Adam Robbert has posted a helpful overview of Steven Shaviro’s paper, “Consequences of Panpsychism,” a paper which I heard Shaviro deliver at Claremont in 2010.
I’m somewhat sympathetic with panpsychism, but I don’t consider myself a panpsychist. Of course, any “ism” has its problems, but I’m not just bothered by the “ism” in panpsychism. It’s the “pan” that bothers me. I would have similar reservations about pantheism or pan-anything.
What’s wrong with the “pan” in panpsychism? Everything! It everythings things. In contrast, attending to things themselves, I tend to resist the everythinging of things.
No quality or thing should be panned. It would be better if the “pan” in panpsychism meant that panpsychism would involve inquiry into the souls of dish pans, or what it’s like to be a baking pan. Even better, in a more Latinate turn of phrase, panpsychism would describe the vibrant materiality of animate bread.