William Clifford

William CliffordIn existographies, William Clifford (1845-1879) (IQ:175|#206) (Siegfried 10:3) (Re:34) was an English mathematician, philosopher, and panpsychist (Skrbina, 2005), noted for []

In 1874, Clifford, in his “Body and Mind”, claimed that science had bridged the gap between organic and inorganic, that the same chemical elements and laws of physics applied to both realms, and hence the laws of organic were only a “complication” of the inorganic.

“That element of which, as we have seen, even the simplest feeling is a complex, I shall call mind-stuff. A moving molecule of inorganic matter does not possess mind or consciousness; but it possesses a small piece of mind-stuff. When molecules are so combined together as to form the film on the under side of a jelly-fish, the elements of mind-stuff which go along with them are so combined as to form the faint beginnings of sentience. When the molecules are so combined as to form the brain and nervous system of a vertebrate, the corresponding elements of mind-stuff are so combined as to form some kind of consciousness; that is to say, changes in the complex which take place at the same time get so linked together that the repetition of one implies the repetition of the other. When matter takes the complex form of a living human brain, the corresponding mind-stuff takes the form of a human consciousness, having intelligence and volition.”
— William Clifford (1878), “On the Nature of Things-in-Themselves” [2]

Clifford, supposedly, arrived at a form of Spinozan parallelism that incorporated elements of Julien La Mettrie’s and Denis Diderot’s vitalistic materialism. [1]

Clifford, supposedly, was the first to suggest that gravitation might be a manifestation of an underlying geometry.

“I hold that in the physical world nothing else takes place but this variation [of the curvature of space].”
— William Clifford (c.1875), “Article” (Ѻ), in: Mathematical Papers, 1882


Clifford was influential to Charles Peirce.

Quotes | By
The following are quotes by Clifford:

“It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.”
— William Clifford (1877), The Ethics of Belief (Ѻ)

“A little reflection will show us that every belief, even the simplest and most fundamental, goes beyond experience when regarded as a guide to our actions.”
— William Clifford (c.1877)

“When an action is once done, it is right or wrong for ever; no accidental failure of its good or evil fruits can possibly alter that.”
— William Clifford (c.1877)

“If a man, holding a belief which he was taught in childhood or persuaded of afterwards, keeps down and pushes away any doubts which arise about it in his mind, purposely avoids the reading of books and the company of men that call in question or discuss it, and regards as impious those questions which cannot easily be asked without disturbing it — the life of that man is one long sin against mankind.”
— William Clifford (1879), “Article” (Ѻ), Contemporary Review

1. (a) Skrbina, David. (2005). Panpsychism in the West (thermodynamics, pgs. 13, 151; panpsychist philosophers, pg. 155). MIT Press.
(b) Skrbina, David. (2017). Panpsychism in the West: Revised Edition (Clifford, 12+ pgs). MIT Press.
2. Clifford, William. (1878). “On the Nature of Things-in-Themselves” (Ѻ), Mind, 3(9):57-67.

External links
William Kingdon Clifford – Wikipedia.

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