Panpsychism : Contemporary Perspectives

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Recent debates in philosophy of mind seemingly have resulted in an impasse. Reductive physicalism cannot account for the phenomenal mind, and nonreductive physicalism cannot safeguard a causal role for the mental as mental. Dualism was formerly considered to be the only viable alternative, but in addition to exacerbating the problem of mental causation, it is hard to square with a naturalist evolutionary framework.

By 1979, Thomas Nagel argued that if reductionism and dualism fail, and a non-reductionist form of strong emergence cannot be made intelligible, then panpsychism-the thesis that mental being is a fundamental and ubiquitous feature of the universe-might be a viable alternative. But it was not until David Chalmers' The Conscious Mind in 1996 that debates on panpsychism entered the philosophical mainstream. Since then the field has been growing rapidly, and some leading philosophers of
mind as well as scientist have argued in favor of panpsychism.

This book features contemporary arguments for panpsychism as a genuine alternative in analytic philosophy of mind in the 21st century. Different varieties of panpsychism are represented and systematically related to each other in the volume's 16 essays, which feature not only proponents of panpsychism but also prominent critics from both the physicalist and non-physicalist camps.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 424 pages
  • 165 x 240 x 34mm | 745g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0199359946
  • 9780199359943
  • 1,286,571

Review quote

The book ... is a very rich resource for studying and thinking about a significant contemporary development in analytical metaphysics and philosophy of mind. ... I found the whole package of papers rewarding reading. * Robert Merrihew Adams, Grazer Philosophische Studien *
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About Godehard Brüntrup

Godehard Bruntrup holds a PhD (1994) in philosophy from FU Berlin. He has been a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Notre Dame. After receiving tenure in 2003 at Munich School of Philosophy, he now holds the Erich J. Lejeune Chair. He has been visiting professor at Fordham University and is currently a regular visiting professor at St. Louis University. In addition to a monograph on mental causation, he is the author of a bestselling introduction into the
philosophy of mind as well as of numerous articles in philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology, and philosophy of religion.

Ludwig Jaskolla studied philosophy and physics in Munich, Germany. In 2013, he defended his PhD thesis on persistence-conditions and causation in 4-dimensional ontologies at the Munich School of Philosophy, which has been funded by a grant of the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung. His current research foci are: the metaphysics and phenomenology of persons, the philosophy of psychology, issues in the meta-ethics of virtue theory, and the philosophy of technology.
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