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

Audio from International Whitehead Conference in Krakow

Here is the audio of my presentation at the IWC last week in the philosophy of religion section:

Here is a PDF of the paper I read, titled “Worldly Religion in Whitehead and Deleuze: Steps Toward an Incarnational Philosophy”

Also, thanks to Leon over at afterxnature.blogspot.com for posting my presentation, as well.



8 responses to “Audio from International Whitehead Conference in Krakow”

  1. dmfant Avatar

    came to listen to the audio via afternature, was wondering if you have read Dewey’s Common Faith and how your project might differ from his which for all its merits was largely stillborn on arrival and also if you have had a chance to read Caputo’s book on the “weakness” of God, thanks!

    1. Matthew David Segall Avatar

      I haven’t read Dewey in almost 6 years, but he was definitely an early influence on me. I will re-read “a common faith” b/c of your reminder.

      As for Caputo, I’ve watched him lecture on this concept, but I should also read his book. It’s on my list.


    2. Matthew David Segall Avatar

      All in all I agree with Dewey that religiosity needs to be freed of any dependence on so-called “supernatural” entities. Nature already contains transcendences within it and so transcends itself; there is no need to add on an extra dimension.

      1. dmfant Avatar

        well from an intellectual perspective I can see the appeal of a naturalistic and even poetic mode of approaching these matters but it seems that by and large the broad appeal of religions is exactly the supernatural entities part so if we are racing the clock to save the world from our destructive impulses/activities I’m afraid that this isn’t a very pragmatic approach despite its pragmatist genealogy. Will be interested if you get a chance to check out those other folks works what you make of them, cheers.

      2. Matthew David Segall Avatar

        I don’t think the broad appeal of religion has anything to do with supernatural entities. Even in the case of American fundies arguing for creationism, I’d say what’s really going on is a in-group/out-group thing, where it’s not so much the ontological status of non-natural entities that is at stake, but the security of one’s community and values. From a fundamentalist’s point of view, those who accept Darwinian evolution are suspect primarily for ethical reasons, because they tend to adopt a less community/family oriented, more individualist life style that is threatening to what they hold dear. So in other words, your everyday religious believer may abstractly theorize their belief in such a way that supernatural entities seem most important; but in reality, what they are really trying to defend are not abstract propositional statements about reality, but concrete relationships and family values.

      3. Matthew David Segall Avatar

        I’d say the least pragmatic approach at this point would be to pretend that the 95% of the world that believes in God or it’s spiritual equivalent could somehow be written off as just too stupid or deluded to help push the world in a more viable direction. If we’re going to steer this ship clear of the iceberg that is already gouging our hull before it’s too late, we’re going to need the assistance of the religious majority, which means we’re going to need to do a bit of hermeneutical massaging to draw out the ecologically and socially relevant dimensions of their sacred texts and rituals.

      4. dmfant Avatar

        we will indeed need significant numbers and all manner of diplomacy, but if we try and reduce their own deeply held world-views (and devoted relations real and imagined) to mere and unsubstantiated speculative functionalist accounts we will have no chance from the start, they don’t believe in their gods via abstractions/theology they know their gods via practices/socialization/object-relations, see for example:

        Click to access web

  2. An email exchange on Cosmology and Theodicy | Footnotes 2 Plato Avatar

    […] creation to obey his commands, but works gently by way of erotic, moral, and aesthetic persuasion. I presented a paper recently that further fleshes out Whitehead’s psychocosmotheology called … I In short, for Whitehead, evil is not God’s fault, but is a side effect of creative […]

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: