Panpsychism

25 Jan, 2024 120 Epistemology

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.

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Guests

  • Tim Crane No other episodes
    Professor of Philosophy and Pro-Rector at the Central European University Director of Research, FWF Cluster of Excellence, Knowledge in Crisis
  • Joanna Leidenhag No other episodes
    Associate Professor in Theology and Philosophy at the University of Leeds
  • Philip Goff No other episodes
    Professor of Philosophy at Durham University

Reading list

  • Consciousness and Its Place in Nature: Does Physicalism Entail Panpsychism?
    Anthony Freeman (ed.) (Imprint Academic, 2006)
  • Galileo's Error: Foundations for A New Science of Consciousness
    Philip Goff (Pantheon, 2019) Google Books →
  • Why? The Purpose of the Universe
    Philip Goff (Oxford University Press, 2023) Google Books →
  • Unsnarling the World-Knot: Consciousness, Freedom and the Mind-Body Problem
    David Ray Griffin (Wipf & Stock, 2008) Google Books →
  • Minding Creation: Theological Panpsychism and the Doctrine of Creation
    Joanna Leidenhag (Bloomsbury, 2021) Google Books →
  • Non-physicalist Theories of Consciousness
    Hedda Hassel Morch (Cambridge University Press, 2024)
  • Mortal Questions
    Thomas Nagel (Cambridge University Press, 2012) Google Books →
  • Panpsychism in the West
    David Skrbina (MIT Press, 2007) Google Books →
  • Mind-Dust or Magic? Panpsychism versus Emergence
    James van Cleve (Philosophical Perspectives Vol. 4, Action Theory and Philosophy of Mind, Ridgeview Publishing Company, 1990)

Related episodes


Programme ID: m001vl96

Episode page: bbc.co.uk/programmes/m001vl96

Auto-category: 128 (Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness)