"Scientists, animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless, constitute an interesting subject for study." -Alfred North Whitehead, The Function of Reason I'm a frequent reader of the theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder's blog Backreaction. She has helped me better understand many difficult concepts in contemporary theoretical physics. I've benefited in particular from the times she has weighed in on [...]
The following was originally written in 2012 as a chapter in a short book titled Philosophy in a Time of Emergency. It feels relevant given our current political situation, so I'm sharing it again. The Nature of Human Freedom By Matthew T. Segall The Naturphilosoph comes to understand “Nature as subject.”1 This is not the Kantian [...]
My friend and colleague Adam Robbert has just launched The Side View. There is a ton of content on the site already, including articles and podcasts. Listen to Adam's short description of the site's aim here. Here's a link to my contribution, "Why German Idealism Matters," wherein I briefly lay out the transformative contributions of [...]
A biographical piece published in the last issue of Being Human. Special thanks to my friend Max DeArmon for making this possible. See also this essay Thinking With Steiner Beyond the Brain: Reflections on my Bildung and the Philosophy of Freedom.
Recorded about a year ago while I was composing a chapter to be included in a forthcoming volume called The Beacon of Mind: Reason and Intuition in the Ancient and Modern World:
A lecture I gave earlier this week in a class at CIIS on Spirit and Nature.
A few days ago, I decided to re-read Schelling's Philosophical Investigations into the Essence of Human Freedom (1809). It's a reasonably short text of about 75 pages, so I've read it 3 or 4 times in the past year. The text's key conceptual innovations regarding the essence of freedom (which Schelling defines as the scission [...]
It is with my own self-consciousness that I must begin… but I will confess, I am not yet certain of my own beginning, or even of my own uncertainty. Already I seem to have said too much: “I am”–how do I know that? Do I really exist? Can I claim self-consciousness as “my own” if [...]
For a PDF of the entire essay, click The Re-Emergence of Schelling: Philosophy in a Time of Emergency. The Nature of Human Freedom The Naturphilosoph comes to understand “Nature as subject.”232 This does not imply that nature necessarily conforms to the transcendental structure of the human mind (a form of anthropomorphism), but rather that human consciousness [...]
Again, sorry for the lack of italics. I don't know how to paste from Pages while keeping the formatting. For a PDF of the document (with italics in tact!), click: The Re-Emergence of Schelling: Philosophy in a Time of Emergency. Literature review This section assesses the reasons for the contemporary resurgence of scholarly interest in Schelling. [...]
Last year, some colleagues and I at CIIS participated in a panel discussion on Speculative Realism called "Here Comes Everything." My lecture drew primarily upon Grant's text Philosophies of Nature After Schelling (2006). This summer, I've been doing research for a comprehensive exam on the recent resurgence of Schellingian philosophy (HERE is my reading list). I [...]
Adam/Knowledge-Ecology just posted a fine reflection on the place of the human in nature. Below is my response. I think there is an elephant in the room here. Just before the line you quote in Modes of Thought, Whitehead says “In mankind, the dominant dependence on bodily functioning seems still there. And yet the life of [...]