Funded Projects

2018

Asha Lancaster-Thomas, University of Birmingham

'A Defence of Naturalistic Personal Pantheism'

Abstract:

This paper explores what I call Naturalistic Personal Pantheism (NPP). Drawing on pantheism, naturalism, and a personal concept of God, NPP suggests that i) God is identical with the universe, ii) the universe is entirely natural, and iii) God is personal. I put forward two controversial premises to support NPP. The first, which I call ‘Physical Primacy’, is that physical existence is a ‘great-making’ property, therefore a supreme, worship-worthy God would necessarily exist naturally, not supernaturally. This claim is contingent on the supposition that physical existence is superior to non-physical existence, because causal power is best explained physically. The second, which I call ‘Divine Eliminativism’, proposes that the mental states of God can be reduced to physical events. This claim is contingent on Peter Forrest’s ‘Defiantly Anthropomorphic Theism’ (DAT), which contends that it is appropriate to interpret the divine using observable human phenomena. NPP is an attractive alternative to other theisms, because it bypasses the pairing problem, presents a worship-worthy and personal concept of God, and boasts ontological simplicity. NPP also offers a promising response to the problem of evil by invoking DAT to establish an analogy of evil in the cosmos to nociception in the human body.

 

Caleb Cohoe, Metropolitan State University

'Accounting for the Whole: Why Pantheism and Panentheism Are on a Metaphysical Par with Complex Theism'

Abstract:

Can pantheists and panentheists explain the unity of the cosmos and the priority of the divine whole over its manifold parts? In this paper, I argue that they are no worse off than theists who do not accept divine simplicity. Such theists need to explain why certain attributes or parts form a unity with God and why these attributes or parts are dependent on God and not vice versa. The best way for them to do this is by appealing to a principle on which wholes of the relevant sort have explanatory and ontological priority over their parts (e.g. Fowler 2015). But pantheism and panentheism can appeal to precisely this same principle in explaining how the divine cosmos is a unified entity in which the whole is ontologically and explanatorily prior to its parts. Thus the pantheist and panentheist have a challenge for their theist critics: either give a satisfactory account of divine simplicity or accept that theism and pantheism/panentheism are on a metaphysical par when it comes to explanatory and ontological priority.

 

Christopher M. P. Tomaszewski, Baylor University

'Too Many Gods: Pantheism and Mereology'

Abstract:

Call a pantheism collective if it deems the whole cosmos, but no part of it, as a divine being; and call a pantheism distributive if it deems every entity in the cosmos as a divine being in its own right. Distributive pantheism faces clear difficulties, not least of which is the enormous multiplication of Gods. In this paper, I will show that collective pantheists face a similar worry: collective pantheism entails the existence of far too many gods for it to be plausible. I proceed by examining two ways in which pantheists might establish the unity of the God that they claim is identical to or constituted by the (apparently disconnected) cosmos. One method for showing that the God of pantheism possesses this unity is to use unrestricted composition; another is to use Jonathan Schaffer’s recent work on priority monism. But both methods for resolving this worry about unity result in many more Gods than the pantheist bargained for, at least one for every fundamental particle in the cosmos. This problem is exacerbated if the pantheist proves successful in showing that the God of pantheism is personal.

 

Clare Carlisle, Kings College University of London

'Being-in-God: Spinoza’s Ethical Panentheism'

Abstract:

My paper will address the “problem of personality” through a focus on Spinoza’s account of divine love, showing that Spinoza’s panentheism is ethical as well as metaphysical, and has continuities with more mainstream theological ethics.  Spinoza’s concept of Amor Dei intellectualis allows panentheists to speak of a religiously meaningful love-relationship between God and human beings, and within human communities.   Though Spinoza refuted anthropomorphic views of God, his “intellectual love of God” is not simply an impersonal abstraction.  This divine love, considered as a constituent of human “blessedness,” stretches his account of the relationship between human beings and God beyond the strictly impersonal theology that other elements of his panentheism seem to indicate.  In linking our love for God to God’s love for us, Spinoza indicates that this is one and the same love, conceived in two different ways.  This account overcomes the antagonistic social attitudes which Spinoza associates with anthropomorphic theism and suggests a way of relating to others panentheistically: the more truly we understand both ourselves and others as “in God,” the less competitive and the more cooperative we become.  Spinozist panentheism thus grounds a religious ethic of loving both oneself and others as “in God.”

 

Emily Thomas, University of Durham

'May Sinclair on Idealism and Pantheism'

Abstract:

May Sinclair was an early twentieth century idealist and pantheist. She was also a novelist and there is ample literature on her fiction, yet there is no scholarship on her philosophy. This project will provide the first ever study of Sinclair’s philosophy. Sinclair’s 1922 The New Idealism defends a unique idealist pantheism. As I read her, Sinclair argues that space and time comprise the emergent base of everything that exists in the universe. Out of space and time emerge dinosaurs, planets, human beings. Sinclair’s system is pantheist because she also argues that space and time are forms of thought in the mind of an underlying, Absolute consciousness: God. The universe is God’s mind, spun through space and time.   Through my work on Sinclair, this project will address two of the three problems central to the Pantheism and Panentheism Project: the problem of unity and the problem of evil. I will show that Sinclair provides original and philosophically substantive answers to both problems. 

 

Jeremiah Carey, Siena College

'In Defense of Orthodox Panentheism'

Abstract:

Panentheism is the position that the world is in some sense "in" God, and God "in" the world, without the world being identical to God. Thus, it tries, like mainstream theism and against pantheism, to protect the transcendence of God, while giving greater emphasis to his immanence in creation than the former. I aim to defend an approach that I call Orthodox Panentheism. The word "Orthodox" is to be read in two ways. First, I hope to show that in the writings of the great saints of the Eastern church we get a picture of God's relation to the world that is both distinctive and deserving of being called panentheist. Thus the view is Orthodox in the "big 'O' sense". Second, I hope to show that the picture is fully orthodox in the "little 'o' sense" - that it is fully compatible with the religious demands of traditional Christianity.

 

Joshua Cockayne, University of St. Andrews

'Personal and Apersonal Worship'

Abstract:

It has been claimed that one of the problems with a-personal views of God is that it is either impossible or else, of little value to worship such a God (Leftow, 2016; Levine, 1994). In this paper, I explore the possibility and value of worshipping an a-personal God. By building on Nicholas Wolterstorff’s (2015) distinction between strong and weak address, I argue that it is possible to weakly address an a-personal God, even if such a God is incapable of responding. I argue that whilst this might rule out a kind of ‘strong worship’ of God in which God responds to our praise, it is possible to engage in a kind of weak worship. Moreover, I suggest, such worship can have a kind of epistemic value. According to Wolterstorff, we can gain a kind of knowledge of the Christian God by repeating certain liturgies which describe what God is like (2016, 14). Wolterstorff’s proposal has potential, I suggest, to be applied to cases of weak worship. I argue that in weakly addressing an a-personal God through some kind of liturgical script, we might gain object-knowledge of God. Thus, I conclude, if pantheism is true, worshipping God is both possible and of objective value.

 

Joshua R. Farris, Houston Baptist University

'Cartesian Panentheism: Why Emergent Theisms are Necessarily False'

Abstract:


The doctrine of God has received a significant amount of attention from contemporary philosophers and theologians. Particularly, there has been a recent focus on the nature of God as personal along with a fascination with alternative conceptions of theism that allow for some robust kind of unity between God and creation. As a contribution to this growing literature, I advance a version of Cartesian (i.e., the view that God is, strictly speaking, identical to his soul or mind; when applied to humans the definition is similar, but what is different is that human soul’s bear some singular relation to their bodies) theism, and one exploratory option—Cartesian panentheism. In the present exploration, I critically engage with two alternative conceptions of theism, what one might call emergent theism and emergent panentheism. Noting their benefits, I also raise two significant concerns with these variations of theism from the centrality/fundamental nature of mentality in the universe, which requires grounding in a primitive thisness (otherwise called haecceity; i.e., an essence of a thing or substance). For God to have that which is commonly understood as necessary for being personal, God must have the ability to deliberate, make choices, and there must be a sense in which there is something it is like to be God, which requires a grounding in a personal/subjective primitive thisness. Finally, I explore Cartesian theism as a more viable option, and one alternative variant of Cartesian theism—eschatological transformational panentheism (i.e., where God’s creation, most importantly, his human creation become parts of him), thus satisfying God’s personal nature along with one desirable, arguably, present in pantheism or panentheism.  

 

Joshua Rasmussen, University of Notre Dame

'Creation ex Deus: How a Necessary Being Could Constitute Everything'

Abstract:

I address panentheism’s problem of unity by developing a mereological-based account of God. I begin by showing how the sort of reasoning typically use in support of certain arguments for a divine Cause also supports a principle of No New Stuff, which in turn challenges the doctrine of creation ex nihilo. I then use late twentieth century developments in mereology, top-down causation, and plural logic to articulate a precise theory of creation ex Deus. I draw upon my work on necessary beings to show how a necessary being could cause contingent things while also constituting them. My theory not only allows us to keep the principle of No New Stuff, but it also accounts for how a large and widely disparate universe could be considered the contingent “face” of God.

 

Nick Trakakis, Australian Catholic University

'Bradley and Shankara: Western and Eastern Idealist-Pantheist Approaches to the Problem of Evil'

Abstract:

This paper brings together the work of the British idealist philosopher, F.H. Bradley (18461924), and the founder of the Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism, Shankara (788-820 CE), in order to show how their shared metaphysical (idealist and pantheist) outlook can help illuminate contemporary discussions on the problem of evil. In particular, the BradleyShankara idealist-pantheist vision will be compared with the standard theistic conception of divinity, with a view to determining which has the greater resources in resolving what has come to be known as „the foundational existential problem of evil‟ – the problem of dealing with, coping with, or coming to terms with evil. Intellectually, this resolves into the challenge of rendering rational our commitment to the genuine possibility of fulfilment and salvation, despite our vulnerability to destructive evil. It will be argued that the response afforded by Bradley-Shankara has significant advantages over its traditional theistic competitor, and this will be illustrated by the way in which the concepts of redemption and providence figure in the framework of each. 

 

Nikk Effingham, University of Birmingham

'Pantheism and the Constitutive Multi-Located Deity'

Abstract:

I’ve previously worked on the philosophy of multi-location i.e. things being in multiple places at the same time. I’ve already, in a different paper [2015], shown how work in that area can yield results when applied to God. The paper I’ll write for this project will argue that God is a multilocated substance which constitutes the universe—pantheism is true in so far as God is the universe in the constitutive sense of ‘is’, rather than the ‘is’ of numerical identity.


Thomas Jay Oord and Wm. Andrew Schwartz, Claremont Graduate University

'Panentheism for Open and Relational Theology'

Abstract:

Open and relational theologies have a particular affinity for panentheism and panpsychism. These types of theology come in various forms, however, and various forms of panentheism and panpsychism exist. In this essay, we begin by defining open and relational theology. We then describe forms of panentheism and panpsychism and note reasons why open and relational theists would be attracted to each. We argue that panentheism and panpsychism, when understood in a particular way, complement one another, although a person could be attracted only to one. Much of the essay argues for one form of panentheism we think makes best sense overall. This form includes belief in a personal/relational God who is passible, distinctions between God and creatures, affirming that God everlastingly creates (thereby denying creatio ex nihilo), and a solution to the theoretical aspect of the problem of evil. The particular form of panentheism we adopt – theocosmocentrism – overcomes legitimate worries associated with other forms.

 

Paul Draper, Purdue University

'Panpsychentheism'

Abstract:

According to classical theism, a perfect God created the cosmos ex nihilo and thus is ontologically distinct from the cosmos. This view faces problems of personality and causality. According to panentheism and pantheism, the cosmos is identical to, or constituted by, or a part of God. These two views face problems of personality and unity. A fourth position called panpsychentheism (all-minds-in-God-ism) avoids all of these problems partly because it postulates that God is a proper part of the cosmos. On panpsychentheism, God is a fundamental—though not the only fundamental—natural entity. Specifically, God is a “world soul,” an immaterial entity extended in space and in fact literally omnipresent. Human and animal minds are part of this “universal mind” and thus are naturally immortal. The nervous systems of conscious organisms make use of this mind, in effect divinding it unto individual personalities and apparently but not really into a multiplicity of distinct mental substances. In addition to avoiding some of the problems that plague other forms of theism, panpsychentheism suggests novel approaches to the mind-body and free will problems, is supported by cross-cultural religious experience, and, if true, provides support for the Golden Rule.

 

Peter F. Furlong, Valencia College

'Ontological Pluralism, Panentheism, and the Problem of Unity'

Abstract:

I propose a project in which I develop an account of panentheism within a framework of ontological pluralism.  According to ontological pluralism, there are different kinds or levels of existence.  According to the version of pluralism adopted here, attributes like shape and color (understood as concrete particulars) possess existence of a lesser sort than that possessed by the substances in which they inhere.  In part, this is because the existence of attributes is always incomplete, because they always exist in a substance and can never exist as ontologically independent.  This account becomes panentheistic when it claims that substances are related to God as attributes are related to substances.  I will argue that this account has the resources to explain both how the world is united with God, and how seemingly diverse objects are united with each other.   In particular, panentheists can model the unity of the world on the unity shared by diverse attributes of one object (or diverse aspects of one attribute with each other), and they might model the unity of the world with God on the unity shared by a substance and its attributes.  

 

Robert Oakes, University of Missouri

'What Is the Major Ontological Conflict Between Classical Theism and Spinozism?'

Abstract:

It could hardly be gainsaid that Spinozism and Classical Theism constitute serious metaphysical (-cum theological) opponents vis-à-vis just how God and the God-world relation is to be construed. What I propose to establish in this regard is that there remains some unfortunate confusion concerning the core of the issue at stake between these contrary world-views. While it is nonnegotiably central to Spinozism that there obtains a  relation of Inherence between natural objects and God, i.e., that natural objects are to be understood as modes of God, Classical theists vigorously maintain that the view of the God-world relation is mistaken; rather, that the cosmos consists of substances in their own right. This latter does not, however, require--though Classical theists tend to insist that it does--the seemingly indefensible thesis that natural objects must be ontologically exterior to God, since the interiority of natural objects to God does not entail that they inhere in God.

 

Robin Attfield, Cardiff University

'Panentheism, Creation, and the Problem of Evil'

Abstract:

Can panentheism cope with the problem of evil? This problem is often understood as one for classical theists, who maintain that the cosmos, together with its evils, was created by an all-powerful and benevolent God; for classical theists need to reconcile the world’s evils with divine creation. But the problem re-emerges for theologies of a pantheistic and panentheistic kinds. For if, as pantheists claim, the cosmos (with all its evils) is identical with God, then God must be held to embody evils, and cannot be all-good. A related problem arises for panentheists, with their teachings about a close relation between God and the cosmos. The closer the relation, the more intense the problem. Thus those panentheists who regard the world as necessary to or part of God must hold that its evils are likewise necessary to or part of God. Granted this intractable problem for pantheism, I will explore in this paper whether panentheism can overcome the corresponding problem. This exploration will involve sifting different varieties of panentheism. While for some varieties the problem is insoluble, this may not be so for others, which retain central features of classical theism, while stressing interaction between God and the created world.

 

Scott Hill, Auburn University

Untitled

Abstract:

Why is pantheism associated with the view that God is not a person? Among other concerns, one might think the idea that the universe is a personal God is obscure, that a personal God is less simple than a non-personal God, that the universe cannot be conscious, that the personhood of the universe conflicts with the sort of naturalism and materialism many pantheists find attractive. I show that all such objections are mistaken. Pantheists have no good reason to deny that God is a person. And that it is a mere historical accident that they reject this view. Furthermore, pantheists have much to gain by embracing God's personhood. Some of the standard arguments against pantheism, such as the idea that pantheist gods are not worthy of worship, can be addressed by supposing that the pantheist god is personal. In the end, pantheists have nothing to lose and much to gain by embracing the view that God is a person.

 

2017

James M. Arcadi, Fuller Theological Seminary  

‘Sacramental ontology and the holiness of the panentheistic God’

Abstract:

Holy places are ubiquitous in the world’s religions. For many practitioners of religion, the concept of a holy place is bound up with conceptions of a divine presence at the location of the holy place. Despite the fact that the monotheisms of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are typically associated with Classical Theism, I argue that Classical Theism’s insistence on a strict ontological distinction between God and the cosmos makes it difficult to countenance the faithful’s experience of the divine presence in these holy locations. Rather, a panentheistic conception of God, where the cosmos is an ontological constituent of God, is better able to ground this important phenomenon of monotheisms.

I argue that God’s presence at a location ought to be considered as God activity at a location and that this ought to be understood along panentheistic lines. Once this pivot to panentheism and its relation to the divine presence is in place, I can then deploy an answer to the unity problem of panentheism by recourse to, what I will call, a ‘sacramental ontology’. This, then, will serve to ground the unity of the cosmos as one unified sign of the divine.

 

William A. Bauer, North Carolina State University

‘Powers and the Pantheistic Problem of Unity’

Abstract:

While pantheism avoids some metaphysical cum theological problems, it faces its own difficulties. One problem concerns unity. The universe apparently has many discrete, dis-unified elements. Yet God is supposed to be a unified being. If the universe and God are not distinct existences, as pantheism holds, how can we reconcile the unity of God’s being with the apparent dis-unity of the universe’s elements? I will argue that a powers theory of reality, which is compatible with pantheism, is apt to solve the problem of unity. Powers are for various manifestations. Their for-ness is arguably equivalent to the forness or intentionality of mental states, implying that intentionality is a feature of the physical world at large, not just the mind. As Pfeifer (2016)has argued, this physical intentionality represents a mild form of panpsychism that is interpretable as a brand of pantheism. I analyze his argument and then build on it by arguing that the natural, physical intentionality of powers, combined with the holistic view of powers offered by Williams (2010), serves as a unifying force for the universe’s diverse elements and thus for the pantheistic conception of God.

 

Ryan Byerly, University of Sheffield

‘The Awesome Argument for Pan(en)theism’

Abstract

This paper articulates an approach to justifying pantheism or panentheism that has significant benefits for addressing the problems of personality, unity, and evil facing pan(en)theists. The approach draws inspiration from the recently (re-)articulated approach to the moral domain called exemplarism. Where exemplarism maintains that the emotion of admiration is a fallible guide to the moral domain, facilitating identification of moral features the nature of which can then be studied, a view I call “Awesomeism” claims that the emotion of awe is a fallible guide to the spiritual domain, facilitating identification of divine things the nature of which can then be studied. There is a straightforward route from Awesomeism to pan(en)theism, because when we reflect on the kinds of things for which our awe survives critical scrutiny we find that they are united in sharing a kind of apparently directed complexity. That which most fully exemplifies this feature—the most comprehensive, complex, and apparently directed thing there is—is the cosmos. Thus, given Awesomeism, the cosmos is most fully or perfectly divine. Justifying pan(en)theism in this way, I argue, avoids the problem of personality, while directly addressing the problem of unity and making easier work of the problem of evil.

  

Sam Coleman, University of Hertfordshire

‘Untitled’

Abstract:

One main reason for denying personhood to the universe, hence for claiming that pantheism cannot accommodate a personal God, is that the universe is not conscious. This reasoning assumes that personhood requires consciousness. I develop a theory of personal identity that rejects this assumption. It begins from a critique of the ‘experiential approach’ to personhood, which identifies persons with phenomenally unified sets of experiences. Since diachronic phenomenal unity lasts only around fifteen minutes, this makes our persons unacceptably short-lived. I argue that the best solution to this problem is to identify persons with something that can exist both consciously and unconsciously, and invoke a conception of intrinsically non-conscious mental qualities to play this role. On this view, a person consists of a stable, suitably integrated, set of mental qualities, which can come in and out of awareness unchanged. These correspond to contents of consciousness, but also to unaccessed mental contents (e.g., formative memories) that for common sense help to constitute our selves. By combining this theory with panqualityism, a Russellian monist view that grounds the universe’s physical-dispositional nature in non-conscious qualities (panqualityism is panpsychism-minus-subjective-awareness), I build a pantheistic conception of God’s person as spanning the universe-wide mass of non-conscious qualities.


Alexander Douglas, University of St. Andrews

‘Does Spinozist Pantheism lead to Acosmism?: A Logical Investigation’

Abstract:

Not everyone reads Spinoza as a pantheist, but those who do typically take him to propose something like this: God is the sole substance in reality, and the apparently diverse items of the cosmos are various ‘respects’ in which this single substance exists. The acosmist reading of Spinoza, first proposed by Maimon and Hegel and developed in detail by British Idealist philosophers, argues that this appearance of diversity can only be illusory. If the various ‘respects’ in which God is said to exist constituted a real diversity there would be no sense in calling God a single substance. Thus the true meaning of Spinozism can only be that the diverse items of the cosmos, including ourselves, are illusory beings: the true underlying reality is an undifferentiated, undivided being. This reading is, I aim to show, more justified than some recent scholarship has suggested. Repudiating it requires a detailed examination of differences in the underlying logical theories adhered to by Spinoza on one hand and those who read him as an acosmist on the other.

 

Philip Goff, Central European University

‘From Panpsychism to Pantheism’

Abstract:

In the recent philosophy of mind literature, there has been a great deal of attention given to a way of accounting for consciousness that has become known as ‘Russellian monism’. I would like to explore the prospects for a theory that accounts for God in the same way that the Russellian monist accounts for consciousness. According to Russellian monism, consciousness (or proto-consciousness) constitutes the intrinsic nature of the physical world. According to what we might call ‘Russellian pantheism,’ God constitutes the intrinsic nature of the physical world. Many take Russellian monism to be an attractive middle way between physicalism and dualism; I will argue that Russellian pantheism is an attractive middle way between atheism and classical theism. In particular, Russellian pantheism offers an explanation of the fine-tuning of the universe that is significantly more parsimonious than either of the two standard explanations if it (i.e. the multiverse hypothesis and classical theism).


Simon Hewitt, University of Leeds

‘Pantheism and Personhood : A Challenge for Swinburnian Theism’

Abstract:

The proposed project transforms a development of an argument against pantheism into an objection to the usual account of God within contemporary analytic philosophy ('Swinburnian theism'). A standard criticism of pantheism has it that pantheists cannot offer a satisfactory account of God as personal. My paper will develop this criticism along two lines: first, that personhood requires contentful mental states, which in turn necessitate the membership of a linguistic community, and second that personhood requires limitation within a wider context constitutive of the 'setting' of the agent's life. Pantheism can, I argue, satisfy neither criterion of personhood. At this point the tables are turned on the Swinburnian theist. If the pantheist cannot defend herself against the personhood-based attacks, neither can the Swinburnian, and for instructively parallel reasons: for neither doctrine is God in the material world; in the pantheist case God is identical with the world, in the Swinburnian case God transcends it. Either way both the pantheist and the Swinburnian are left with a dilemma: abandon divine personhood or modify the doctrine of God so as to block personhood.

 

Joanna Leidenhag, University of Edinburgh

‘Building God’s Mind?: Panpsychism, Combination and Pantheism’

Abstract:

A number of contemporary philosophers have suggested that the recent revival of interest in panpsychism can give fresh possibilities for pantheism. In particular “the combination problem”, which has dominated recent scholarship within panpsychism, seems to parallel the problem of how a pantheistic God can be considered to have personal unity, whilst also being identical to a universe made up of seemingly impersonal, distinct parts. This project explores whether recent scholarship by panpsychists addressing the combination problem can come to the aid of pantheists wishing to address the problems of unity and personality. A number of possible solutions to the combination problem are assessed, and it is concluded that Philip Goff’s “phenomenal bonding” solution seems the most promising. However, much more work is needed to be done if this idea is to be successfully utilized by pantheists. Although the problems facing panpsychism and pantheism appear to mirror oneanother, the solutions which are indeed may be more different than expected.


Yitzhak Y. Melamed, Johns Hopkins University

‘Spinoza’s Substance-Mode Panentheism’

Abstract:

In the paper, I suggest a few distinctions between variants of pantheism and panentheism, and then argue that Spinoza’s system is in instance of Substance-Mode Panentheism. In the first part, I introduce a distinction between Substance-Mode Pantheism and Whole-Part pantheism. The Substance-Mode Pantheists holds that all things (bodies, thoughts, and everything that is) are modes or states of God, while the Whole-Part Pantheist holds that all things are just parts of God. In the second part, I suggest two alternative ways to draw the distinction between pantheism and panentheism. According to the one, pantheism asserts a symmetric dependence between God and the world of finite things, while panentheism asserts an asymmetric dependence of the world on God. An alternative way to draw a distinction between pantheism and panentheism is to say that pantheism asserts an identity between God and nature -- as the totality of bodies and mental items -- while panentheism asserts that all bodies and thoughts are in God, yet they do not exhaust God, i.e., there are some aspects, or elements, of God beyond physical and mental nature. In the third and final part, I show that Spinoza’s system falls under the category of panentheism (rather than pantheism) no matter whether we draw the distinction between pantheism and panentheism according to the first or second way discussed above. I then turn to show that Spinoza’s endorsement of Substance-Mode Panentheism (rather than Whole-Part Panentheism) is due to his mereological commitment to the priority of parts to their whole, and the absolute priority of God to anything else.

 

Khai Wager, University of Birmingham

Russellian Cosmopsychism as a Basis for Pantheism’

Abstract:

In this paper I offer a pantheistic picture of reality by appeal to Russellian cosmopsychism, an emerging view in discussions on the problem of consciousness. I contend that on such a metaphysical picture the pantheist can endorse a conception of divine unity such that they are able to maintain that God is personal, while offering an extremely robust account of unity (in doing so, addressing both the problem of unity and the problem of personality). Such a metaphysical picture shows promise in providing a basis for pantheism's engagement in theological discourse.

 

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