Panpsychism and the First-Person Perspective: The Case for Panpsychist Idealism

Mind and Matter 19 (1):75-106 (2021)
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In this paper, I argue for a version of panpsychist idealism on first-person experiential grounds. As things always appear in my field of consciousness, there is prima facie empirical support for idealism. Furthermore, by assuming that all things correspond to a conscious perspective or perspectives (i.e., panpsychism), realism about the world is arguably safeguarded without the need to appeal to God (as per Berkeley’s idealism). Panpsychist idealism also has a phenomenological advantage over traditional panpsychist views as it does not commit perceptual experience to massive error by denying that perceived colours are properties of things. Finally, I argue that the subject combination problem for panpsychism has been motivated by the problematic assumption that consciousness is in things. Thinking about subject combination from the first-person perspective is fruitful for reframing the subject combination problem and for seeing how subjects could potentially combine for the idealist.



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Brentyn Ramm
Murdoch University