Panpsychism Archives



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February 17, 2021

Cavendish and Plato on Parts of the Mind

some rational Parts, may in one composed figure, have opposite actions; As for example, the Mind of man may be divided, so as to hate one person, and love another: nay, hate and love one and the same person, for several things, at the same time: as also, rejoice and grieve at the same time. For example; A Man has two Sons, one is kill'd in the Warrs, and the other comes home with victory and honour; the Father grieves for the slain Son, and rejoices for the victorious Son: for, the Mind being material, is dividable as well as...
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October 8, 2017

Two Observations upon Observations upon Experimental Philosophy

I am currently re-reading Margaret Cavendish's Observations upon Experimental Philosophy, as I will be teaching it in the near future. There are two features of the text that have struck me this time through, to which I was perhaps less attuned on my last read: I am struck by the extent to which Cavendish's reasons for panpsychism match the reasons given in more recent discussions (e.g., Nagel, Chalmers). The basic line of argument seems to be: human beings are made of ordinary matter, just like everything else. But human beings have sensitive/rational capacities that can't be explained mechanically. So there...
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