Musing on “Consciousness” with William James & Alfred North Whitehead

William James (from "A World of Pure Experience," Part 2, p. 568): “With this we have the outlines of a philosophy of pure experience before us. At the outset of my essay, I called it a mosaic philosophy. In actual mosaics the pieces are held together by their bedding, for which bedding the Substances, transcendental Egos, or Absolutes of [...]

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 [...]

My presentation on Whitehead & Deleuze for the Pacific Association for the Continental Tradition conference at Seattle University

Here's the audio: I'm particularly interested in what folks familiar with Deleuze think about the exchange between me and the woman in the audience during the discussion portion. Am I getting Deleuze's general approach wrong? Here's the text of my paper: pact-2019-conference-presentation.pdf

Lecture and notes on Part I of Whitehead’s “Process & Reality”

This Fall at CIIS.edu, I'm teaching an online advanced seminar on Whitehead's magnum opus, Process & Reality. Here are my reflections on Part I of Process & Reality, "The Speculative Scheme." Note that I discuss Richard Rorty's conference presentation during a symposium on Whitehead at Stanford back in April 2006. Isabelle Stengers and Donna Haraway were [...]

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 [...]

On the Matter of Life: Towards an Integral Economics

I'm posting a revised version of a long essay I wrote a decade ago. It draws on thinkers including Sri Aurobindo, Jean Gebser, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, William Irwin Thompson, Francisco Varela, Alfred North Whitehead, and Alf Hornborg in search of a more integral approach to economics. I had not yet encountered the social ecology [...]

Notes on Deleuze’s “Bergsonism”

Intuition as Method Stating and creating problems Realizing that we are the creators of our own problems gives us “semi-divine power”; those who accept ready-made problems of society are slaves (15) Deleuze: “the history of humanity, from the theoretical as much as from the practical point of view, is the construction of problems. It is [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]