The ethical implications of panpsychism

Australasian Journal of Philosophy (forthcoming)
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The history of philosophy is a history of moral circle expansion. This history correlates with a history of expansionism about consciousness. Recently, expansionism about consciousness has exploded: to invertebrates, to plants, to logic gates, and to fundamental entities. The last of these expansions stems from a surge of interest in panpsychism. In an exploratory spirit, this paper considers some largely uncharted territory: the ethical implications of panpsychism. Our conclusion is that while panpsychism probably does significantly expand our moral circle, it's also probably short on anything of practical significance.



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Joseph Gottlieb
Texas Tech University
Bob Fischer
Texas State University

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