Frames /sing

kvond

Category Archives: David Skrbina

Many on Panpsychism: The Mind that Abides

 

Professor Skrbina, in response to my thoughts on his book below, writes telling that a new book is due out from Benjamins Publishing in late 2008 or 2009. It has 17 contributors, including Galen Strawson and David Skrbina, who is editing as well. Here is found a synopsis of its proposed collection of essays, and likely contributors:

Mind That Abides: Panpsychism in the New Millennium

Here is a selection from the proposal:

The book then follows with 15 dedicated chapters written by leading-edge thinkers of mind and consciousness. In each case the writer moves beyond a basic defense of panpsychism, and toward new positive theories as they relate to mind, consciousness, and reality. Writings are targeted at a broad audience, with minimal use of jargon, and yet penetrate deeply into the subject matter. Topics covered include mind-body interaction, the physical basis for consciousness, the ‘combination problem’ (on how lower-order minds can combine or merge into higher-order ones), the psychology and phenomenology of panpsychism, and process philosophy perspectives (as per Whitehead and Russell).

 

Panpsychism in the West: From There to Here

Panpsychism: The position that all things, to some degree, think, or cogitate, or experience, or feel

I neglected to note the spur of my interest for the post Spinoza’s Degrees of Being: A History. For some time I had been tracking the sources of Spinoz’a conception of degreess of privation and power, and when I came to read David Skrbina’s Panpsychism in the West I was pleasantly surprised to find such an informing history. In it professor Skrbina attempts to locate all historical Western Panpsychic positions, and to show their relation to each other, up to contemporary times.

What was missing in his story I thought was the vital link between Plotinus and Augustine (he would I believe agree), which helped bridge Scholasticism to Neo-Platonism, until Plotinus was retranslated by Ficino in the early Renaissance. This period of history simply remained under-addressed. In my thinking it really is this Plotinus-Augustinian connection which puts Campanella and Spinoza into conceptual relation, and more so, it is the epistemological answer, in particular how the skeptical question is resolved in degrees of being, as degrees of power, that provides the fulcrum of most panpsychic approaches.

The book is highly recommended for those interested in the position of panpsychism, as there really is no contemporary example of such a study. Of note he characterizes the existing contemporary positions to be:

1) Process Philosophy (stemming from Bergson and Whitehead: Hartschorne, Griffin, DeQuincy and Clarke).

2) Quantum Physics approach (Bohm, Hameroff).

3) Information Theory (Bateson, Wheeler and Chalmers).

4) Part-whole hierarchy (Cardano, Koestler, Wilber).

5) Non-linear Dynamics (inspired by Peirce: Skrbina).

6) Real Physicalism (Strawson).

To these I would add a seventh:

7). Neo-Spinozist, Onto-politicism (Deleuze and Guattari, Negri, Hardt, Balibar, Montag, Gatens).

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 57 other followers