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

Category: Galileo

  • Introduction to Process Philosophy

    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 […]


  • “Retrieving Realism: A Whiteheadian Wager” published in IJTS

    “Retrieving Realism: A Whiteheadian Wager” published in IJTS

    Retrieving Realism: A Whiteheadian Wager (PDF) Published in International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, Volume 36, Issue 1 (2017) Abstract: This essay argues that the organic realism of Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) provides a viable alternative to anti-realist tendencies in modern and postmodern philosophy since Descartes. The metaphysical merits of Whitehead’s philosophy of organism are unpacked in […]


  • My Online Course this Fall: PARP 6133 – Whitehead’s Adventure in Cosmology

    My Online Course this Fall: PARP 6133 – Whitehead’s Adventure in Cosmology

    I’m teaching another online graduate course for CIIS.edu this Fall (Aug-Dec) called Whitehead’s Adventure in Cosmology: Toward a Physics of the World-Soul (PARP 6133). Here is the proposed syllabus. Auditors and Special Students are welcome to enroll. Email me at msegall@ciis.edu for more information about how to do this.


  • Brian Swimme on “Why We Study the Universe”

    Brian Swimme on “Why We Study the Universe”


  • Physics of the World-Soul: Whitehead and Cosmology (2nd edition)

    I decided to revise and republish a second edition of my 2013 monograph on the relevance of Alfred North Whitehead’s philosophy of organism to contemporary scientific cosmology. It should be available in paperback in a few weeks. Here is a PDF if you prefer an electronic version.  


  • Pre-Defense Dissertation Draft Completed

    My dissertation defense is on Monday morning. I’ve just finished the “pre-defense” draft. I have until April 11th to finalize the published version. Below are the abstract, table of contents, and acknowledgements.  Jacob Sherman, PhD, Chair Associate Professor, Philosophy and Religion Department, California Institute of Integral Studies   Sean Kelly, PhD Professor, Philosophy and Religion Department, […]


  • Minding Time: Chronos, Kairos, and Aion in an Archetypal Cosmos

    Notes for a brief talk I gave today at CIIS. [Update (July 15, 2016): This talk was expanded into an article published in Archai: The Journal of Archetypal Cosmology] ………………………………………………………………………………..  “…what is time? Who can give that a brief or easy answer? Who can even form a conception of it to be put into words? Yet […]


  • Neil DeGrasse Tyson on 60 Minutes.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/neil-degrasse-tyson-astrophysicist-charlie-rose-60-minutes/That little dot, Tyson tells us, is Earth, as photographed from Saturn by the Cassini spacecraft. But an earlier photograph was even more world-shattering, that taken of “earthrise” on the Moon by astronaut William Anders. This image, says Tyson, gave birth to the cosmic perspective in the collective imagination. He traces the origins of the ecological […]


  • Bill Nye the Science Guy vs. Ken Ham the Creationist Bloke

    Whatever you do, don’t go watch the entirety of the three hour debate that Bill Nye and Ken Ham just had at the Creationist Museum in Kentucky. Total waste of time. If you are interested in the “Science and Religion” dialogue, do watch at least the last 4 minutes. Here is a link. Fast forward to […]


  • Teleology in Science? Purpose in Nature?

    I’ve just read Grant Maxwell’s critique of a HuffPo piece by Matthew Hutson. I enjoyed his rebuttal of Hutson’s blanket rejection realism regarding teleology. I am also enjoying the discussion Grant is having with Hutson down in the comments. I do not think Hutson has read the work of organic/creative finalists like Bergson or Whitehead. […]


  • Reflections on Latour, Tarnas, and the Misenchantment of the World

    Before you read this post, go watch Bruno Latour’s recent Gifford Lectures at the University of Edinburgh, titled “Facing Gaia: A New Enquiry into Natural Religion” (or read the PDF version). I’ve written a few short commentaries on these lectures that may help bring you up to speed if you don’t have the 7 or 8 hours to […]


  • Latour’s 4th Gifford – “The Anthropocene and the Destruction of the Image of the Globe”

    My summary: By 2016, the world’s geologists will officially decide whether or not Earth has entered a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. From Latour’s non-modern perspective, neither “nature” nor “society” can enter this new epoch unscathed. The theater of Modern history has been destroyed and must be re-constructed from scratch. Gone is the passive stage, […]


  • Reflections on Bruno Latour’s 3rd Gifford Lecture – “The Puzzling Face of a Secular Gaia”

    Latour marvels at the reverse symmetry of the discoveries of Galileo and Lovelock. Both transformed humanity’s perspective of the Earth (and itself) by pointing cheap instruments to the sky. In the 17th century, Galileo dissolved the lunar membrane that had separated heaven and earth. He expanded the laws of nature into the distant reaches of space, dislodging Earth […]


  • PDF of “Physics of the World-Soul: The Relevance of Alfred North Whitehead’s Philosophy of Organism to Contemporary Scientific Cosmology” [and Table of Contents]

    Here’s a hyperlinked outline of a long essay on Whitehead and scientific cosmology that I’ll post in sections. Here is a link to a PDF of the complete essay: Physics of the World-Soul: The Relevance of A. N. Whitehead’s Philosophy of Organism to Contemporary Scientific Cosmology Table of Contents I. Introduction: From Physics to Philosophy II. The […]


  • Thinking With Whitehead: Science, Sunsets, and the Bifurcation of Nature

    Thinking with Whitehead: The Scientific Revolution and the Bifurcation of Nature   The scientific revolution, beginning perhaps with Copernicus’ rediscovery of the heliocentric model of the solar system early in the 16th century, and culminating perhaps with Newton’s formulation of the laws of motion and universal gravitation towards the end of the 17th century, fundamentally […]


  • The Poetry of Philosophy: Wordsworth’s Poetic Vision of Nature in Light of Whitehead’s Cosmological Scheme

    The aim of this essay is to read the nature poetry of William Wordsworth in light of the metaphysics of Alfred North Whitehead, such that the epistemological and cosmological implications of the former are brought more fully into philosophical view. According to Victor Lowe, it is probable that no other man, save Plato, shaped the […]


  • Aristotle and the historical myopia of science

    Another response to PZ Myers’ blog. I’m responding to this fellow in particular:   Aristotle decided observation was irrelevant? Are you joking? If we are going to base physics on how nature is actually experienced, then Galileo is the one ignoring observation. Galilean physics are based on ideal geometrical models, not actual observation, where friction […]