Towards a new root image in natural science…

Here is anthropologist Anne Buchanan on the post-truth era in natural science. I was reminded of my post on the federally-funded Brain Initiative a few years ago. Buchanan includes geneticist Ken Weiss' list of facts that do not fit the reductionistic paradigm of "normal science" in biology at the end of her post. Weiss and Buchanan …

Thoughts on System in Kant and Whitehead

A reading group I've participated in for several years now just finished Shaviro's Without Criteria. We wrapped up the discussion thinking through, among other things, the contrasting conceptions of "system" articulated in Kant's and Whitehead's works. Here are some excerpts from the two philosophers that get at the contrast. "The reader must naturally have a strong …

CIIS Commencement Speech 5/22

https://youtu.be/DeRQMTpRnAM 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 …

Towards an Aesthetic Ontology: Beauty, Sublimity, and Infinity

“Two things fill the mind with ever-renewing wonder and awe, the more often and the more intensely the mind is drawn to think of them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.” So says Kant in the preface to his Critique of Practical Reason. He goes on to explain that neither the …

Video of my presentations at the 10th International Whitehead Conference on Friday (6/5) and Saturday (6/6)

Conference website. Friday, June 5th at 4:45pm: Whitehead's Non-Modern Philosophy: Cosmos and Polis in the Pluriverse Saturday June 6th at 2:30pm: Religion in Human and Cosmic Evolution: Whitehead's Alternative Vision I have a lot to say about some of the questions that came up during the discussion (~58 minutes into the video), especially the issues …

Religion in Human and Cosmic Evolution: Whitehead’s Alternative Vision

This was an early draft of a paper I presented at the 10th International Whitehead Conference. For video of the actual presentation, click HERE. --------------------------------- Abstract: This talk compares several approaches to the emergence of religion in human evolution. I contrast Robert Bellah's and Alfred North Whitehead's pluralistic, cosmologically oriented accounts to Daniel Dennett's reductionistic, …

Thinking Through Atheism in a Religious Cosmos (response to professoranton)

Like Professor Anton, I would also want to pose the existential problematic of self-consciousness to those atheists who reject religion outright. If religion arose naturally as a result of humanity's gradually increasing capacity for self-consciousness, and by implication, for conscience, then what are we secular folks supposed to replace it with? We cannot simply expect …