An exploration of consciousness in all matter--from quantum to cosmos
• Outlines theories of consciousness in ancient and modern philosophy from before Plato to Alfred North Whitehead
• Reveals the importance of understanding mind-in-matter for our relationships with the environment, with other people, even with ourselves
Are rocks conscious? Do animals or plants have souls? Can trees feel pleasure or pain? Where in the great unfolding of life did consciousness first appear? How we answer such questions can dramatically affect the way we live our lives, how we treat the world of nature, and even how we relate to our own bodies.
In this new edition of the award-winning Radical Nature, Christian de Quincey explores the “hard problem” of philosophy--how mind and matter are related--and proposes a radical and surprising answer: that matter itself tingles with consciousness at the deepest level. It’s there in the cells of every living creature, even in molecules and atoms. Tracing the lineage of this idea through Western philosophy and science, he shows that it has a very noble history--from before Plato to Alfred North Whitehead. He reveals that the way to God is through nature and that understanding how body and soul fit together has surprising consequences for our relationships with our environment, with other people, and even with ourselves.