Cosmopsychism and the metaphysics of original sin

  • Harvey Cawdron

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis (PhD)


Consciousness and original sin are two concepts that have both generated philosophical problems that have proven to be enormously challenging for scholars to grapple with. In this thesis, I shall consider how a solution to the problems found in discussions of the former topic can help us resolve issues found in discussions of the latter. I shall use cosmopsychism – the thesis that the universe is conscious – to resolve conceptual problems with the doctrine of original sin. I shall begin by explaining the issues faced in contemporary scholarship on original sin. After this, I shall outline cosmopsychism and its place in the debate in contemporary philosophy of mind, and shall then show that it is compatible with classical Christian theism. I shall then construct two cosmopsychist models of original sin – each capturing a different understanding of the doctrine – and shall show how these models can address the difficulties faced in scholarship on original sin.
Date of Award11 Jun 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of St Andrews
SupervisorOliver Daniel Crisp (Supervisor) & Joanna Margaret Buchanan Leidenhag (Supervisor)


  • Cosmopsychism
  • Original sin
  • Original guilt
  • Moral responsibility
  • Persistence
  • Analytic theology

Access Status

  • Full text embargoed until
  • 19 April 2029

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