John Horgan’s article in “Scientific American” on Panpsychism

John Horgan published an essay in Scientific American a few days ago criticizing Tononi's integrated information theory of consciousness. I don't understand Integrated Information Theory well enough to defend it, but I applaud the effort to make progress toward a scientifically operationalizable definition of consciousness. But it seems to me that part of the problem [...]

Cosmic Pessimism: Response to a post by S.C. Hickman

The Visions of Eternity, by reason of narrowed perceptions, Are become weak Visions of Time & Space, fix’d into furrows of death. -William Blake Read the engaging and wide-ranging post here: The Cosmology of Nick Land: Bataille, Gnosticism, and Contemporary Physics I have noticed my own tendency to waver between a less extreme version of the cosmic pessimism Hickman describes [...]

45th Annual International Jean Gebser Society Conference: Architects of the Integral World @ CIIS Oct. 16-18th, 2015

45th Annual International Jean Gebser Society Conference: Architects of the Integral World IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PHILOSOPHY, COSMOLOGY, AND CONSCIOUSNESS PROGRAM, PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION DEPARTMENT, CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF INTEGRAL STUDIES SAN FRANCISCO, CA ~ OCTOBER 16th–18th, 2015 CALL FOR PAPERS In the winter of 1932, from a grammatical detail in the poetry of Rilke, Jean Gebser intuited an entire shift in the [...]

An interview with Jesse Turri at Home Brewed Christianity on Science, Religion, Imagination, and more…

HERE is the interview. I haven't listened to it yet, but I remember a wide-ranging conversation on everything from my own intellectual and spiritual development, to the relationship between science and religion, to the role of imagination and psychedelics in the philosophy of nature. HERE is Jesse Turri's personal website.

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. [...]

The Psychedelic Eucharist: Is there an Alchemical Solution to the Ecological Crisis?

Some notes toward a talk I'm giving at Burning Man next week. I'll be at camp Cosmicopia (located at 3:45 and Ephesus). The talk is on Wednesday at 4pm. ........................ The word “psychedelic” was coined in the 1950s by the British psychiatrist Humphry Osmond in a letter exchanged with the famed author and philosopher [...]

Soul-Making vs the Blind Brain Theory

Steven Craig Hickman recently posted a fascinating commentary on the fantasy writer R. Scott Bakker's "Blind Brain Theory."  I've offered several of my own commentaries in the past (see HERE). My general sense of unease seems to be shared by Hickman, who ponders towards the end of his post whether Bakker's BBT might be more [...]

Consciousness Between Science and Philosophy (response to Steve Ramirez)

Almost three years ago, Steve Ramirez (neuroscience grad student at MIT) and I exchanged a few videos and blog posts about the scientific study of consciousness (see HERE for a run down). Ramirez began and ended our brief electronic debate convinced that I, like most other philosophers he's encountered, have developed a profound misunderstanding of [...]

Is Physicalism Enough? Can Consciousness be Naturalized? – Owen Flanagan in dialogue with Evan Thompson

Check out the video from their exchange at Northwestern earlier this year. Below are some of my notes and reflections after watching... Owen Flanagan argues that physicalism is the only feasible view. Naturalism is the inference to the best explanation. Conscious states are brain states. At some point in evolutionary history, somehow dead matter came to [...]