Panpsychism and the Religious Attitude

By D. S. Clarke

Subjects: Process Philosophy
Paperback : 9780791456866, 212 pages, February 2003
Hardcover : 9780791456859, 212 pages, February 2003

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Table of contents


1. Introduction


What is Panpsychism?
Analogical Inferences
Epistemological Questions


2. Versions of Panpsychism


Greek Origins
Leibniz's Monadology
The Panpsychism of Whitehead's Process and Reality
Hartshorne's Reformulation
Nagel on Mentality in Wholes and Parts
The Analogical Reasoning of Fechner and Chalmers


3. Humanist and Mechanist Alternatives


Humanism and Naturalism
Behavioral and Functionalist Descriptions of Language Use
Some Criticisms of Functionalism
Self-Consciousness and Freedom


4. Mental Ascriptions


Ascribing Sensations
Social Aspects of Attitude Ascriptions
Mentality and Spontaneity in the Infrahuman


5. Mentality and Evolution


Mechanism and the Origination Argument
Does the Panpsychist Thesis Extend to Fundamental Particles?
Resultant and Emergent Properties
The Role of Spontaneity in Evolution


6. The Theistic Alternative


Universe-Wide Mentality
Locke's Argument for God's Existence
Swinburne's Argument from Consciousness


7. The Religious Attitude


The Religious Attitude and Theology
Linguistic Fideism
Practical Inferences and Moral Overrides
The Positive Drift for Panpsychism





Defends panpsychism, the view that mentality is present in all natural bodies with unified and persisting organization.


Human beings have thoughts, sensations, and feelings and think that at least some of this mental life is shared with domestic and wild animals. But, are there reduced degrees of mentality found in mosquitoes, bacteria, and even more primitive natural bodies? Panpsychists think so and have defended this belief throughout the history of philosophy, beginning with the ancient Greeks and continuing into the present. In this bold, challenging book, D. S. Clarke outlines reasons for accepting panpsychism and defends the doctrine against its critics. He proposes it as an alternative to the mechanistic materialism and humanism that dominate present-day philosophy.

D. S. Clarke is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He is the author of many books including Philosophy's Second Revolution: Early and Recent Analytic Philosophy.