Vol 26 No 1 (2010)
Book Reviews

Review of For Love of Matter: A Contemporary Panpsychism by Freya Mathews, SUNY Press, 2003, 213 pp., reviewed by Glen Cosby

Glen Cosby
Spokane Falls Community College
Published February 1, 2010


American philosopher Jacob Needleman once noted, “we live in a time of metaphysical repression and this repression must be lifted.” Symptomatic of this repression is the reduction of nature from physis to mere 'environment', about which he opines, “one cannot stand in wonder in front of the environment, one can only worry.” Were he seeking an able pair of hands to aid in the lifting of this repression, he might well look to those of Australian ecophilosopher Freya Mathews, whose book, For Love of Matter: A Contemporary Panpsychism (2003, SUNY Press) aims a dart to the heart of this repression. Mathews adds that the environment is not something we can encounter in a fully personal way either, it betokens a world that has been rendered mere backdrop, rather than the lodestar for human meanings and purposes. To breathe life back into the corpse that modern metaphysical repression has made of nature will require nothing less than a “metaphysics of reanimation” of a panpsychist bent that can allow again for enchanted encounter to occur.