Physicalism and Its Discontents: A Study in Whitehead’s Panexperientialist Alternative [draft]

UPDATE: Here is a PDF of the final draft accepted for publication under the revised title "The Varieties of Physicalist Ontology: A Study in Whitehead's Process-Relational Alternative." I've just finished drafting this article, which will hopefully be featured in a special issue of the Journal of Philosophy, Theology, and the Sciences focused on panpsychism. It still [...]

Physics and Freedom

"Scientists, animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless, constitute an interesting subject for study." -Alfred North Whitehead, The Function of Reason I'm a frequent reader of the theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder's blog Backreaction. She has helped me better understand many difficult concepts in contemporary theoretical physics. I've benefited in particular from the times she has weighed in on [...]

From pedagogy to cosmology with A. N. Whitehead

A student in my course this semester asked a great question recently: "How is Whitehead's cosmology related to his pedagogy?" Many commentators find it strange that Whitehead decided to include (and indeed to conclude) his book Aims of Education with a few chapters on relativistic space and time. What on earth does his alternative interpretation [...]

Time and Experience in Physics and Philosophy [draft]

[Update 3/28/2019: Here is a PDF of the final draft prior to my conference presentation: "Time and Experience in Physics and Philosophy: Whiteheadian Reflections on Bergson, Einstein, and Rovelli."  This will eventually be published in an anthology with the other conference papers and is likely to undergo further revisions at a later date.] Below is a [...]

Who is Alfred North Whitehead & What is Process Philosophy?

Environmental lawyer, philosopher, and fellow Whitehead enthusiast Tam Hunt and I started an email exchange a few weeks ago after I stumbled upon his interview with the physicist Carol Rovelli. Our emails grew into a pretty extensive conversation on all things Whitehead, which I am sharing below. We discuss the importance of Whitehead's ideas for [...]

“Electrons Don’t Think” by Sabine Hossenfelder

The following is a comment I posted on the physicist and blogger Sabine Hossenfelder's blog Backreaction to a post titled "Electrons Don't Think." https://backreaction.blogspot.com/2019/01/electrons-dont-think.html Hi Sabine. I discovered your blog last night after Googling "Carlo Rovelli and Alfred North Whitehead." It brought me to Tam Hunt's interview with Rovelli. I have been studying Rovelli's popular [...]

Integrating Space-Time: Non-Dual Idealism, or Physics of the World-Soul?

Metaphysics is serious play. Serious because (if done well) it demands a reckoning with death, with limit as such, with finitude and necessity. Play because (if done well) it frees us from our perceived finitude to partake in the process of realization itself. Materialism and idealism, though mutuality exclusive as metaphysical positions, are nonetheless symbiotically [...]

Whitehead’s Quantum of Explanation: Thinking with Auxier and Herstein

“Our central idea is that concrete existence explains the abstract aspects of experience and not vice-versa.” -Auxier and Herstein “So long as necessity is taken to be the guarantor of rationality, the conception of rationality advocated will be as useless to science as it is to practical life.” -Auxier and Herstein Below I offer some [...]

“Intersect: Science & Spirituality” – a conference in Telluride, CO

INTERSECT: Science & Spirituality Join us for a 2-Day Conversational Conference (July 27-29th) for the purpose of Exploring Syngergies between the world of Science and the world of Spirituality. Topics to include Cosmology, Ecology, Sustainability, and Consciousness. Speakers include: Drew Dellinger, John Hausdoerffer, Matthew Segall and Brian Swimme (via video). Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/intersect-science-spirituality-tickets-4239963846

‘Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine’ by Alan Lightman

[Update 4/19: listen to the interview here] On Thursday at CIIS, I'll interview physicist and novelist Alan Lightman, author of the just published Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine (2018). As of this writing, Lightman's book is #1 in Metaphysics on Amazon.com.*  Lightman begins his reflections in a cave in Font-de-Gaume, France, famous for its adornment of [...]

Introduction to Process Philosophy

Below is a lecture recorded for the online course PARP 6060 02 - Introduction to Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness at CIIS.edu. I first discuss the meaning of philosophy from a Whiteheadian perspective, then run through a brief history of philosophy as relevant to process thought (Parmenides, Heraclitus, Plato, Aristotle, Copernicus, Descartes, Newton, Kant and his [...]