Clifford's Panpsychism Essay Example

Published: 2022-07-13
Clifford's Panpsychism Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Philosophy Physics
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1340 words
12 min read

Clifford's panpsychism

In his reasoning, Clifford (1879) was careful to differentiate between an object from eject as a way of explaining the use of atoms motion in philosophy. In his view, eject is never utilized in philosophy. However, it applies to the concept of panpsychism to explain some of the inferences different from the ones of physical science. Thus, as per Clifford (1879), a conscious person has objects in his or her consciousness. When another person realizes the objects on the other persons' perception, then, the conclusion will not be from any other feelings of his or her own, but from those of the conscious individual. Hence, in this regard, the motion of an atom is caused by other atoms and nothing other than atoms. In Clifford's panpsychism, the feelings of a person cannot become objects of another in the consciousness of this other individual.

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On idealism, Clifford (1879) regarded panpsychism as complex when referring to the body processes, brain, and nervous system motions. All these are things that are visible to a person, but what is inferred is within the person. Any change occurring in the body processes, brain, and nervous system motions are bound within the changes in consciousness known by the individual and not anything external. Any feeling of an individual subjectively occurring outside the awareness of the other person means that it is 'eject' and not object. These experiences are analogous to those of the other individual and inferred to be outside the consciousness. As ejects, these are existences that are outside one's consciousness and are different from objects that exist within a person's consciousness. Therefore, eject is a concept that explains how consciousness can exist on the external world.


Clifford's panpsychism is a scientific belief that atoms motion are caused by other atoms and nothing other than atoms is explainable using the concept of monism. Monism is a theory that refutes the presence of a difference in a specific sphere. For instance, in the idea of monism, there is no difference between matter and mind, God, and the world. Clifford (1879) used the example of a table to demonstrate that there is no difference between an object and the thought behind it. A table is an object in a persons' consciousness, and this goes with the belief that when that individual climbs up on that table, he or she will be able to walk on it as if it is a ground (Clifford, 1879). Therefore, atoms motion in this essence is the movement of the person on the table. The movement is the atoms motion caused by the thought of moving on the table confirming the reasoning that atoms motion are caused by other atoms and nothing other than atoms. However, the existence of conception that a person's consciousness exists in another's' mind carries the belief that it exists on the outside. Therefore, consciousness can exist on the external, and this is to eject and not object.

The concept of monism in explaining panpsychism differentiates the body and mind when it comes to consciousness. A body is an atom which is the object of one's knowledge. However, the mind is not an object for this matter, and it will never be. In Clifford's panpsychism, eject helps in understanding consciousness as external and that the mind is not an object as it does not follow the laws of physical science. However, the body is an object as it follows the rules of physical science by following an objective order of one's feelings (Clifford, 1879). This view of different effects of body and mind leads to explaining Clifford's reasoning on the belief that every atom is also an atom of mind-stuff.

Every Atom is Also an Atom of Mind-Stuff

Parallelism and Complexity

The reasoning that every atom is also an atom of mind-stuff by Clifford (1879) is bassed on the concept of parallelism. Parallelism explains that there is a form of process that exists in mind alongside other types of matter. According to Clifford (1879), there argues about an evolutionary continuity that does not exist in the material organization that appears in mind. An atom is an atom of mind-stuff as the changes in the consciousness of a man run parallel with the changes in the motion and to the effect of the forces within the brain (Clifford, 1879). The matter in mind does not behave in a different way than the ordinary matter. When viewing the mind as physical, it means that because other minds exist as ejects, mine also exists. Even though the mind cannot change matter, the effect of the brain forces does. The body does what the mind directs, and this is the complex parallelism that explains an atom as an atom of mind-stuff.

Clifford's belief is that an atom is an atom of mind-stuff is based on monistic panpsychic parallelism. The changes in a person's consciousness run parallel to the changes in the brain which are in real sense objective facts. Therefore, the parallelism of complexity explains the reasoning of an atom as an atom of mind-stuff. The analogy of structure has an inorganic matter that does not possess consciousness but a small part of mind-stuff. In this case, complicated relationships between brain molecules are necessary to produce complex behaviors of the body. An increase in physical brain complexity causes an increase in the complexity of consciousness, and the vice versa is true. As atoms, minds are made of small parts. Therefore, as mind-stuff, consciousness is a group of complex changes in the mind.

Clifford's reason for every atom is also an atom of mind-stuff has a basis on the argument that there is no place in an organism complexity hierarchy where an individual can draw a line in differentiating the people with the mind and those who don't have. According to Clifford (1879), an individual cannot name a place without involving consciousness. In this case, awareness is in mind and an atom of mind-stuff because it exists in mind. Even the organisms at the lowest level, there is something or things that seem simple to everyone and similar regarding each person's consciousness but differ in complexity. Therefore, every individual is obliged to assume that every motion of matter has a fact that is similar to the mental fact in oneself (Clifford, 1879). That way, people can save continuity in belief as each motion of matter arises through continuous physical processes. Clifford gives the reader an understanding of higher-order and lower-order mind to describe the complexity of each atom as an atom of mind-stuff. Panpsychism does not account for the higher-order mind but that the higher-order mind comprises of the mental elements of the lower-order mind.


Clifford's panpsychism is based on physical science as he believes that all atoms motion are caused by other atoms and nothing other than atoms. However, Clifford also disapproves physical science by arguing regarding atoms using the notion of mind-stuff. The reasoning behind all atoms' motion is as a result of other atoms and nothing other than atoms is based on the actual experiences or feelings of an individual. The experiences of a person do not exist on the outside or the external world. Feelings are objects in ones' consciousness that are in motion and caused by other feelings within a person. Monism is a concept that explains the difference between an object and 'eject' in panpsychism. It explains how experiences or feelings exist outside an individuals' consciousness. Monism holds that when feelings exist outside consciousness, they are ejects and not objects and this explains the reasoning for every atom as an atom of mind-stuff. Mind and behavior are parallel since the consciousness of the brain changes are complex causing the physical movement of matter and enabling the body to be in motion. Clifford explains that there are a process and matter that exist in mind. Therefore, each atom is an atom of mind-stuff as a change in the consciousness is parallel to the changes in motion occurring in the brain.


Clifford, W. (1879). Body and Mind. In Lectures and Essays, vol. 2; London: Macmillan.

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