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,…

Etheric Imagination in Process Philosophy from Schelling and Steiner to Whitehead

I’ve just submitted my dissertation proposal for review. Click on the title below for the PDF. Etheric Imagination in Process Philosophy From Schelling and Steiner to Whitehead I welcome suggestions, critiques, sources, and/or extensions. Basically, I’m doing a comparative study of the philosopher Friedrich Schelling, the esotericist Rudolf Steiner, and the mathematician and cosmologist Alfred North…

Saul Bellow on Rudolf Steiner, Boredom, Sleep, and Death

Wanted to share this before going to bed. Here are a few words about “the famous but misunderstood Dr. Rudolf Steiner” from Bellow’s Pulitzer Prize winning work of fiction Humboldt’s Gift: It wasn’t that I minded giving information to honest scholars, or even to young people on the make, but I just then was busy, fiercely, painfully busy–personally…

Historical Background and Overview for “Etheric Imagination in Process Philosophy”

I realized I posted the same section twice last week, so here is the real historical and overview section of my dissertation proposal. ————————————————————————– This dissertation examines the metaphysics of imagination in the process philosophies of Schelling and Whitehead through the hermeneutical lens of a certain stream of Western esotericism. In describing the process-philosophical imagination…

Theoretical Perspectives on Etheric Imagination

The following is the “theoretical perspectives” section of my dissertation. It introduces the ether concept I am attempting to imaginally construct with the help of Schelling, Steiner, and Whitehead. …………………………………….. This dissertation argues that philosophical thinking, to eclipse the dualistic dogmas of today’s commonsense, must ally itself with the creative power of the etheric imagination….

Deleuze’s Pedagogy of Problematic Ideas as an Example of Etheric Imagination

Below is another section of my dissertation proposal… ………………. In What Is Philosophy?, Deleuze and Guattari distinguish between a singular pedagogy of the concept and a universal encyclopedia of the concept.155 What does it mean to say that Deleuze’s philosophical method is pedagogical, rather than encyclopedic? It means that philosophical concepts are not catalogued in…

John Sallis’ Logic of Imagination as an Example of Etheric Imagination

Below is another section of my dissertation proposal. More to come… ……………………………………. John Sallis begins his Force of Imagination: The Sense of the Elemental (2000) by regretting the Husserlian phenomenological tradition’s tendency to subordinate imagination to pure perception in an effort to “[protect] the bodily presence of the perceived from imaginal contamination.”208 Sallis argues that…

Michael Marder’s Vegetal Philosophy as an Example of Etheric Imagination

The following is excerpted from my dissertation proposal, which is tentatively titled “Etheric Imagination in Process Philosophy from Schelling to Whitehead.” I’ll be posting more selections in the coming days.  ………………………………………………….. To become rooted in the etheric forces of imagination, the process philosopher must learn to think like a plant. Michael Marder’s “vegetal metaphysics”80 provides a contemporary…

“American Philosophy and Rudolf Steiner” ed. by Robert McDermott

A note for those interested in American philosophy: my adviser, mentor, and friend Robert McDermott is editing a text to be published later this year by Lindisfarne Books entitled American Philosophy and Rudolf Steiner. It includes essays on Emerson, Thoreau, Peirce, James, Royce, Dewey, Whitehead, and a chapter on feminism. I’m currently copy editing several of…

Rudolf Steiner on Thinking

By what right do you declare the world finished without thinking? Does not the world bring forth thinking in human heads with the same necessity as it brings forth blossoms on the plant? Plant a seed in the earth. It puts forth roots and stem. It unfolds into leaves and blossoms. Set the plant before…

Religion and Philosophy: Thinking, Feeling, and Willing the Absolute

“The object of religion is the same as that of philosophy; it is the eternal verity itself in its objective existence; it is God. Nothing but God and the unfolding of God… [P]hilosophy in unfolding religion merely unfolds itself, and in unfolding itself it unfolds religion.” -Hegel “Philosophy is the intellectual search for the fundamental…