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 [...]

Lectures on Timothy Morton’s “Humankind: Solidarity with Nonhuman People”

Process and Difference in the Pluriverse (opening lecture) My Spring course at CIIS.edu finishes up this week with a set of modules on Timothy Morton's book Humankind: Solidarity with Nonhuman People (2017). Earlier in the semester, we read works by Plato, William James, Catherine Keller, William Connolly, Bruno Latour, Anne Pomeroy, and Donna Haraway. Below, I [...]

Process & Difference in the Pluriverse, an online course at CIIS.edu

A trailer for my course being offered this Spring at CIIS.edu. https://youtu.be/MK852X892qQ PARP 6135 Process and Difference in the Pluriverse will explore the ethical, social, political, and ecological implications of process-relational philosophy. You could call it a course in applied or experimental metaphysics. We will read and discuss texts by radical empiricist William James, revolutionary sociologist [...]

Shaviro on Harman and Whitehead: Process- vs. Object-Oriented Philosophies

Harman credits Whitehead for being one of the few daring philosophers "to venture beyond the human sphere" (Guerrilla Metaphysics, 190). Both thinkers share a commitment to anthrodecentrism. They de-center the human by insisting upon a flat ontology, a theory of Being wherein every being exemplifies the same set of metaphysical categories, whether that being be God, or human, [...]

Panpsychism and Speculative Realism: Reviewing Shaviro’s “The Universe of Things”

“The progress of philosophy does not primarily involve reactions of agreement or dissent. It essentially consists in the enlargement of thought, whereby contradictions and agreements are transformed into partial aspects of wider points of view.” -Alfred North Whitehead, September 10, 1941 It is in this spirit that I believe Shaviro wrote The Universe of Things. [...]

Process, Relationality, and Individuality: Graham Harman and Alfred Norht Whitehead (response to Jonathan Cobb)

Relevant links to the argument between me, Levi Bryant, and Graham Harman: Levi Bryant Mis-reading Whitehead? Harman's response to me Whitehead's Process Atomism (Response to Graham Harman) Object as subject-superject, or why Harman is wrong about Whitehead Occasionalism in Whitehead and Harman Harman's Crucified Objects and Whitehead's God: More on Withdrawal    

Unnecessary Mechanism: A Reply to R. Scott Bakker

"The machinery of the brain does all the work–after all, what else is there? What [Cain] calls ‘thinking of science in normative terms’ is a mechanistic enterprise, something our brains do. Since metacognition is all but blind to the mechanistic nature of the brain, it cognizes cognition otherwise, in nonmechanical, acausal, magical terms. Normative judgements, intentional relations, and so [...]

Graham Harman’s Ontology of Style

I liked Harman's reflections on style in philosophy so much I thought I'd paste them here. They are originally from this interview by Brian Davis conducted last year. BD:  Michel Serres has said “philosophy is an anticipation of future thoughts and practices… Not only must philosophy invent, but it also invents the common ground for [...]

Whitehead’s Process Atomism (response to Graham Harman)

Graham Harman has jumped in offering his own response to my recent comment directed at Levi Bryant regarding his interpretation of Whitehead. The core issue, for Harman, is whether Whitehead's position is ultimately reducible to some form of relationism, wherein an actual occasion is no more than the sum of its prehensions, or whether Whitehead's [...]

Levi Bryant Misreading Whitehead?

Re-posting my comment to Bryant's recent criticism of Whitehead and process-relational thought below: Levi, I'm not so sure treating an actual occasion as a "bundle of prehensions" is at all faithful to Whitehead's scheme. Maybe you arguing that some other aspect of his thought forces him into an inconsistency on this point? If that's not [...]

Whitehead’s Endo-Theology

Levi Bryant/Larval Subjects has laid down a clear and clarifying plumb-line definition for a contentious word that finds itself being thrown around the OOO blogosphere from time to time:  Correlationism. It has a fascinating biography. Harman recently offered his version of its history and conceptual origin. Bryant's was a very helpful post for me. His [...]

Whiteheadian thoughts on the thingliness of ideas (responses to Archive Fire and Knowledge Ecology)

Michael/Archive Fire and Adam/Knowledge Ecology are at it again, working to sort through the material, semiotic, and ideational strands of the cosmic mesh to figure out what is real and what isn't. In both positions, I detect a desire for ecological realism, the sort of realism where Santa Claus, mountain pine beetles, global capitalism, black [...]

Whitehead’s Divine Function (response to Knowledge Ecology)

Adam/Knowledge Ecology has responded to my comment about the role of the divine in Whitehead's metaphysical scheme. Let me say at the get go that Whitehead himself acknowledged that he didn't sufficiently work out the relationship between God and the World in Process and Reality. I approach Whitehead's scheme, then, as a hacker might go [...]

Philosophy, society, politics and the decline of America

Jason/Immanence Transcendence brought my attention to this critique of Graham Harman's Object-Oriented Ontology. The critique, written by Alexander Galloway, complains that OOO's lack of a political dimension makes it a nonstarter as a groundwork for philosophizing in public. In today's global context, where neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism have collided (and colluded) to bring Starbucks to Baghdad, [...]