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

Tag: ecology

  • What is Life? (Response to Joe Norman)

    Sharing my reply below to a brilliant series of thoughts concerning the essence of life at Joseph W. Norman’s blog (CLICK HERE TO READ IT). Joe, Thanks for pointing out the relevance of N. Taleb’s distinction between randomness and an agent’s exposure to randomness for the question of “life.” Much to ponder here… My friendship with […]


  • Bruno Latour’s Gaian Political Aesthetics

    Bruno Latour’s Gaian Political Aesthetics

    Excerpted from Waiting for Gaia. “…it became possible for scholars to follow with the same instruments that allow us to trace the production of science (search engines, scientometrics and bibliometric tools, maps of the blogospheres), the people, lobbies, credentials, and money flows of those who insisted on making it a controversy. I am thinking here […]


  • Facing Gaia with Bruno Latour

    Facing Gaia with Bruno Latour

    “…there is nothing about the Earth as Earth that we don’t know through the disciplines, instruments, mediations, and expansion of scientific networks: its size, its composition, its long history and so on. Even farmers depend on the special knowledge of agronomists, soil scientists and others. And this is even truer of the global climate: the […]


  • Organic Science in Schelling and Whitehead

    Organic Science in Schelling and Whitehead

    A lecture from last week’s class Brief History of Western Thought on Romanticism and the crisis of modern science as it played out in the organic nature philosophy of Schelling and Whitehead.


  • Slavery and Capitalism in America

    Slavery and Capitalism in America

    I’m about halfway through The Half has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism (2014) by Edward Baptist. Baptist’s book embeds an economic history of post-revolutionary America in the personal stories of slaves. He brings into question the still dominant version of American history, “the half that has ever been told,” which argues that slavery […]


  • The Ecology of Capitalism

    The Ecology of Capitalism

    This post is largely in response to this interview with the ecological Marxist John Bellamy Foster. Foster spends most of his time responding to criticisms of his work by Jason W. Moore. I haven’t read Moore’s work, so I’m not sure whether the misunderstanding of Latour arose with him or with Foster’s characterization of the latters “constructionism” […]


  • A talk on Ecodelic Philosophy at the Symbiosis Gathering

    A talk on Ecodelic Philosophy at the Symbiosis Gathering

    I’m headed back to the Symbiosis Gathering later this year. I’ll be offering a talk on the role of psychedelics–or “ecodelics” as author Richard Doyle refers to them–and the philosophical insights they engender that may be of service to steering through our planetary crisis. When ingested in carefully crafted ceremonial containers, ecodelics reveal the deeper connections and interpenetration of […]


  • CIIS Commencement Speech 5/22

    CIIS Commencement Speech 5/22

    Thank you, President Subbiondo. Thanks also to our Academic Vice President Judie Wexler, to our honorary degree recipients Angela Davis and Josef Brinckmann, and to all CIIS faculty and staff for the work you have done to make this day possible for me and for my fellow graduates. I am a philosopher, which is not to […]


  • In defense of other possibilities…

    I always try to ration myself early in the month since I only get 10 free articles, but Charles Blow’s op-ed in the New York Times this morning–“A Trump-Sanders Coalition? Nah”–seemed worth the read. Blow rightly points out why Trump’s campaign manager is sorely mistaken about the prospects of winning over Bernie’s supporters in the general […]


  • Essay republished in “Center for Ecozoic Studies Musings”

    I forgot to link to this back in July, but Herman Greene, editor of the CES Musings newsletter, republished my essay Physics of the World-Soul: The Relevance of Alfred North Whitehead’s Philosophy of Organism to Contemporary Scientific Cosmology (2013) in their December 2014 issue. You can find the PDF of the issue by clicking here. Or […]


  • Latour building on Whitehead’s critique of substance

    In Latour’s words, Whitehead replaced the concept of substance with that of subsistence. I appreciate Latour’s insistence on the need for the creation of institutions that encourage and sustain themselves through transformation. Question is, what would such institutions look like?


  • Religion, Ecology, Race, and Cultural Evolution

    “Today we cannot ignore that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach and should integrate justice in discussions on the environment to hear both the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor.” -Pope Francis (n.49) Pope Francis released his encyclical last week. The English translation is HERE. I have only […]


  • Pope Francis an Integral Ecologist?

    Next week, Pope Francis will release an encyclical on the role of Catholics in the ecological crisis.  According to John Grimm (Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale University), “Francis will likely bring together issues of social justice and economic inequity into relationship with our growing understanding of global climate change and environmental trauma.” By […]


  • Schedule for our track at next week’s Whitehead/Ecological Civilization Conference

    Section III: Alienation from Nature, How it Arose Track 3: Late Modernity and Its Re-Imagining (Lebus Hall, 201) Friday, June 5 2:00 PM – 2:45 PM Track Session #1a – Tam Hunt “Absent-minded science and the ‘deep science’ antidote” 2:45 PM – 3:30 PM Track Session #1b – Christian de Quincey “A Radical Science of […]


  • Eric Smith on the geochemical inevitability of life on earth

    For more from Smith, see this co-authored essay “The Origin of Life”: “As we see it, the early steps on the way to life are an inevitable, incremental result of the operation of the laws of chemistry and physics operating under the conditions that existed on the early Earth, a result that can be understood […]


  • ERIE Talk: The Extended Mind Thesis and the Ecologization of Consciousness

    A talk I gave for ERIE at CIIS a few months ago building on (an admittedly loose interpretation of) Andy Clark’s extended mind thesis and Richard Doyle’s ideas about the role of psychedelics in human evolution:


  • 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.


  • Towards an abstract for my presentation at the International Whitehead Conference, “Re-imagining Late Modernity’s Reductive Monism”

    My track at this year’s International Whitehead Conference is titled “Re-imagining Late Modernity’s Reductive Monism” and is situated within the umbrella section called “Alienation from Nature: How It Arose.” Other participants in my track include Elizabeth Allison, Sean Kelly, Richard Tarnas, and Brian Swimme. I hope to have the schedule and abstracts for everyone’s contributions posted by the […]


  • Bruno Latour and Rowan Williams on Religion and Ecology

    A very wide-ranging and far-reaching conversation. Economics, the “ownership theory” made and sold to students at the London School of Economics and many other Universities around the neoliberal globe, is put on trial by both Latour and Williams. Latour goes so far as to stick a poison label on it. About 10 minutes in, Williams’ […]


  • 2015 Whitehead Conference Poster – “Seizing an Alternative: Towards an Ecological Civilization”

    More about the conference, and my track, can be found HERE and HERE. 


  • Towards an Ecological Metaphysics

    Leon Niemoczynski (here) and Adam Robbert (here) have been having a productive back and forth regarding the prospect of an ecological metaphysics. Speculative Realism is not far afield of their conversation, with subslogans like “dark vitalism,” “new materialism,” and “bleak theology,” and key influences like Plato, Schelling, Nietzsche, and Deleuze, all hovering in the background. They […]