“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
–Alfred North Whitehead

Month: April 2012

  • Fragments of a Romantic Theory of Evolution

    Darwin is supposed to have discovered something nowadays called “evolution” and to have laid to rest something nowadays called “creationism.” But if this is so, what are we to make of the theories of Schelling and Goethe in Germany, and of Coleridge in England, articulated several decades earlier than he? Their Romantic conception of the […]


  • Asking Terrence Deacon about Whitehead’s Reformed Platonism

    A few weeks back, Jason/Immanent Transcendence asked me if I’d like to start a reading group with him this summer for Terrence Deacon‘s new book. A few days later, I found out he’d be lecturing in San Francisco… I was impressed and hope to encourage more of you to join our reading/discussion group! I’ve transcribed the […]


  • Question for my readers…

    WordPress has offered to allow me to place ads on my page in order to bring in a little revenue for my traffic. It’s tough to say how much I’d actually make until I try it, but as a graduate student, every little bit helps. The thing is, I’m at bit uneasy about mixing marketing […]


  • “Hymn to the Sacred Body of the Universe” by Drew Dellinger

    Drew Dellinger.


  • Responses to Archive Fire and Immanent Transcendence: Egos, Ideas, and Eternal Events

    Jason/Immanent Transcendence and Michael/Archive Fire have been continuing the discussion that began almost two weeks ago HERE and HERE. In his latest response to me, Michael writes: Matt wants to think the Absolute (unity), with an eye towards cultivating the existential implications which flow from an acquaintance therein, while I want to think the Possible (multiplicity), with a wonky fish […]


  • Participatory Psychedelia: Transpersonal Theory, Religious Studies, and Chemically-Altered (Alchemical) Consciousness [final draft]

    Participatory Psychedelia:  Transpersonal Theory, Religious Studies, and Chemically- Altered (Alchemical) Consciousness Photo: Tree of Life by Ron Barnett Preface: Take it and eat it. Walking alone on a quiet beach at dawn, I found an old, leather-bound book half buried in the sand whose title, once stamped with golden letters, was now too worn to […]


  • Lecture by Prof. Brian Swimme – “Another Step Forward: Navigating a Seamless Universe”

    Cosmologist Brian Swimme will be presenting at the PCC Forum at CIIS in San Francisco, CA this Friday, April 27th at 6:30pm in room 565. The lecture is free and open to the public.


  • Terence Mckenna on The Creative Advance into Novelty


  • Whitehead and the Role of Ideas in the Universe: A Psychedelic Experiment

    “[In the philosophy of organism], the actualities constituting the process of the world are conceived as exemplifying the ingression (or ‘participation’) of other things which constitute the potentialities of definiteness for any actual existence. The things which are temporal arise by their participation in the things which are eternal. The two sets are mediated by […]


  • The Eternal Form of Philosophy (a response to Archive Fire)

    Michael/Archive Fire has just written a gracious and astute response to my recent comment about Whitehead’s reformed Platonism. He has made me aware of the fact that my referring to Whitehead or to Plato in the hopes that they offer some sort of authoritative disambiguation is insufficient to support the arguments I am trying to […]


  • The Americosmos by Darrin Drda

    Below is a mandalic depiction of the shadow side of the American way of life, drawn by my friend Darrin Drda, author of The Four Global Truths: Awakening to the Peril and Promise of Our Times. It is modeled after the Tibetan Buddhist Bhavacakra (a mandalic depiction of samsara). Darrin’s description of the various realms is […]


  • Formal Causality and Materialism

    There have been a flurry of responses recently to an exchange between Michael/Archive Fire and I regarding formal causality (also, be sure to read Adam/Knowledge Ecology‘s comments over on Archive Fire for a nice defense of Whitehead). Jason/Immanent Transcendence posted some of his reflections, relating the issue to the old debate between realists and nominalists. […]


  • Wordle of recent posts…


  • Whitehead, Eternal Objects, and God

    Those who take the time to familiarize themselves with Whitehead’s philosophy are almost always lead to praise him for the originality of his thought. He dissolves many longstanding problems by rooting abstract disembodied reason in concrete feelings of inheritance. The subject-to-object vector of the Kantian school of philosophy is reversed, such that the structure of […]


  • Graham Harman on Atheism

    Graham Harman recently posted about the tendency of atheist intellectuals to dismiss anyone with a theistic worldview: Disbelief in God was cutting-edge in the 1600′s and is still cutting edge at age 15. I’m not saying you should believe in God after those two landmarks; I’ll leave that up to you. I’m just saying, it […]


  • Purpose in Living Systems

    Levi Bryant and I have been going back and forth over at Larval Subjects about the role of formal and final causation in the explanation of living systems. He argues that Darwin forever banished teleology from nature, or at least showed how the apparent purposiveness of organisms is a result of an entirely non-teleological process. […]


  • “Whitehead, LSD, and Transpersonal Psychology” by Leonard Gibson

    This is a truly fascinating piece written by Leonard Gibson bringing Whitehead into conversation with Stan Grof. Gibson uses Whitehead’s account of experience to undertake a rhetorical explication of the LSD experience. A few samples: Every event prehends the entire universe, with gradations of relevance. In our ordinary perception of events we take into account […]