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Panpsychism in the West (Bradford Books) Paperback – January 26, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: Bradford Books
  • Paperback: 326 pages
  • Publisher: A Bradford Book; 1 edition (January 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262693518
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262693516
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,004 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Panpsychism is a rarely named but nevertheless perennial and influential subcurrent in the history of Western philosophy. David Skrbina does us a crucial service by offering a wonderfully comprehensive historical overview of an idea whose time is, perhaps, about to come.

(Freya Mathews, School of Philosophy, LaTrobe University, Australia)

Panpsychism in the West provides a long overdue and much needed reexamination of this age-old doctrine, one which still retains some fascination for modern philosophy of mind. Skrbina's brisk, no-nonsense approach reveals the amazing influence panpsychism has had throughout the history of philosophy as a persistent counterweight to the rise of mechanistic science and scientistic philosophy. This book will be of immense use to students and of great interest to anyone who cares to see the full range of philosophical opinion as it has evolved over the centuries.

(William Seager, Department of Philosophy, University of Toronto at Scarborough)

About the Author

David Skrbina is a Lecturer in Philosophy in the Department of Humanities at the University of Michigan at Dearborn.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Highly recommended reading for laymen and academics.
Tamlyn M. Hunt
This book offers a complete historical review of this philosophical concept in the west from the ancients to modern scientific observation.
J. S. Adams
Skrbina gives a very comprehensive treatment, worthy of five stars despite my criticism.
Stephen P. Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Richard G. Petty on February 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An outstanding piece of work that shows that philosophy CAN be a lot more interesting than watching paint dry!

The deanimation of Nature was a great sleight of hand of the Enlightenment. There is progressively more evidence that the notion that the whole Universe is comprised of nothing but cleverly arranged inanimate objects is fundamentally flawed. This fine book does not present us with a definitive answer or solution: it is rather an examination of the concept that Mind exists in some form throughout the phenomenal world and beyond it. It emphasizes that this apparently heretical concept is a legitmate field of inquiry.

This book is well written and deserves a wide readership, particularly amongst those who have enjoyed the insights of Ken Wilber, Ervin Laszlo and Christian de Quincey. I wish that it would also be read by some of my friends and colleagues in the scientific community, but I fear that is a vain hope!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By S. R. Deiss on December 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is an excellent introduction to Panpsychism. It gives lots of detailed history and clarifies the issues up to recent debates. I highly recommend it, especially for tough minded scientists and other true believers.

Science has had a hard time finding a focus for mind and awareness under its microscope. After a decade of having the spotlight of science on this subject area, there is still no agreement even on what consciousness is, and that is the self admission of the leaders in the field of consciousness studies.

It's my (lonely) view that science as now understood is not up to this task, is not itself well understood, and that a radical change of view and approach is needed to place mind in nature. My long standing openness to Panpsychism has recently led to incorperating it into an integrated view of nature. This view requires better "nontranscendental" science.

There are other recent voices who would approach this through quantum mechanics, emergence etc. etc. With the historical emphasis of this book, I dont think it had the scope for an in-depth coverage of what has been happening the past 25 years related to Panpsychism. My hope is that Skrbina is working on a sequel to clarify the current state of the art in addition to working on his own solutions in his research interests.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. S. Adams on May 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
If you find the notion of materialism (matter is primary and mind is a mere emergent or epiphenomena of matter) unsatisfying
and
The concept of idealism (mind is primary and matter is merely a manifestation of mind) a bit fanciful or romantic.
then
you should learn about or entertain the premise of panpsychism (the idea that mind and matter are different manifestations of the true underlying monistic reality).
This book offers a complete historical review of this philosophical concept in the west from the ancients to modern scientific observation.
A fascinating read of the history of the middle way in the duel between mind and matter as primary reality.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Louis Berger on November 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
We are scientistically smug about the nature of the "inanimate world." We KNOW all about matter/energy, and KNOW that it is just a matter of time before the natural sciences, the disciplines dealing with the inert world, can explain the up-to-now mysterious leap from neurobiology to awareness. Read this excellent book to find out that an alternative view has been available all along--for at least 2500 years in Western thought-- and that it is a credible, interesting, generative option that many major thinkers, old and new, have seriously promulgated.
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