A Clash of Perspectives on Panpsychism

In recent years the concept of panpsychism, “which entertains the possibility that all matter is imbued with consciousness,” writes Annaka Harris, has been firing up cognitive scientists who plumb the nature of consciousness. Some entertain the possibility with enthusiasm and some entertain the possibility with the enthusiasm of an archer eyeing a choice target. Nautilus has sparked the debate with articles by leading thinkers about panpsychism, which continues this week with two new essays, by, respectively, Harris and science writer George Musser, and a rerun of our most popular essay on the subject, in support of panpsychism, by Norwegian philosopher Hedda Hassel Mørch. To amplify the clash, here are three more perspectives from Nautilus articles and interviews.


Philip Goff, author of Galileo’s Error: Foundations for a New Science of Consciousness, philosopher and consciousness researcher at Durham University, United Kingdom:

While materialists and dualists believe that consciousness exists only within the brains of humans and other animals, panpsychists believe that consciousness pervades the universe, and is as basic as mass and charge. If panpsychism is true, the rainforest

You’re reading a preview, subscribe to read more.

More from Nautilus

Nautilus4 min read
We Are Made of Waves
Reality often seems stranger and more dazzling than the most inspired fiction. Space, for instance, can warp, stretch, and ripple, like rubber, as Einstein taught us. And yet we travel through it, as passengers on Earth, at 150 miles per second—witho
Nautilus4 min read
The Leather Of The Future
The following recipe comes with a twist. Take a ½ cup of whole wheat flour and add ½ teaspoon of malt extract, ¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar, 1 tablespoon of xanthan gum and a dash of citric acid (lemon juice might do), then dissolve the mixture in 2
Nautilus4 min readIntelligence (AI) & Semantics
Protecting Artists from Theft by AI
In 2023, author Melanie Mitchell discovered that a cheap AI-generated imitation of her book on, ironically, the subject of artificial intelligence was for sale on Amazon. She reported it, but the platform didn’t take action to remove it until the sto

Related Books & Audiobooks