Soul and World: Fragments written upon reading “Thinking with Whitehead” by Isabelle Stengers

Stengers has succeeded in bringing Whitehead back to life. Whitehead's speculative cosmology succeeds, if it does, by avoiding bifurcations between disassociated categories. Instead of placing "subjective illusion" and "objective reality" in irremediable conflict with one another; instead of separating "man" and "nature," "mind" and "matter," or "God" and "the World" in order to explain one [...]

Bifurcations between Bergson and Einstein

Thanks to Adam for bringing this video to my attention. Bruno Latour speaks above about how contemporary philosophy should re-interpret the verdict of the 1922 exchange between the metaphysician Henri Bergson and the physicist Albert Einstein. He finds a re-interpretation of this debate important especially in light of the new ecological constraints upon 21st century [...]

Ethopoiesis and Eternity

Following up on my post and Sam's and Adam's comments on Monday and Tuesday (6/13-15), Adam sent me a one word text message: 'Ethopoiesis' I have a few thoughts on this neologism I'd like to share. This word carries a complex philosophical cargo, part cultural/artistic and part natural/machinic. Ethopoiesis carries the semantic weight of both [...]

Thinking etho-ecology with Stengers and Whitehead

I've been reading Stengers' recently translated book Thinking with Whitehead (2011) with an eye to developing an eco-ontology, or ecological realism. Adam and I are still in the process of searching for an adequate characterization for this project, but in nuce, we want to untangle the ethical, epistemological, cosmological, and ontological knot that is the ecological [...]

Cosmotheanthropic Realism: On Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” (2011)

Terrence Malick studied philosophy at Harvard before being awarded a Rhodes scholarship. After a short time at Oxford, he left without finishing his dissertation. His adviser there was the behaviorist Gilbert Ryle. Reportedly, he left Oxford because of a disagreement with Ryle concerning how to understand the concept of the "world" in 19th and 20th [...]

Beyond the Bifurcation of Nature

I've been struggling through Isabelle Stengers' newly translated book Thinking with Whitehead: A Free and Wild Creation of Concepts (2011). The first quarter of the book focuses primarily on Whitehead's first explicitly philosophical text, The Concept of Nature (1920), in which he sets for himself the task of avoiding an account of nature based in [...]

The Myth of Eliminativism

Tim Morton drew my attention to this post about the demise of the humanities due to neoliberal economic policies grounded in the supposed truth of neurocomputational eliminativism. I agree with Morton's appraisal, that the eliminative materialism that seems to be gaining favor among philosophers (like Ray Brassier) offers little in the way of new theoretical [...]