in that it tends to presuppose a definition for mentality without describing it in any real detail. The need to define the terms used within the thesis of panpsychism is recognized by panpsychist David Skrbina, and he resorts to asserting some sort of hierarchy of mental terms to be used. This is motivation to argue for panexperientialism rather than panpsychism, since only the most fundamental meaning of mind is what is present in all matter, namely, subjective experience.
The panpsychist answers both these challenges in the same way: we already know what qualia are through direct, introspective apprehension; and we likewise know what conscious mentality is by virtue of being conscious. For someone like Alfred North Whitehead
Alfred North Whitehead
Alfred North Whitehead, OM FRS was an English mathematician who became a philosopher. He wrote on algebra, logic, foundations of mathematics, philosophy of science, physics, metaphysics, and education...

, third-person description takes second place to the intimate connection between every entity and every other which is, he says, the very fabric of reality. To take a mere description as having primary reality is to commit the "fallacy of misplaced concreteness".

One response is to separate the phenomenal, non-cognitive aspects of consciousness—particularly qualia
Qualia
Qualia , singular "quale" , from a Latin word meaning for "what sort" or "what kind," is a term used in philosophy to refer to subjective conscious experiences as 'raw feels'. Examples of qualia are the pain of a headache, the taste of wine, the experience of taking a recreational drug, or the...

, the essence of the hard problem of consciousness
Hard problem of consciousness
The hard problem of consciousness is the problem of explaining how and why we have qualitative phenomenal experiences. David Chalmers contrasts this with the "easy problems" of explaining the ability to discriminate, integrate information, report mental states, focus attention, etc...

—from cognition. Thus panpsychism is transformed into panexperientialism. However, this strategy of division generates problems of its own: what is going on causally in the head of someone who is thinking—cognitively of course—about their qualia?

In the history of philosophy


The view of the world as a macrocosm in relation to the human microcosm
Macrocosm and microcosm
Macrocosm and microcosm is an ancient Greek Neo-Platonic schema of seeing the same patterns reproduced in all levels of the cosmos, from the largest scale all the way down to the smallest scale...

 was a staple theme in Greek philosophy. In that view it was natural to think about the world in anthropomorphic
Anthropomorphism
Anthropomorphism is any attribution of human characteristics to animals, non-living things, phenomena, material states, objects or abstract concepts, such as organizations, governments, spirits or deities. The term was coined in the mid 1700s...

 terms. The view passed into the Medieval period via Neoplatonism
Neoplatonism
Neoplatonism , is the modern term for a school of religious and mystical philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD, based on the teachings of Plato and earlier Platonists, with its earliest contributor believed to be Plotinus, and his teacher Ammonius Saccas...

, and was shared by Leibniz
Gottfried Leibniz
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was a German philosopher and mathematician. He wrote in different languages, primarily in Latin , French and German ....

, Schelling, Schopenhauer
Arthur Schopenhauer
Arthur Schopenhauer was a German philosopher known for his pessimism and philosophical clarity. At age 25, he published his doctoral dissertation, On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, which examined the four separate manifestations of reason in the phenomenal...

 and many others.

Josiah Royce
Josiah Royce
Josiah Royce was an American objective idealist philosopher.-Life:Royce, born in Grass Valley, California, grew up in pioneer California very soon after the California Gold Rush. He received the B.A...

 (1855–1916), the leading American absolute idealist, held to the panpsychist view, though he didn't necessarily attribute mental properties to the smallest constituents of mentalistic "systems".

The panpsychist doctrine has recently been making a comeback in the American philosophy of mind
Philosophy of mind
Philosophy of mind is a branch of philosophy that studies the nature of the mind, mental events, mental functions, mental properties, consciousness and their relationship to the physical body, particularly the brain. The mind-body problem, i.e...

—for example, Christian de Quincey
Christian de Quincey
Christian de Quincey, Ph.D., is a philosopher and author who teaches consciousness, spirituality and cosmology at universities and colleges in the United States and Europe. He is also an international speaker on consciousness....

 and Leo Stubenberg have each recently defended it. In the United Kingdom the case for panpsychism has been made by Galen Strawson
Galen Strawson
Galen John Strawson is a British philosopher and literary critic who works primarily on philosophy of mind, metaphysics , John Locke, David Hume and Kant. He was educated at the Dragon School, Oxford , from where he won a scholarship to Winchester College...

. In the philosophy of mind, panpsychism is one possible solution to the so-called hard problem of consciousness
Hard problem of consciousness
The hard problem of consciousness is the problem of explaining how and why we have qualitative phenomenal experiences. David Chalmers contrasts this with the "easy problems" of explaining the ability to discriminate, integrate information, report mental states, focus attention, etc...

. The doctrine has also been applied in the field of environmental philosophy through the work of Australian philosopher Freya Mathews
Freya Mathews
Freya Mathews is an Australian philosopher and author. Her work is mainly concerned with ecological philosophy but also deals with questions of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and politics as well as a variety of themes, such as cosmology, place, identity and indigeneity versus modernity...

.

In the psychoanalytic tradition


Carl Jung
Carl Jung
Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and the founder of Analytical Psychology. Jung is considered the first modern psychiatrist to view the human psyche as "by nature religious" and make it the focus of exploration. Jung is one of the best known researchers in the field of dream analysis and...

, who is maybe best known for his idea of collective unconscious
Collective unconscious
Collective unconscious is a term of analytical psychology, coined by Carl Jung. It is proposed to be a part of the unconscious mind, expressed in humanity and all life forms with nervous systems, and describes how the structure of the psyche autonomously organizes experience...

, wrote that "psyche and matter are contained in one and the same world, and moreover are in continuous contact with one another", and that it was probable that "psyche and matter are two different aspects of one and the same thing". This could be interpreted as panpsychism, apparently of the neutral monism
Neutral monism
Neutral monism, in philosophy, is the metaphysical view that the mental and the physical are two ways of organizing or describing the same elements, which are themselves "neutral," that is, neither physical nor mental. This view denies that the mental and the physical are two fundamentally...

 variety.

Other theories


Panpsychism and emergentism
Emergentism
In philosophy, emergentism is the belief in emergence, particularly as it involves consciousness and the philosophy of mind, and as it contrasts with reductionism. A property of a system is said to be emergent if it is in some sense more than the "sum" of the properties of the system's parts...

 can be seen as alternative ways to bridge the more extreme positions of crude reductionism
Reductionism
Reductionism can mean either an approach to understanding the nature of complex things by reducing them to the interactions of their parts, or to simpler or more fundamental things or a philosophical position that a complex system is nothing but the sum of its parts, and that an account of it can...

 and crude holism
Holism
Holism is the idea that all the properties of a given system cannot be determined or explained by its component parts alone...

. Panpsychism differs from emergentism in that according to panpsychism, even the smallest physical particles have mental characteristics. Emergentism claims that though the particles are mindless, some systems formed by them, and by nothing but them, do possess mental attributes. The human brain is a case in point.

Gaia theory, which views the biosphere
Biosphere
The biosphere is the global sum of all ecosystems. It can also be called the zone of life on Earth, a closed and self-regulating system...

 as a self-regulating system
System
System is a set of interacting or interdependent components forming an integrated whole....

, that maintains homeostasis
Homeostasis
Homeostasis is the property of a system that regulates its internal environment and tends to maintain a stable, constant condition of properties like temperature or pH...

 in relation to many vital chemical and physical variables, is sometimes interpreted as panpsychism, because some think that any goal-directed behavior qualifies as mental. However, the goal-directed behavior of the biosphere, as explained by the Gaia theory, is an emergent function of organised, living matter, not a quality of any matter. Thus Gaia theory is more properly associated with emergentism
Emergentism
In philosophy, emergentism is the belief in emergence, particularly as it involves consciousness and the philosophy of mind, and as it contrasts with reductionism. A property of a system is said to be emergent if it is in some sense more than the "sum" of the properties of the system's parts...

 than panpsychism.

So-called naive panpsychism, as opposed to philosophical panpsychism, is sometimes used to refer to the idea of inanimate objects as sentient and/or intentional
Intentionality
The term intentionality was introduced by Jeremy Bentham as a principle of utility in his doctrine of consciousness for the purpose of distinguishing acts that are intentional and acts that are not...

. This is similar to animism
Animism
Animism refers to the belief that non-human entities are spiritual beings, or at least embody some kind of life-principle....

. The attitude of labeling this philosophy "naive" could be considered a vestigial Eurocentric belief in the inaccuracy or unimportance of non-Western world views. It could be considered to be a colonial artifact utilized as a tool of domination to discredit the philosophical contributions of the colonized. In addition, it downplays the possible role that indigenous
Indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples are ethnic groups that are defined as indigenous according to one of the various definitions of the term, there is no universally accepted definition but most of which carry connotations of being the "original inhabitants" of a territory....

 philosophies may have played in the formation of panpsychist ideas in the Western world.

Panpsychism, as a view that the universe has "universal consciousness", is shared by some forms of religious thought: theosophy
Theosophy
Theosophy, in its modern presentation, is a spiritual philosophy developed since the late 19th century. Its major themes were originally described mainly by Helena Blavatsky , co-founder of the Theosophical Society...

, pantheism
Pantheism
Pantheism is the view that the Universe and God are identical. Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal, anthropomorphic or creator god. The word derives from the Greek meaning "all" and the Greek meaning "God". As such, Pantheism denotes the idea that "God" is best seen as a process of...

, cosmotheism
Cosmotheism
"Cosmotheism" is a term associated with beliefs adhered to by:* Norman Lowell * Mordekhay Nesiyahu * William Luther Pierce...

 and panentheism
Panentheism
Panentheism is a belief system which posits that God exists, interpenetrates every part of nature and timelessly extends beyond it...

.

Panpsychism also plays a part in Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

, Buddhist, Dzogchen
Dzogchen
According to Tibetan Buddhism and Bön, Dzogchen is the natural, primordial state or natural condition of the mind, and a body of teachings and meditation practices aimed at realizing that condition. Dzogchen, or "Great Perfection", is a central teaching of the Nyingma school also practiced by...

 and Shinto
Shinto
or Shintoism, also kami-no-michi, is the indigenous spirituality of Japan and the Japanese people. It is a set of practices, to be carried out diligently, to establish a connection between present day Japan and its ancient past. Shinto practices were first recorded and codified in the written...

 mysticism.

William James
William James
William James was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher who was trained as a physician. He wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, educational psychology, psychology of religious experience and mysticism, and on the philosophy of pragmatism...

 in his later writings assumes some position called 'a pluralistic panpsychism'.

Panpsychism in the Dzogchen Semde and Bardo literature


According to a common misunderstanding, in the Dzogchen
Dzogchen
According to Tibetan Buddhism and Bön, Dzogchen is the natural, primordial state or natural condition of the mind, and a body of teachings and meditation practices aimed at realizing that condition. Dzogchen, or "Great Perfection", is a central teaching of the Nyingma school also practiced by...

 tradition , particularly Dzogchen Semde
Semde
Semde translated as "mind division", "mind class" or "mind series" is the name of one of three scriptural and lineage divisions within Atiyoga, Dzogchen or the Great Perfection which is itself the pinnacle of the ninefold division of practice according to the Nyingma school of Tibetan...

 or "mind series" the principal text of which is the Kulayarāja Tantra, there is nothing which is non-sentient, i.e. everything is sentient.. Moreover, two of the English scholars that opened the discourse of the Bardo
Bardo
The Tibetan word Bardo means literally "intermediate state" - also translated as "transitional state" or "in-between state" or "liminal state". In Sanskrit the concept has the name antarabhāva...

 literature of the Nyingma
Nyingma
The Nyingma tradition is the oldest of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism . "Nyingma" literally means "ancient," and is often referred to as Nga'gyur or the "old school" because it is founded on the first translations of Buddhist scriptures from Sanskrit into Tibetan, in the eighth century...

 Dzogchen tradition, Evans-Wentz & Jung
Jung
Carl Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist, an influential thinker and the founder of analytical psychology.Jung may also refer to:* Jung * JUNG, Java Universal Network/Graph Framework-See also:...

 (1954, 2000: p. 10) specifically with their partial translation and commentary of the Bardo Thodol
Bardo Thodol
The Liberation Through Hearing During The Intermediate State , sometimes translated as Liberation Through Hearing or Bardo Thodol is a funerary text...

into the English language write of the "One Mind" (Tibetan: sems nyid gcig; Sanskrit: *ekacittatva; *ekacittata; where * denotes a possible Sanskrit back-formation) thus:

"The One Mind, as Reality, is the Heart which pulsates for ever, sending forth purified the blood-streams of existence, and taking them back again; the Great Breath, the Inscrutable Brahman, the Eternally Unveiled Mystery of the Mysteries of Antiquity, the Goal of all Pilgrimages, the End of all Existence."


It should be borne in mind, that Evans-Wentz never studied the Tibetan language and that the lama who did the main translation work for him was of the Gelukpa Sect and is not known to have actually studied or practiced Dzogchen.

According to the translation with commentary, "Self-Liberation Through Seeing with Naked Awareness", by John Myrdhin Reynolds, the phrase, "It is the single nature of mind which encompasses all of Samsara and Nirvana," occurs only once in the text and it refers not to "some sort of Neo-Platonic hypostasis, a universal Nous, of which all individual minds are but fragments or appendages", but to the teaching that, "whether one finds oneself in the state of Samsara or in the state of Nirvana, it is the nature of the mind which reflects with awareness all experiences, no matter what may be their nature." This can be found in Appendix I, on pages 80–81.

Reynolds elucidates further with the analogy of a mirror. To say that a single mirror can reflect ugliness or beauty, does not constitute an allegation that all ugliness and beauty is one single mirror.

See also


Doctrines
  • Anima Mundi
    Anima Mundi
    Anima mundī is Latin meaning "the soul of the world" which can refer to:*Anima mundi, the soul of the world*Anima Mundi , a 1991 documentary film directed by Godfrey Reggio*Anima Mundi , a Brazilian video and film festival...

  • Animism
    Animism
    Animism refers to the belief that non-human entities are spiritual beings, or at least embody some kind of life-principle....

  • Emergentism
    Emergentism
    In philosophy, emergentism is the belief in emergence, particularly as it involves consciousness and the philosophy of mind, and as it contrasts with reductionism. A property of a system is said to be emergent if it is in some sense more than the "sum" of the properties of the system's parts...

  • Holographic Universe
  • Hylozoism
    Hylozoism
    Hylozoism is the philosophical point of view that all matter is in some sense alive. This may include the view that "inanimate" matter has latent powers of abiogenesis, a widely held position in the scientific community...

  • Monadology
    Monadology
    The Monadology is one of Gottfried Leibniz’s best known works representing his later philosophy. It is a short text which sketches in some 90 paragraphs a metaphysics of simple substances, or monads.- Text :...

  • Monistic idealism
    Monistic idealism
    Monistic Idealism is a metaphysical theory which states that consciousness, not matter, is the ground of all being. It is a monistic theory because it holds that there is only one type of thing in the universe, and a form of idealism because it holds that one thing to be consciousness.Monistic...

  • Mythopoeic thought
    Mythopoeic thought
    Mythopoeic thought is a hypothetical stage of human thought preceding modern thought, proposed by Henri Frankfort and his wife Henriette Antonia Frankfort in the 1940s...

  • Pandeism
    Pandeism
    Pandeism or Pan-Deism , is a term describing beliefs incorporating or mixing logically reconcilable elements of pantheism and deism Pandeism or Pan-Deism (from and meaning "God" in the sense of deism), is a term describing beliefs incorporating or mixing logically reconcilable elements of...

  • Pantheism
    Pantheism
    Pantheism is the view that the Universe and God are identical. Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal, anthropomorphic or creator god. The word derives from the Greek meaning "all" and the Greek meaning "God". As such, Pantheism denotes the idea that "God" is best seen as a process of...

  • Philosophy of Mind
    Philosophy of mind
    Philosophy of mind is a branch of philosophy that studies the nature of the mind, mental events, mental functions, mental properties, consciousness and their relationship to the physical body, particularly the brain. The mind-body problem, i.e...

  • Solipsism
    Solipsism
    Solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one's own mind is sure to exist. The term comes from Latin solus and ipse . Solipsism as an epistemological position holds that knowledge of anything outside one's own mind is unsure. The external world and other minds cannot be known, and might not...


People
  • Friedrich Paulsen
    Friedrich Paulsen
    Friedrich Paulsen was a German philosopher and educator.-Biography:He was born at Langenhorn and educated at Erlangen, Bonn and Berlin, where he became extraordinary professor of philosophy and pedagogy in 1878...

  • Galen Strawson
    Galen Strawson
    Galen John Strawson is a British philosopher and literary critic who works primarily on philosophy of mind, metaphysics , John Locke, David Hume and Kant. He was educated at the Dragon School, Oxford , from where he won a scholarship to Winchester College...

  • Gustav Theodor Fechner
  • Mary Whiton Calkins
    Mary Whiton Calkins
    -Early life:Mary Whiton Calkins was born on March 30, 1863 in Hartford, Connecticut; she was the eldest of five children. She moved to Massachusetts in 1880 with her family to live for the rest of her life; this is also where she began her education. In 1882, Calkins entered into Smith College as...

  • William James
    William James
    William James was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher who was trained as a physician. He wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, educational psychology, psychology of religious experience and mysticism, and on the philosophy of pragmatism...



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