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At Mind Matters News: New Scientist offers a sympathetic account of panpsychism


New Scientist? Yes. A serious, longform article shows that physicalism (“the mind is just what the brain does”) is failing:

Panpsychism, the view that all nature participates in consciousness, has been growing under the radar for some time in science. But it is now coming into plainer view. New Scientist is one of the last places one might have expected to find a serious, long-form account of panpsychism — one that, in the context, amounts to a defense.

Yet that’s just what science writer and filmmaker Thomas Lewton has been permitted by the editors to do. He tells us about his own journey at his site: “Studying physics, I thought telescopes and particle colliders would offer firm answers, but instead they raised more questions.”

And at New Scientist, he tells us why…

A surprising number of physicists are rethinking all that, “convinced that we will never make sense of the universe’s mysteries – things like how reality emerges from the fog of the quantum world and what the passage of time truly signifies – unless we reimagine the relationship between matter and mind.” Which, they realize, can’t be done simply by eliminating the mind from science thinking.

News, “New Scientist offers a sympathetic account of panpsychism” at Mind Matters News

Now that is a shift.

Takehome: When even alternative views that science writer Thomas Lewton profiles seem like panpsychism, physics is clearly learning to live with the mind’s reality.

You may also wish to read: Why panpsychism is starting to push out naturalism. A key goal of naturalism/materialism has been to explain human consciousness away as “nothing but a pack of neurons.” That can’t work. Panpsychism is not dualism. By including consciousness — including human consciousness — as a bedrock fact of nature, it avoids naturalism’s dead end.


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