An image (Ѻ) of some of the panexperientialism-themed thinkers, namely, in clockwise order, starting from top left: Bertrand Russell, Gottfried Leibniz, Pierre Teilhard, Alfred Whitehead, and William James, all circling a statue of Rene Descartes ruminating on mind-soul dualism.
In philosophy, panexperientialism is the view that if evolution of humans goes all the way down to subatomic particles, then human ‘experience’ by deduction must have originated at the subatomic level, which implies that not just humans but individual cells, individual molecules, individual atoms, and even individual subatomic particles, such as photons or electrons, incorporate a capacity for ‘feeling’ or degree of subjective interiority. [1]

The term panexperientialism is one of the theory varieties that philosophers use to debate or explain how mind evolved from matter, along with dualism (mind and matter remain separate, a Rene Descartes theory), emergentism (mind ‘emerged’, over time, or at some point, in the process of evolution), materialism (nothing exists but mechanical matter and forces), and idealism (that mind, matter, and spirit are somehow mixed or only spirit exists). One who adheres to a version of panexperientialism is American philosopher Christian de Quincey, who argues that matter-energy is sentient.

American philosopher Mathew Segall considers himself a panexperientialist.

The term 'panexperientialism' was coined in 1977 by American theologian-philosopher David Griffin, a combination of ‘pan’ meaning all of, the whole, or universal, and ‘experience’, meaning loosely to take place in an event, in commentary on the theories of Alfred Whitehead. Charles Hartshorne commented on it favorably, saying that it had the advantages over both ‘panpsychism’ and ‘psychicalism.’ Hence, panexperientialism is sometimes referred to as the Griffin-Whitehead-Hartshorne version of panpsychism (that everything has a psyche).

Griffin introduced the term to differentiate from the older theory of panpsychism, which implies that all entities of the universe have not just experience, but also consciousness, so as to avoid the implication that entities such as electrons or photons possess consciousness.

Griffin, according to the views of Christian de Quincey, summarizes that the term attempts to avoid the typical knee-jerk response to panpsychism, which is the retort that it implies atoms, molecules, or cells, as well as plants and rocks, experience and interior psychic life with all the conscious richness of human desires, fears, evaluations, thoughts, emotions, choices, and dreams.

The theory of panexperientialism, supposedly, is summarized best in Griffin’s 1998 book Unsnarling the World-Knot: Consciousness, Freedom, and the Mind-Body Problem, in which he argues that panexperientialism, by taking experience and spontaneity as fully natural, can finally provide a naturalistic account of the emergence of consciousness—an account that also does justice to the freedom we all suppose in practice. [3]

A difficulty on the term ‘panexperientialism’, in namesake, is that it only seems to be a less innocuous temporary plug, i.e. more politically correct term, masking the same issues that the older term ‘panpsychism’ evoked, e.g. that electrons have some type of free will, choice, or self-directing internal force.

Panexperientialism, in short, is an "extrapolate down", the great chain of being, technique, whereas the "extrapolate up" technique is the modern technique; the former a deanthropomorphization strategy, the latter an anthropomorphization strategy.

This is similar to the way, by comparison, that the term ‘Christian science’ become renamed as creation science and then eventually intelligent design, each being a less tainted or more dormant version of the former, but containing the same difficulties. In other words, often is the case that panexperientialists, typically philosophers with little or not training in chemistry or physics, will force awkward anthropocentric models into chemistry and physics, so as to justify his or her argument, sometimes concluding to the effect that the experimental data of science will need to change to justify their argument.
Left: a 2008 video (Ѻ) "“What is it like to be an atom?" by YouTuber LordImmolation, in which he gives his ten reasons why he rejects panexperientialism. Right: a response (Ѻ) by American philosopher Mathew Segall.

The following are related quotes:

“There must be an infinite number of degrees of consciousness, following the degrees of complication and aggregation of the primordial mind-dust. To prove the separate existence of these degrees of consciousness by indirect evidence, since direct intuition of them is not to be had, becomes therefore the first duty of psychological evolutionism.”
William James (1890), The Principles of Psychology (Ѻ)

See also

1. De Quincey, Christian. (2002). Radical Nature: Rediscovering the Soul of Matter (pgs. 183, 217). Invisible Cities Press.
2. (a) Cobb, Jr, John B., and Griffin, David R. (1977). Mind in Nature: Essays on the Interface of Science and Philosophy (pg. 99). University Press of America.
(b) Weber, Michel and Weekes, Anderson. (2010). Process Approaches to Consciousness (pg. 196). SUNY Press.
(c) David Ray Griffin – Wikipedia.
3. Griffin, David R. (2008). Unsnarling the World-Knot: Consciousness, Freedom, and the Mind-Body Problem (abs). Wipf & Stock Publishers.

External links
Panpsychism (section: panexperientialism) – Wikipedia.

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