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 [...]

Time and Experience in Physics and Philosophy [draft]

[Update 3/28/2019: Here is a PDF of the final draft prior to my conference presentation: "Time and Experience in Physics and Philosophy: Whiteheadian Reflections on Bergson, Einstein, and Rovelli."  This will eventually be published in an anthology with the other conference papers and is likely to undergo further revisions at a later date.] Below is a [...]

“Electrons Don’t Think” by Sabine Hossenfelder

The following is a comment I posted on the physicist and blogger Sabine Hossenfelder's blog Backreaction to a post titled "Electrons Don't Think." https://backreaction.blogspot.com/2019/01/electrons-dont-think.html Hi Sabine. I discovered your blog last night after Googling "Carlo Rovelli and Alfred North Whitehead." It brought me to Tam Hunt's interview with Rovelli. I have been studying Rovelli's popular [...]

The Place of Life in the Cosmos (draft of 11th International Whitehead Conference paper)

Below is the draft of a paper I'll present at next week's International Whitehead Conference in the Azores. Feedback appreciated! 2017 International Whitehead Conference   Matthew T. Segall   The Place of Life in the Cosmos: Feeling the Origin of Organism   “A philosophic outlook is the very foundation of thought and of life. The [...]

Towards a “Thermopolitics” (question for Levi Bryant)

Levi Bryant just posted on what he is calling "thermopolitics." He wants to shift the discourse in philosophy away from its exclusive focus on linguistic analysis and the critique of ideological superstructures toward the energetics of the universe that provide the condition for their possibility. Bryant writes: This is not a metaphor.  At this very [...]

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/

Questions concerning the place of imagination in cosmology… (while reading Ed Casey and Catherine Keller)

“In my view the creation of the world is the first unconscious act of speculative thought; and the first task of a self-conscious philosophy is to explain how it has been done.” -Whitehead Four of us met a few days back to discuss the first 75 pages of Ed Casey's The Fate of Place: A [...]

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 [...]

[Rough Draft] “The Re-Emergence of Schelling” – Metaphysically (un)grounding the natural sciences

For a PDF of the entire essay, click The Re-Emergence of Schelling: Philosophy in a Time of Emergency. Metaphysically (un)grounding the natural sciences  Schelling’s almost complete absence in Anglophone natural philosophy for more than 150 years (aside from his powerful effects on Coleridge,168 Peirce,169 and Emerson,170 and through the intermediary of Naturphilosoph Alexander von Humboldt, his [...]

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 [...]