Physics and Freedom

"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 [...]

Schelling’s Philosophy of Freedom

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 [...]

Thinking the Holocaust with Schelling…

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 [...]

[Rough Draft] “The Re-Emergence of Schelling” – The nature of human freedom

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 [...]

[Rough Draft] “The Re-Emergence of Schelling” – Literature review

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. [...]

Schelling on Nature, Humanity, and God (re-reading Iain Hamilton Grant)

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 [...]

Philosophy of the Human in Whitehead and Schelling (response to Knowledge-Ecology)

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 [...]