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

Category: Ptolemy

  • Are there alternatives to the Big Bang?

    In November, Tim Eastman and I were invited by the Cobb Institute to reflect on the status of the cosmological theory popularly known as the “Big Bang,” a.k.a. the ΛCDM (Lambda cold dark matter) or Lambda-CDM model. Earlier this year, NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope came on line. Its huge mirrors allow for a six fold…

  • Physics of the World-Soul: Whitehead’s Adventure in Cosmology (2021)

    A new revised and expanded edition of my book Physics of the World-Soul: Whitehead’s Adventure in Cosmology is now available in paperback and electronic versions.

  • “Astrology: Science, Art, or Religion?”

    “Astrology: Science, Art, or Religion?”

    Here’s the recording of a lecture that Becca Tarnas and I delivered last night for the Atlanta Astrological Society. Here are some relevant links if you want a more in depth discussion on some of what I mention in this lecture: The Politics of Renaissance Hermeticism, and the Magic of Science The Copernican Odyssey: From…

  • Whitehead’s Radically Empirical Theory of General Relativity

    Whitehead’s Radically Empirical Theory of General Relativity

    “The doctrine of relativity affects every branch of natural science, not excluding the biological sciences. . . . Relativity, in the form of novel formulae relating time and space, first developed in connection with electromagnetism. . . . Einstein then proceeded to show its bearing on the formulae for gravitation. It so happens therefore that…

  • Searching for Stars: A Conversation with Alan Lightman

  • 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,…

  • The Politics of Renaissance Hermeticism, and the Magic of Science

    I’ve been reading Frances Yates’ Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition (1964). Part of her project is to dispel the myth that Bruno was burnt at the stake primarily for his heliocentrism and generally scientific and materialist attitude. This was certainly one of the Roman Inquisitions many accusations, but the real reasons the Church lit…

  • The Poetics of Copernican Cosmology

    In his cosmographic study of the Copernican Revolution,The Poetic Structure of the World (1987), Fernand Hallyn entirely re-envisions the foundations of modern science. Instead of reading Copernicus’ break with the geocentric scheme as a rejection of the enchanted cosmos of the ancient world, Hallyn makes clear that Copernicus himself believed he was only making ancient…