Bruno Latour’s Gaian Political Aesthetics

Excerpted from Waiting for Gaia. “…it became possible for scholars to follow with the same instruments that allow us to trace the production of science (search engines, scientometrics and bibliometric tools, maps of the blogospheres), the people, lobbies, credentials, and money flows of those who insisted on making it a controversy. I am thinking here…

Fragments on Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit

Below are a few reflections after teaching a module on Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit this past week. My natural inclinations draw me to Schelling’s Naturphilosophie, but every time I return to Hegel’s writing after some time apart I start to worry I’ve allowed myself to fall into a caricatured understanding of his trickster-like dialectical method. I’m reminded of…

Media Ecology Conference Paper

Later this month, St. Mary’s College of California will host the 18th Annual Convention of the Media Ecology Association. The conference theme is “Technology, Spirituality, Ecology.” My paper proposal was accepted. The abstract is below Title: A Communicative Cosmos: Toward a Whiteheadian Media Ecology Author: Matthew T. Segall, PhD Affiliation: California Institute of Integral Studies Contact: msegall@ciis.edu…

Diagramming German Idealism

I’m teaching an online graduate course called Mind and Nature in German Idealism this semester. Below I am sharing several diagrams that I’ve developed to depict Kant’s transcendental method as it evolves through the first three critiques, as well as Fichte’s radicalization of the Kantian project. I hope to continue developing this diagram to elucidate Schelling, Goethe,…

“What if we talked politics a little?” By Bruno Latour

“If we are to accomplish the impossible feat of (re)composing a group from a multiplicity or, equally impossible, making a plurality obey a common order, it is necessary above all not to start with beings with fixed opinions, firmly established interests, definitive identities and set wills. This would guarantee failure, for any work of composition…

A Rendition of Raphael’s “School of Athens”

A doctoral student in the course I co-taught last semester (Brief History of Western Thought) created this wonderful drawing based on Raphael’s “School of Athens.” Several of the figures are renditions of the students and faculty in our class. I thought I’d share it. Any guesses which one is me?

Archetypal Panpsychism: Whitehead, Jung, and Hillman

Originally posted on Becca Segall Tarnas:
This upcoming weekend, on January 20 and 21, Matthew Segall and I will be presenting together for the Idaho Friends of Jung in Boise on “Archetypal Panpsychism: Whitehead, Jung, and Hillman.” Together we will make the case that a Whiteheadian cosmology is not only compatible with archetypal psychology, but provides a…

Mind and Nature in German Idealism: A Spring Course at CIIS

There’s still a few weeks left to enroll in my spring course at CIIS.edu as an auditor or special student.  Mind and Nature in German Idealism will start on January 17th and run until May 8th. Email me if you are interested and I can share the syllabus and/or enrollment instructions (msegall@ciis.edu).

Responding to the Alt-Right

After replying to an alt-right tweet this morning, I somehow fell through an interdimensional hyperlink and found myself reading Atlantic Centurion’s blog. Here’s his post explaining the 7 pillars of the alt-right. He elaborates on each of the seven here. I felt like offering a few reactions to each of them, which I’ll write in blue below (I’ll…

David Graeber v. Nicholas Taleb on Political Economy

Here is anarchist anthropologist David Graeber on hierarchy in capitalism and how anthropological value theory can demystify its operations (from his essay, “TURNING MODES OF PRODUCTION INSIDE OUT: OR, WHY CAPITALISM IS A TRANSFORMATION OF SLAVERY”): What I especially want to stress here though is that, when value is about the production of people, it is…

Towards a new root image in natural science…

Here is anthropologist Anne Buchanan on the post-truth era in natural science. I was reminded of my post on the federally-funded Brain Initiative a few years ago. Buchanan includes geneticist Ken Weiss’ list of facts that do not fit the reductionistic paradigm of “normal science” in biology at the end of her post. Weiss and Buchanan…

Thinking Law, Politics, and other Modes of Existence with Bruno Latour

Below I’ve pasted a couple of excerpts from Latour’s work on politics and law. “Why do we regret that politicians ‘don’t tell the truth’? Why do we demand that they be ‘more transparent’? Why do we want ‘less distance between representatives and those whom they represent’? Even more absurd, why do we wish that ‘politicians…

Facing Gaia with Bruno Latour

“…there is nothing about the Earth as Earth that we don’t know through the disciplines, instruments, mediations, and expansion of scientific networks: its size, its composition, its long history and so on. Even farmers depend on the special knowledge of agronomists, soil scientists and others. And this is even truer of the global climate: the…

Organic Science in Schelling and Whitehead

A lecture from last week’s class Brief History of Western Thought on Romanticism and the crisis of modern science as it played out in the organic nature philosophy of Schelling and Whitehead.