Metaphysics in Process (reflections on Whitehead’s system of philosophy)

As best I understand it, in Part IV of Process & Reality, Whitehead attempted to account for how geometrical measurement of the physical world is possible without any empirical presuppositions. He was worried that physics had not yet fully accounted for its own experimental practices and so searched for a presuppositionless mathematical starting point for [...]

My presentation on Whitehead & Deleuze for the Pacific Association for the Continental Tradition conference at Seattle University

Here's the audio: I'm particularly interested in what folks familiar with Deleuze think about the exchange between me and the woman in the audience during the discussion portion. Am I getting Deleuze's general approach wrong? Here's the text of my paper: pact-2019-conference-presentation.pdf

Lecture and notes on Part I of Whitehead’s “Process & Reality”

This Fall at CIIS.edu, I'm teaching an online advanced seminar on Whitehead's magnum opus, Process & Reality. Here are my reflections on Part I of Process & Reality, "The Speculative Scheme." Note that I discuss Richard Rorty's conference presentation during a symposium on Whitehead at Stanford back in April 2006. Isabelle Stengers and Donna Haraway were [...]

“Retrieving Realism: A Whiteheadian Wager” published in IJTS

Retrieving Realism: A Whiteheadian Wager (PDF) Published in International Journal of Transpersonal Studies, Volume 36, Issue 1 (2017) Abstract: This essay argues that the organic realism of Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) provides a viable alternative to anti-realist tendencies in modern and postmodern philosophy since Descartes. The metaphysical merits of Whitehead’s philosophy of organism are unpacked in [...]

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 [...]

11th International Whitehead Conference (2017 in the Azores)

The 11th International Whitehead Conference will be hosted by the University of the Azores on Sao Miguel Island. The conference website is now up. The title of the 2017 conference is Nature in Process: Novel Approaches to Science and Metaphysics. The section headings and descriptions should be available in a few months. I'm told there [...]

The Varieties of Materialism: Matter as the Play of Form

Following up on my contribution to the Latour/AIME reading group, I wanted to say a bit more about the confused concept called "matter." There are many varieties of materialism, but for the sake of time, let's follow Robert Jackson by dividing them up into two basic categories: 1) that variety of materialism which understands matter [...]

John Caputo on Speculative Realism

Thanks to Adam/Knowledge-Ecology for pointing me to this one. I really dig what he says about physics and science... These posts are relevant to some of what Caputo has to say about correlationism, the philosophy of religion, and physical reality: https://footnotes2plato.com/2011/03/02/owen-barfield-and-quentin-meillassoux/ https://footnotes2plato.com/2011/10/04/speculative-philosophy-and-incarnationalism-in-whitehead-and-meillassoux/ https://footnotes2plato.com/2012/01/18/tilting-at-windmill-materialism-towards-an-ontology-of-organism-ooo/ https://footnotes2plato.com/2011/05/05/towards-a-christological-realism-thinking-the-correlation-with-teilhard-and-barfield/

Reflections on Thomas Nagel’s mentions of Schelling and Whitehead in “Mind and Cosmos”

The aim of this book is to argue that the mind-body problem is not just a local problem, having to do with the relation between mind, brain, and behavior in living animal organisms, but that it invades our understanding ofthe entire cosmos and its history. The physical sciences and evolutionary biology cannot be kept insulated [...]

James Hillman on Metaphysics and Cosmology

Back in 1983, Claremont Graduate School invited Whiteheadian philosophers and Jungian psychoanalysts to a dialogue concerning possible cross-fertilizations between process metaphysics and archetypal psychology (published as Archetypal Process: Self and Divine in Whitehead, Jung, and Hillman in 1989). James Hillman gave the keynote, wherein he admitted that "something further [was] needed" than his typical psychologizing [...]

Esotericism and the Academy at the American Academy of Religion in San Francisco

Phoenix Rising at the AAR Meeting Saturday Nov. 19th!. Some of these papers look great. The problem of how to traverse the disciplinary boundary between esoterica and academia is one I will face in my own dissertation. Is it possible to integrate imaginal and rational modes of consciousness, to harmonize sacral and critical attitudes of inquiry? Can one study [...]

In Defense of Wonder: A response to Naught Thought on Whitehead’s Philosophy of Dawn

I cannot, without much hesitation, identify myself as either a "prickly" or a "gooey" philosopher. It depends on who my interlocutors are. If I am in a philosophical conversation with, say, a professional biochemist with a reductionistic orientation, my attempt to wipe away and retrace the horizons of their world will inevitably come off as vague, pretentious, [...]

Questions about Objects: “I” Myself and the Earth

I've just finished Harman's Guerilla Metaphysics, and I'm thoroughly confused by what he had to say about time and space in the final pages. The following is an initial attempt to sort through a small bit of the chaos he has made of the cosmos I am yearning to inhabit. -------------------------------- An object is anything [...]