Powers and the Pantheistic Problem of Unity

Sophia 58 (4):563-580 (2019)
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If the universe and God are identical, as pantheism holds, how can we reconcile the supposed unity of God with the apparent dis-unity of the universe’s elements? I argue that a powers ontology, which generates a form of pantheism under plausible assumptions, is apt to solve the problem of unity. There is reason to think that the directedness of powers is equivalent to the directedness, or intentionality, of mental states. This implies that intentionality is a feature of the physical world at large, not just the mind. As Pfeifer argues, this physical intentionality represents a mild form of panpsychism that is interpretable as a brand of pantheism. I argue that the theory of powers holism explains the unity of the universe’s elements and thus the unity of a pantheistic God, and that powers holism is strengthened by fully recognizing the role of physical intentionality.



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William A. Bauer
North Carolina State University

Citations of this work

Personhood, consciousness, and god: how to be a proper pantheist.Sam Coleman - 2019 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 85 (1):77-98.

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The Combination Problem for Panpsychism.David Chalmers - 2017 - In Brüntrup Godehard & Jaskolla Ludwig (eds.), Panpsychism. Oxford University Press.

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