Panpsychism in leibniz, tononi and beyond

Jane McDonnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Leibniz and Tononi are two philosopher-scientists who embrace the key tenet of panpsychism that consciousness is an intrinsic, fundamental feature of reality. This paper explores the tension between mind and matter in their work. It focuses on the core problems which led them to accept the fundamentality of consciousness: (i) the problem of the unity of the individual (i.e. what makes something a genuine unity rather than a mere aggregate of parts, or an appearance of unity to a mind); and (ii) the problem of consciousness (i.e. how to explain the relationship between subjective experiences and physical states). The approaches to consciousness presented in Leibniz and Tononi are complementary and comparing them is interesting in itself. Beyond that, my aim is to construct a version of panpsychism which synthesizes the two approaches and resolves residual difficulties. A sketch of the strategy is given.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-94
Number of pages28
JournalMind and Matter
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Cite this