Is Animism Alive and Well?

Part of the Claremont Studies in the Philosophy of Religion book series (CSPR)


Animism is the belief that human beings have souls, or, by extension, the belief that animals, plants or even rocks have souls; that is, that they are subjects of feeling or consciousness, or display intelligence, in ways that ensouled human beings do. This extended view is sometimes called animatism or panpsychism, in order to distinguish it from the more restricted view, though in common usage ‘animism’ seems typically to embrace the broader view, often preceded by the adjective ‘primitive’, to suggest that a belief in the souls of plants is something that has been largely outgrown.


Human Soul Oxford English Dictionary Materialist Science Complex Culture Modern Material Science 
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© The Claremont Graduate School 1996

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