Thoughts on William James, Pure Experience, and Materialism

Idealism and panpsychism seem to me to make easy friends in the debate against materialism. They both affirm that consciousness or experience or mind in some generic sense are intrinsic to Nature. There are important differences between idealism and panpsychism, of course, and there are a variety of ways one can be an idealist or [...]

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 [...]

“Electrons Don’t Think” by Sabine Hossenfelder

The following is a comment I posted on the physicist and blogger Sabine Hossenfelder's blog Backreaction to a post titled "Electrons Don't Think." https://backreaction.blogspot.com/2019/01/electrons-dont-think.html Hi Sabine. I discovered your blog last night after Googling "Carlo Rovelli and Alfred North Whitehead." It brought me to Tam Hunt's interview with Rovelli. I have been studying Rovelli's popular [...]

Politics and Pluralism in the Anthropocene

Notes from a talk I gave at CIIS this past March titled "Politics and Pluralism in the Anthropocene" Here's the video of the whole panel: https://youtu.be/sgoAZV4VVsc Foucault on Hegel: “[T]ruly to escape Hegel involves an exact appreciation of the price we have to pay to detach ourselves from him. It assumes that we are aware of the [...]

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 [...]

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 and Difference in the Pluriverse: Plato, William James, & W.E.B. Du Bois

I'm sharing the lecture from the first module of my course this semester at CIIS.edu, PARP 6135: Process and Difference in the Pluriverse. The lecture discusses Plato's Republic, William James' pluralism, and W.E.B. Du Bois' critical inheritance of James' philosophy. Here's a PDF transcript of the lecture

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 [...]

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.