‘Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine’ by Alan Lightman

[Update 4/19: listen to the interview here] On Thursday at CIIS, I'll interview physicist and novelist Alan Lightman, author of the just published Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine (2018). As of this writing, Lightman's book is #1 in Metaphysics on Amazon.com.*  Lightman begins his reflections in a cave in Font-de-Gaume, France, famous for its adornment of [...]

Pluralistic Panpsychism and Mystical Experience: a response to Kastrup (part 2 of 2)

[This is part 2 of my response to Bernardo Kastrup; part 1 is here]. Kastrup is confused by what I said in my original response to him regarding the room that ontological pluralism leaves for both the extraordinary experience of unity and the ordinary experience of plurality. Ontological pluralism seems more true to experience (both [...]

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 [...]

Meister Eckhart, Philosophy, and Soul-Making

The following is an essay written for a weekend course taught by philosopher Jacob Needleman on Meister Eckhart the 26th and 27th of February 2011. -------------------------- Meister Eckhart, Philosophy, and the Soul By Matthew Segall And there shall be for thee all soft delight That shadowy thought can win, A bright torch, and a casement [...]

Phenomenology and Science

Science (empirical observation coupled with logical deduction), as a way of thinking, has undoubtedly made more out of mankind than any other mode of thought in his historical arsenal. In both the material and mental spheres, man has used the knowledge and technology that he has gained from science to make many great practical advances. [...]

The Essence of Religion

Preface It has been suggested that all modern philosophy begins with doubt (JC, p. 80). When one philosophizes, they agree to take nothing for granted, and even to question themselves backward into a corner if need be. Cornering oneself in such a way becomes the goal of philosophical inquiry, as once trapped by one's own [...]