Cosmopsychism and the problem of evil

Harvey Cawdron*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cosmopsychism, the idea that the universe is conscious, is experiencing something of a revival as an explanation of consciousness in philosophy of mind and is also making inroads into philosophy of religion. In the latter field, it has been used to formulate models of certain forms of theism, such as pantheism and panentheism, and has also been proposed as a rival to the classical theism of the Abrahamic faiths. It has been claimed by Philip Goff that a certain form of cosmopsychism, namely agentive cosmopsychism, poses a threat to classical theism because it can explain features of the universe like fine-tuning without having to deal with the problem of evil. This is because, unlike the classical theist, the cosmopsychist can deny at least one of the divine attributes motivating the problem of evil, namely omniscience, omnipotence, and omnibenevolence. In this paper, I shall consider which of the divine attributes the cosmopsychist should focus on when responding to the problem of evil and shall conclude that the rejection of omnibenevolence is the most satisfactory option.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
Early online date24 Jun 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jun 2023


  • Cosmopsychism
  • Classical theism
  • Evil
  • Fine-tuning


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