The Ubiquity of Prehension

Panpsychism as a Solution to the Mind-Body Problem

Bibliographic Entry

Plaisance, Christopher A. "The Ubiquity of Prehension: Panpsychism as a Solution to the Mind-Body Problem." KannenBright: Concordia University's Undergraduate Journal of Theology 2 (2011): 78–89.


This paper is an essay in the philosophy of mind. Its focus is on the mind-body problem as a perennial issue in the unraveling of mentality, and on panpsychism as a viable alternative to both the humanist and mechanist solutions which have dominated the discourse in recent years. As such, the paper examines the problem itself, charting its origins and exploring its nature. It then proceeds to define panpsychism and give a brief account of its history and manifestations. This is followed by a similar treatment of the two primary modes of objection to the panpsychist thesis: humanistic dualism and mechanistic materialism. The panpsychist meta-theory — and more specifically the panexperientialist variant — is then defended as a superior response to the problem via a series of interconnected arguments recently elucidated by process philosophers such as Alfred North Whitehead, David Ray Griffin and D.S. Clarke. Following this argumentation, the metaphysical picture which arises from the acceptance of the panpsychist argument is discussed, for the ramifications of panpsychism affect far greater philosophical vistas than just the philosophy of mind—stretching into the both ontology and ethics.


process philosophy, panpsychism, panexperientialism, mind-body problem