Panpsychism: Prospects for the Mentality of Matter
Groome, Charles. “Panpsychism: Prospects for the Mentality of Matter”. BA, Boston College, 2015. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:104354.
Physicalism has a problem: experience must derive from wholly physical things, but how can physical matter produce experience? An answer to this question may require a drastic change in the physicalist paradigm. Some propose Panpsychism as the best available response. Panpsychism contends that all physical matter has mental properties. To many such a notion is a sheer absurdity. Two mainstream responses may be more tolerable: Reductionism and Emergentism. Panpsychism is defensible only if these alternate approaches fail. This project lays out the logic of the panpsychist arguments against reductionism and emergentism, as well as stating an overall case for physicalist panpsychism. The apparent absurdity of panpsychism will be found trivial in comparison with the remaining difficulties for more traditional physicalist approaches. Panpsychism should therefore be considered a viable option on the mind-body problem. Despite outstanding difficulties with the view, it has considerable theoretical value and cannot be merely considered an absurd position.