Frames /sing


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).


6 responses to “Many on Panpsychism: The Mind that Abides

  1. Carey R. Carlson March 13, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Although I’m a contributor to the collection, I’ll leave a comment to “prime the pump.” The reader may find it interesting, as I do, to group the various authors by the stands they take on this or that issue of mind-and-body. For instance, some take current physics at face value (physicalism) and “marry mind to matter” in some way, while others challenge the concept of matter altogether, in favor of primitives that are purely experiential in nature. Another prominent divide is between those who think in terms of mental units “merging” to account for more complex mental units, against those who can make no sense of such “combination.” For my part, I follow Russell and Whitehead in starting with purely mental occasions of experience, and deriving physical structure from the time-ordering relation that connects occasions together, forming finite contingent structural patterns of time sequence.
    All the articles take issue with eliminative materialism, which Whitehead called “vacuous actuality.” This alone makes the book “a breath of fresh air.”

  2. kvond March 13, 2009 at 11:55 am


    Thanks for priming the pump. Hopefully a dialogue will develop out of this edition. In many ways I feel that panpsyschism provides the perfect nexus point for the disagreements that arise from the de-centering of the Human in the narrative presented by the sciences, and our continuing technological achievements towards, among other things, AI competence and brain neurology. It is as if our collective story of “what is” is working towards our increasing capacities to act, create, invent, build. History moved from the lessing of the importance of human beings, our becoming but biotic material spread upon a rock hurled through space, and yet the veritable escalation of our possibilities as a species. What is “thinking” and in what way could we say “all things think” seem at the very least the logical philosophical counterpoint questions to the products of our history. I look forward to reading your article and the others as well.

  3. Carey R. Carlson April 11, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    I see that the Google Books website lets you browse a generous sampling of pages online. This is particularly nice for “Mind That Abides,” which is a bit expensive to buy sight unseen. — Carey

  4. kvond April 11, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    Google Books is a boon in so many ways. I’m glad that the Mind That Abides is available there (I read Graham Harman’s contribution there when it came out, I believe). I’ll check out your article if Google lets me read it through.

  5. Greg Nixon August 7, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    There is (what I think) a great review at . However, I did skip mention of the Hameroff paper because his views are pretty familiar to all.

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