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Alternative forms[edit]


Formed by the prefixation of pan- +‎ psychism after the German Panpsychismus (1874), itself after the Latin pampsychia (1591). Compare the Ancient Greek πάμψυχος (pámpsukhos, in full life) and the Modern Greek παμψυχισμός (pampsychismós, panpsychism).


  • IPA(key): /panˈsʌɪkɪz(ə)m/, /pænˈsaɪ(ˌ)kɪz(ə)m/


panpsychism (usually uncountable, plural panpsychisms)

  1. (philosophy, uncountable) The doctrine that all matter has a mental aspect. (Many panpsychists employ the qualification that only “true individuals” are animated; that is, that things like atoms, molecules, and organisms are animated as atoms, molecules, and organisms, whereas things like rocks, tables, and boots are not animated as themselves, although they do comprise animate elements.)
  2. (philosophy, countable) A specific panpsychist doctrine or system.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Panpsychism is often conflated with a number of other concepts with which it is associated or which bear some resemblance to it. These conflated concepts include animism (the supernaturalistic belief in a multitude of — more or less anthropomorphic — spirits animating the features of the world, characteristic of many traditional tribal religions); pansensism and hylopathism (doctrines that everything senses — very closely related to panpsychism); hylozoism, panbiotism, and panzoism (doctrines that all matter is intrinsically alive; their similarities with and distinctiveness from panpsychism chiefly centres on how the underlying concepts of “life” and “mentality” are defined); panexperientialism (the doctrine that everything experiences — “at present the most fully articulated form of panpsychism”[1]); pantheism and panentheism (doctrines that God or the Divine Principle “saturate” the Cosmos — in the former God is identical with the universe and every material thing is a part of God; in the latter God transcends the universe); and the doctrine of the world soul (which states that the universe in its totality has a single unifying spirit — such a doctrine is usually panentheistic).

Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ David Skrbina, Panpsychism in the West, MIT Press (2005), →ISBN, page 21

Further reading[edit]