Abstract

Panpsychism, the view that the material elements of the universe have mental properties, has until quite recently remained in the periphery of the philosophical mainstream due to its blatant contradiction of normative Cartesian dualities, which divided the world into mental properties (that inhere in human beings alone) and material properties, that are devoid of value and sentience. The recent geological shift to the Anthropocene Age, in which human culture can be found in pesticide resistant mosquitoes and the ozone heavens, has undermined the foundations of Cartesian dualism, making panpsychism a credible alternative. Yet some panpsychists go too far by conflating all distinctions between living and nonliving, human and nonhuman, evolved and made entities. Using Whitehead's process philosophy, this article will defend panpsychism and develop the philosophical criteria of causation, relationality, unity and intentionality to differentiate between natural living forms, natural nonliving forms, and human artifacts.

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