Example Of Panpsychism Essay
In philosophy, panpsychism is a vision of universal consciousness, according to which all things in the world, and maybe even the world in general, are ensouled, have their own life and mentality. Panpsychism is a form of metaphysical idealism, claiming that the whole of nature consists of psychic centers that are similar to the human soul.(Clarke 2004)
According to the etymology of the word panpsychism it is not hard to understand the scientific direction of this psychological term. The word has Greek origins, «pan» can be translated as everything or everywhere and «psyche» as the soul. So if we understand the term of «panpsychism» literally we can figure out its main idea: the soul is everywhere.
The origins and nature of understanding of the phenomenon of panpsychism excited researchers in the days of Socrates, Plato, Siddhartha Gautama and Lao Tzu. In the context of the European cultural traditions, these problems were usually considered according to the «ad hominem» principle, that was a response to the argument based not on the merits and objective reasoning, but on the specific personality of the person who put this argument.(Seager&Allen-Hermanson 2001)
Panpsychism is a very old doctrine, that was studied by some of the most recognized philosophers of all times, this philosophers are: Plato, Spinoza, William James and Thales. Through all its history, the term «panpsychism» existed in deep connection with the term «animism,» for example, this connection may be found in the works of Piaget, according to whom panpsychism is applied by the animism phase, that all people pass through in very young age, and that is a vital part of human development.(Clarke 2004)
In prehistory period, panpsychism existed in the form of totemism and animism, that was an ideological core for the prehistoric man. The era of the great ancient civilizations was the time of myth: linguistic studies, experiments on reconstruction of myths, say with certainty that the ancient animistic ideas retained their influence in the spiritual life of typologically diverse cultures of the great civilizations. In Axial Age that is supposed to be an era, that marked the start timing of the existence of modern civilization, according to the teachings of Buddha, Lao Tzu, and Zarathustra primitive animism has begun to receive a philosophical justification. Formation of the panpsychism was accompanied by the destruction and the deformation of animism, the differentiation of cultural types of man. That is why panpsychism was presented differently in the philosophical and religious studies.(Seager&Allen-Hermanson 2001)
Nowadays, there are plenty of arguments that support panpsychism, but there are also a lot of articles against this philosophical doctrine. There are genetic arguments, analogical arguments and intrinsic nature arguments that support the doctrine of panpsychism. Genetic arguments show both a priori and empirical arguments, that support the doctrine. There are also analogical arguments, that defend the doctrine of panpsychism, these arguments work by finding analogies between people and the nature. However, there are intrinsic nature arguments that are quite different, and is build on a theory that every thing that exists has an intrinsic nature.(Seager&Allen-Hermanson 2001)
One of the most appropriate doctrines of panpsychism, is the doctrine of the universal animation of nature, that occurs in natural philosophy of Bruno, in the fight against scholastic explanation of the reasons for movements in nature, against the Aristotelian position that everything that moves gets going with the help of something that was already moving, that led to the adoption of the first unmoved mover, who was God, that detects movement outside the world. The possibility of life and consciousness are inherent to all matter in general. The degree of manifestation of animation associated with the peculiarities of the structure of matter. The deepest meaning of the idea of universal animation of nature is the never-ending process of self-motion in nature. The external divine intervention in the development of the material world was rejected.
Clarke, D. (2004). Panpsychism. Albany: State University of New York Press.
Seager, W., & Allen-Hermanson, S. (2001). Panpsychism. Plato.stanford.edu. Retrieved 30 January 2015, from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/panpsychism/
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