, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 271-275
Date: 04 Jan 2012

David Skrbina (ed.): Mind that Abides: Panpsychism in the New Millennium

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David Skrbina opens this timely and intriguing text with a suitably puzzling line from the Diamond Sutra: “Mind that abides nowhere must come forth.”, and he urges us to “de-emphasise the quest for the specifically human embodiment of mind” and follow Empedocles, progressing “with good will and unclouded attention” into the text which he has drawn together as editor. If we do, we are assured that it will “yield great things” (p. xi). This, I am pleased to say, is not an exercise in hyperbole.

In clearing the foreground we are first introduced to what panpsychism is not: it is not idealism, dualism, or supernaturalism; then to what it is: a claim that “the components of the world have some inherent experiential or mind-like qualities”; and finally to the structure that the book takes: Part I examines analytical and scientific approaches to the topic, Part II focuses on the process philosophy of, for example, Whitehead, Russell, Hartshorne, and Griffin, and Part III presents a range of me