So what is Panpsychism exactly? Where does it come from?

Panpsychism is the view that everything has a mind or has mind-like qualities. Panpsychism derives from the two Greek words pan (all) and psyche (mind or soul). It can be argued what these things actually mean. What does it mean by “everything”? What does it mean by “mind”?

Some philosophers say that every single object in the universe has mind-like qualities. Other philosophers say that certain classes of things possess a mind. In these cases, one of these circumstances is not a true panpsychism.

Panpsychists see the human mind as unique.

It is argued that animals, plants, or rocks are as sophisticated or as complex a human being’s mind, but this brings new questions: What are mental qualities that are shared by these things? Why are they qualities even “mental”?

Panpsychism is a theory without proof about how widespread the mind is in the universe. It doesn’t define “mind”, and it does tell how the mind relates to that objects that possess it.

This theory seems unlikely and improbable but also fantastic. Some of the greatest philosophers have argued for a form of panpsychism or expressed strong feelings about the topic.

Philip Goff, a philosopher, states that objects like electrons and rocks have an inner life, feelings, sensations, and experiences. He also says that “Panpsychism is crazy, but it’s also most probably true.”

Here are some of his arguments for panpsychism:

– Humans know nothing about the nature of inanimate matter, so it is possible that it could have a mind.

– If the matter in the cerebrum can make mind and consciousness, then the continuity of matter within electrons, rocks, and brains suggest that it is safe to assume that electrons and rocks have minds than to say they don’t. This is the assumption that no properties can distinguish a rock from a mammal.

Animals have feelings, sensations, and experiences, and things such as rocks and molecules do not. The smallest of matter such as electrons and quarks have basic kinds of experience or inner life. So if animals can be conscious and have emotions, then their molecules and atoms do as well.

There is no evidence whatsoever that provides proof that non-evolved objects have minds that relate to conscious experiences and sensations. At the same time, just because we are not aware of the existence of a rock’s or an electron’s experiences, it doesn’t mean that it does not exist.

I would like to believe that panpsychism exists in some ways.

In my opinion, there just isn’t enough proof to give this theory justice. I do not believe that everything has a mind or conscience simply because some things aren’t able to make a conscious decision.

Dirt has no way of thinking or having emotions, but I do believe animals do. I find it hard to believe that an animal doesn’t have the ability to make a decision based on its own instinctive compass. Arguments could be made for both, and I suppose that you could prove or disprove the idea of panpsychism.

References:

  1. https://plato.stanford.edu/
  2. http://www.livescience.com/


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