Thursday, October 31, 2013

What Jaron Lanier Thinks of Technology Now : The New Yorker

Lanier on technology & social-media. One great idea was how he (correctly, I believe) stated that social networking sites are more often driven by hate and fear, rather than by love.

And remember Jong's quote: "Gossip is the opiate..."

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Aesthetic Appreciation of Natural Disasters

Reblogging this from NewApps and Aesthetics for Birds (where it first appeared).  Please visit their sites.  (As a side note, I also found this post by Mohan Matthen - on beauty and evolution - informative, but also conversant with the reblogged post below.

The Aesthetic Appreciation of Natural Disasters

[this post originally appeared in Aesthetics for Birds as a guest post] Hayao Miyazaki's animation movie Ponyo features a tsunami. The tsunami is shown in its full threatening and destructive power, yet is rendered with a great aesthetic sensibility. On several occasions, Miyazaki expressed his aesthetic delight in natural disasters, and defended it as follows:
There are many typhoons and earthquakes in Japan. There is no point in portraying these natural disasters as evil events. They are one of the givens in the world in which we live. I am always moved when I visit Venice to see that in this city which is sinking into the sea, people carry on living regardless. It is one of the givens of their life. In the same way people in Japan have a different perception of natural disasters.
Miyazaki is not the only artist to find inspiration in natural disasters. William Turner depicted with gusto a hapless steamboat, struggling in a snowstorm. That we find aesthetic delight in natural disasters is puzzling. Why do we sometimes delight in natural disasters? And is it morally appropriate to do so? These questions have not often been addressed because both aesthetics and psychology have tended to focus on positive and pleasurable aesthetic properties of nature, such as the delicacy of a flower, the slow twirling of autumn leaves, the majesty of a waterfall. But we are not only be moved by nature (as Noël Carroll describes our intuitive and visceral response to nature) in its delicate, pretty form, but also in its destructive form.

Turner Ponyo

There is a wealth of research indicating that humans prefer natural, green environments (e.g., farmland, forest, oceanside) to built, urbanized surroundings. In his recent book, The Artful Species, Stephen Davies points out that evolutionary approaches to landscape aesthetics tend to equate desirability with beauty: the hidden assumption is that we take aesthetic delight in environments that are attractive to live in. Evolutionary aestheticians have launched the “savanna hypothesis”, which stipulates that a large part of human evolution took place in savannah-like landscapes with plenty of access to water and food sources (such as fruit-bearing trees). This sort of environment, unsurprisingly, pops up as the image of paradise across cultures (the garden of Eden in Christianity and Judaism and Jannah in Islam for example). This is exactly the sort of environment that is popular in landscape and park design, such as the grounds of Blenheim Palace where I regularly walk.

But this evolutionary story is inadequate. The fate of the work of the garden architect of Blenheim, Capability Brown illustrates this well: shortly after his death, his works became depreciated as smooth and bland by a public that had become more excited by wilderness rather than meticulously kept Italian gardens, stark snowy mountains rather than gently sloping hills, a stormy sea rather than a calm lake. Davies suggests that the great adaptability of humans to their environments could be key: people can feel at home in a wide range of environments, often molding them to their own needs, such as the arid wastes of northern Australia or polder landscaping. 

However, that still does not explain why we can be fascinated, and sometimes even aesthetically moved, by things that are definitely not conducive to human flourishing, such as volcanic eruptions, tornadoes or tsunamis. Such ambivalent aesthetic experiences of nature in its forbidding forms are encapsulated in Kant's concept of the sublime. According to Kant, volcanoes and tornadoes provide both aesthetic pleasure and displeasure. We feel pleasure because of our superiority of reason over nature (this is why we only appreciate the sublime when we have some safe distance from the natural disaster at hand), yet also displeasure, an awareness that we are physically powerless in the face of such events. We oscillate between these feelings of attraction and repulsion. How can we make sense of the sublime within contemporary cognitive psychology? The feeling of repulsion could be explained by an evolved aversion to events that are potentially dangerous. But how to account for the feeling of attraction? Awe, an emotion that is still in need of further study, may be a good candidate for this. 

The prototype model of awe by Keltner and Haidt suggests that awe - the emotion most commonly associated with the sublime - is elicited by stimuli that are vast and that prompt a need for psychological accommodation. Keltner and Haidt see awe as an adaptive emotion that arose in our primate ancestry, in particular, in the need for lower-status individuals to recognize the status of higher-status individuals within the group: by feeling awe for an alpha individual, one would desist in fruitlessly trying to challenge his or her authority, which would have been adaptive. Keltner and Haidt propose that the primordial form of awe is the emotions a low status individual feels towards a powerful one. This model does not explain why awe is felt in situations other than the social domain, such as when we are confronted with natural disasters. We do not feel social emotions like shame or guilt in the presence of landscapes, whereas a site like the Grand Canyon elicits awe - indeed natural landscapes are more frequent elicitors of awe than other humans according to self-reports. Keltner and Haidt's explanation for this is that the features of powerful others that elicit awe, such as high rank, dominance or fame can be transposed in landscape terms, such as physical vastness. To me, this is quite a stretch (for instance, they think vastness can not only be social or physical, but also conceptual, as when we are in awe of the scope and power of a mathematical formula, or a scientific idea).

A complicating factor in the psychological study of awe is that its negative valence has disappeared in the shifting semantics of the term. Awe used to be an ambivalent term, for instance, awe and fear are synonymous in the Hebrew Bible, as still clear in terms like a 'God-fearing person'. When Haidt asked his students whether they felt awe at the 9/11 attacks, they were reluctant to do so. “I think our current use of the word awe has been bleached into a positive emotion, so people in my emotion class were reluctant to say they felt awe on 9/11” (Haidt, quoted in Sundararajan). So we have a concept that is disappearing in everyday discourse, even though the emotion associated with it still occurs. We are sometimes aesthetically moved (awed) by natural disaster, and from a psychological perspective, it is currently unclear why this is the case. Moving into the normative domain, Yuriko Saito argues that such feelings should be resisted: it is not morally appropriate to appreciate the sublimity of a tsunami, volcanic eruption or tornado, given the pain and suffering it provokes. Clearly, natural disasters were not produced with artistic intent. Nevertheless, according to Saito, “our human-oriented moral sentiments do dictate that we do not derive pleasure (including aesthetic pleasure) from other humans’ misery, even if it is caused by nature taking its course”.

There are theological parallels. In the Hebrew Bible, Elihu, one of Job’s friends cites his aesthetic appraisal of storms and floods as marks of God's divine majesty; ironically, the very same things that destroyed Job's house and killed his children. One cannot help but feel how insensitive and morally objectionable Elihu is when he says this. When discussing the question, Bruce Janz (UCF) remarked that such aesthetic delight would “certainly be morally risky, in the same sense that humor based on things like race or religion can be morally risky.” What does it say about someone who finds, say, sexist jokes funny, whereas others find them demeaning? “Did those others find them not funny at all, or did their moral sense override their sense of humor?” Similarly, what does aesthetically appreciating natural disasters say about that person? Does it indicate a decreased sensitivity for the suffering associated with these disasters? This may explain the moral risk involved in the aesthetic delight in natural disasters. Perhaps this would still allow for such aesthetic appreciation under some conditions, for example, when one is in a situation where the safe distance is smaller or gone, as when one lives in an environment where one could be affected by it.

Monday, October 28, 2013

quote of the day

"The idea that only substances can produce changes goes back to Aristotle. In Plato and the pre-Socratics however, the causal efficacy of principles is recognized (e.g. the love and strife of Empedocles)."

"There is no discernible reason why an existential fact cannot be grounded in nonexistential ones, why substantial things cannot be explained on the basis of some nonsubstantival circumstance or principle...Modern science teaches living organisms from complexes of inorganic molecules. If such a principle fails as regards matter and life, need it hold for substance?"

- Nicholas Rescher, A System of Pragmatic Idealism (Vol. 3: Metaphilosophical Inquiries)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

can Whitehead be a Christian philosopher? on the monarchical social organization of actual occasions

Hartshorne's ethical treatment of Leibnizian monads in Whiteheadian vein - that is, as societies of occasions guided by a dominant monarchical monad, is something that I look favorably upon due to my metaphysical commitment to panpsychism and panentheism.  For more information on that, see the section "Social Process," HERE.

The fact that it may be possible for a dominant occasion (dominant in its ontological integrity and positive aesthetic, moral, and political value) to guide or lure all other becoming occasions, monads, etc. etc. - looked at within the domain of theology - may thus place Whitehead, if his ontology be universalized sufficiently enough, within the domain of Christian or dare even I say "Catholic," i.e. "universal," metaphysics. See HERE

How the diversity of these occasions, or ever-becoming qualitative forms of life, is organized under a singular vital function or principle, thus constituting not only an ecological metaphysic but an ecotheological metaphysics, is HERE.

process-relational philosophy and value experience

Steven Shaviro has two posts HERE and HERE covering among other topics processes of individuation (Simondon) and the basic nature of value experience (Whitehead).  These two posts have prompted me to go and dig through my own posts/thoughts on the subject and repost them below, as I apparently have covered alot of similar themes and thought readers might benefit from taking a look.  But first just a thought of introduction.

A basic truth spoken by Whitehead and Hartshorne is that the value character of experience is determined by various intensities which, relating to each other, form the basic aesthetic contrasts of experience.  The crucial question does not concern the relations between or among the intensities of experience (although this is an interesting question), but rather how these intensities communicate singular expressions of perspective and thus may be taken as self-determining becoming-subjects in their own right.  In other words, how do singular "firsts" come to be?  In the generation of "firsts" (dynamic singular agents) the value character of experience becomes ethical and political when "seconds" and "thirds" are added - although as a "first" any agent is always already primitively aesthetic - felt as some positive character of experience.

Or to put it another way, from Firsts (aesthetic quality) we get Seconds (reaction, clashes) and Thirds (generalities, law) together in a categorial scheme.  Peirce saw this quite clearly, as did Whitehead.
  1. Hartshorne on internal and external relations 
  2. In defense of relations (again)
  3. Whitehead's concept of importance and James' "On a Certain Blindness in Human Beings" 
  4. Hartshorne, Leibniz, panpsychism 
  5. Whitehead's God and powers: a response to "subjectalism" 
  6. Shaviro on aesthetics and forms of life 
  7. What is Nature? 
  8. The upholding and sharing of value intensity 
  9. Do animals grieve?

"The correction of defects in traditional versions of Idealism."
From Charles Hartshorne, The Zero Fallacy.

MV: One perhaps puzzling aspect of your philosophy is your “ideal­ism.” For you, objects do not depend on our particular experiences of them; rather, you believe in the asymmetrical dependence of subjects on their objects. Thus, epistemologically speaking, you are not an idealist but a real­ist. However, you contend that “Epistemological realism is entirely compati­ble with metaphysical idealism.” What, exactly, does your “metaphysical idealism” entail, and is “idealistic” indeed an appropriate label for your type of metaphysics? 

H: I deal with this especially in “The Synthesis of Idealism and Real­ism,” Theoria 15 (1949); also in “What was True in Idealism,” Philos 43 (1946). The key is fourfold: (1) subject-object relations are subject-subject relations so far as objects are active singulars and concrete, otherwise the objects are abstractions from or collections of such subjects; (2) actual objects are temporally prior to and hence independent of subjects to which they are given; (3) subjects (Leibniz) are enormously varied and in the vast majority of kinds more or less radically different from human persons, vary­ing from feelings of electrons, say, at the lower end of the hierarchy, to God at the upper end; (4) fully concrete and particular subjects are not persons and the like, but single experiences (Whitehead’s actual entities). My psychical­ism and Whitehead’s “reformed subjectivism” are virtually the same, so far as I can see. The subject-object relation is prehension. No one else ever clearly had this idea previously. Tibetan Buddhism seems to have come fairly close, Berkeley and Hegel not at all. 

interesting Stengers and Whitehead article + some thoughts on society or social vs. nature and individual

Interesting article on Whitehead and Stengers titled "Realities to be-come: on Cosmopolitics," HERE.  The article brings up the distinction between social and non-social, between a society of occasions and thinking that transcends modal dichotomies in favor of plurimodal actualities.  For example, a thinking beyond nature and culture (Descola, Stengers) but one, also, that embraces the reality of singular actualities that are "individuals" that ever be-come.

I have been reading alot lately about the social nature of actual occasions, the social nature of the individuating process, with hopes of discovering within it a more subjective, personal, and "private" process of self-articulation and process of individuation.  On this road, the metaphysics of individuation, I've traveled along with the likes of Tarde, Simondon, Deleuze, Ruyer, Stengers, Latour, Leibniz, and Whitehead.  I've even immersed myself within Weiss's Privacy and You, I, and the Others (that's an obscure reference, but an avenue that has taught me much)Ecologically speaking, I am now interested in the value of individuals and societies.

How is it that I've made my way through these philosophers in just a few months?

The secret to reading alot is to read whenever you can.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Unlike Us #3 - Social Media: Design or Decline

Unlike Us #3 - Bernard Stiegler: Social Networking As a Stage of Grammatization and the New Political Question from network cultures on Vimeo.

Unlike Us #3 - Social Media: Design or Decline

Session 1: Theory and Critique of ‘Social’

Bernard Stiegler (FR) Social Networking As a Stage of Grammatization and the New Political Question

Conference Day #1 (22 March 2013)

Social networking and engineering are dimensions of the digital stage of a process of grammatization that began thirty thousand years ago. With the advent of digitization, psychic and collective memory as well as social relations have all become objects of exchange value. What this means is that, given digital technologies are organs of publishing, that is, of the production of public space and time, digitization is a process of privatization of the public thing – of the res publica. Privatization here means: commodification. In short, what is occurring is the destruction of the psychic and collective process of individuation that began with the Greek polis. Furthermore, the domination by those giants that are Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon is possible above all because very little genuine work is being done on the stakes of digitization by either the academic sphere or the political sphere.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Platonic forms and process-relational philosophy

Can Plato contribute anything to process-relational philosophy, or is Platonism process-relational philosophy's opposite?

How might we draw upon notable process philosophers of the twentieth century (Whitehead or Deleuze, for example) in order to ask whether there is room for Platonic Forms in a process-relational ontology, whether in the shape of eternal objects or virtualities? 

These questions and others are entertained in a book which considers Plato's relationship to process philosophy, as well as to the philosophy of religion, HERE.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Philosopher Profile: Nicholas Rescher

Nicholas Rescher (b. 1928) is a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh.  He received his doctorate in philosophy at Princeton University in 1951 and has since served as a President of the American Philosophical Association, the American Catholic Philosophy Association, the American G. W. Leibniz Society, the C. S. Peirce Society, and the Metaphysical Society of America (founded by Paul Weiss).  While Rescher has published over 400 articles and 100 books (on a staggering array of topics), he is most famous for his system of “pragmatic idealism” that combines elements of continental idealism with American pragmatism. He has written widely on logic (in its various forms), epistemology, the philosophy of science, metaphysics, process philosophy, ethics, and political philosophy.

Typically I write my own coverage of a philosopher in "philosopher profile" posts, however as I am still learning Rescher I defer by linking to two web addresses.

First, the IEP entry on Rescher absolutely fantastic (link HERE).  Given the sheer breadth of Rescher's corpus I was abit overwhelmed in trying to find a summary of his work online.  But the IEP entry, from what I can tell, is an excellent summary which seems to lose very little.  To get a very good overview of what Rescher's work is about this is a "must read."

Second, THIS interview is very good and provides the flavor of Rescher's main interests, background, and future plans.  (Published in Kinesis (where I published my interview with Robert S. Corrington.)

Peirce on Epicurus and Lucretius

I am teaching Epicureanism in my ethics class (and then moving on to Stoicism).

Therefore I thought that this was fitting.  Link HERE.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

more on Latour and religion

Terry Blake from Agent Swarm HERE and Chris Watkin HERE.  Some interesting reflections on how Latour sees commonalities between religious discourse and lover's discourse.  The point is that we must remain sensitive to "melody" and "rhythm" (or better perhaps "dissonance" and "consonance") when it comes to religious speech, and do so in a way that does not "literally" oblige one to the content of religious speech.

Watkin takes Latour to task with the "literally" part.  Is Latour "demythologizing" religion, a Derridean "religion without religion," pace Caputo (or even Santayana for that matter)?  Yes, Latour is calling for a "renewing repetition" of the rhythm and melody of religious speech, its transformative power of information, but for him, given the call for sensitivity to rhythm and melody, this information is not specifically Christian in content.  Why?

This leads Latour to an "awkward" position as both Blake and Watkin point out, although for different reasons it seems.

Again, I'll provide some of my initial thoughts - and they are roughly the same today as when I posted them some months back - HERE.

Bruno Latour, Talking “Religiously”, part 1 (MP3 AUDIO)

Link HERE.  My thoughts HERE.

Adrian Johnston interview (with some of my thoughts linked)

A very good interview making the rounds, link HERE.  The interview is care of Peter Gratton (of Memorial U Newfoundland) who conducted the interview.

Peter is a great personality to work with.  He is editing The Meillasssoux Dictionary (EUP, forthcoming) and I am glad to be a part of that, having contributed some entries on Meillassoux and the divine inexistence and related etc. etc.  Be sure to check out his blog Philosophy in a Time of Error - it's been around for awhile, is established, and has some great content.  Anyway, I'm thankful he posted the interview; a great read.

Adrian Johnston is an interesting guy as well - and he gave some fantastic responses to Peter's questions.  I've written to Adrian once, asking about his trilogy through Northwestern UP (it was listed as "available" on amazon, but was not available, at the time).

My interest in Adrian's work stems from some provocative comments he has made while giving talks on panels with Ray Brassier in particular, and of course there are one or two items in Peter's interview that I'd like to address.  I have as of yet to "officially" speak to Adrian's work via publication, but I've made my thoughts known HERE, HERE, and HERE.

I've been told on more than one occassion that mutual interests (naturalism, German idealism, Hegel, materialism, realism, etc.) but wildly different conclusions may make for a good debate between us.  The same has been said concerning Ray Brassier.

We'll see, hopefully one day. 

For now, these videos featuring Johnston and Brassier are worth rewatching if you haven't already seen them.  See HERE and HERE.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Louis Morelle: French "scene report" nature philosophy and metaphysics

I've been corresponding with Louis Morelle this past week, with curious questions concerning the state of metaphysics in France - particularly nature philosophy and metaphysics, the "nature ontologists."  Louis has agreed for me to publish a portion of our correspondence.  Perhaps this week at some point I can post thoughts/comments.  Below is what Louis reports.

- Pierre Montebello, who works on what he calls "l'autre métaphysique", by which he means Tarde, Ravaisson, Nietzsche, and Bergson, and is very much one important figures in trying to think a metaphysics of nature
- Frédéric Worms, who I mentioned in my first email, is a specialist of Bergson and contemporary (i.e. XXth century) French philosophy more generally, and an important number of PhD students under him are working around Bergson and therefore sometimes on issues related to nature
- Meillassoux is obviously instrumental to bringing contemporary metaphysics into view in the last decade
- Olivier Surel, who works on Nature and social ontology, is one of the few young people who writes on matters I feel affinity with, and who deals with Speculative Realism beside Meillassoux and Badiou
- The Simondonians have a journal, Cahiers Simondon ; besides Barthelemy (who has written a book on Simondon and nature philosophy), there are Baptiste Morizot Anne Sauvagnargues, and Anne Lefebvre ; they held a colloquium this summer at Cerisy :
- Around Didier Debaise and Isabelle Stengers, other Belgian names that regularly turn up are Michel Weber and Vinciane Desprets. They also held a Cerisy colloquium this year : It is noteworthy, I think, that the center of gravity for francophone Whitehead studies is actually outside France
- The CIEPFC  is one of the major places, in Paris, where activity on such matters takes place ; their members list ( ) points to quite a few interesting names, such as Camille Riquier or Ioulia Podoroga, and Patrice Maniglier ; I wrote you a few months back about the collection at PUF, MétaphysiqueS,, which published Souriau, Garcia, and Viveiros de Castro
- A noteworthy book was published in 2011, an anthology on the "Philosophie des possessions", by Debaise, Latour, Stengers, and others :
- People working on or around Schelling, like Alexander Schnell, Miklos Vetö, Xavier Tilliette or Emmanuel Cattin, or Jean-Christope Lemaître are interesting. Schnell has recently written a book trying to alter phenomenology in order to make it speculative, En voie de réel, which looks like a must-read : ; he wrote what looks like a summary of it in english :
- Descola, Latour, de Castro and others, had a Cerisy colloquium (again !) this year, which I attended, and which was a wonderful moment of intellectual life at its best : ; there I heard, among other things, about Eduardo Kohn's book on Forest-thinking, which references Peirce's theory of signs in trying to apply it to nature. He's American, so not a part of this report, but I think you might like his book !
- Mathias Girel works on James, Peirce, and pragmatism, has read some of Corrington's writing (on nature), and is very fluent in American philosophy in general. His site :
- Klesis , an important philosophy journal, published an issue on philosophies of nature this year :

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Accelerationism – A Symposium on Tendencies in Capitalism

Link HERE.

ACCELERATIONISM – A Symposium on Tendencies in Capitalism
14 December 2013, Alexanderplatz  /

Contemporary capitalism is an object of high abstraction. The symposium is an invitation to discuss and disclose the anonymous and inner tendencies of capitalism, to study its monetary, algorithmic and energetic viscera. How can one grasp the living drives of financial markets and technological innovation? And more importantly: who really produces and controls those drives and how could any alternative political subject emerge without such a complex knowledge?

The recent debate on accelerationism and the philosophical scene of Speculative Realism just reminded of an old question posed by Deleuze and Guattari: Which is the real revolutionary path? To withdraw from the world market or, on the opposite, to go further and “accelerate the process”, as Nietzsche already suggested long before the current Stillstand? For example today Germany finds itself in the eye of the storm: a mild social democracy at the center of Europe watching neoliberalism freely devastating the rest of the world.

There are multiple strategies of how to cross a stormy passage. In Ballard’s first and prophetic novel The Drowned World (1962), an imbalance in solar radiation causes the polar ice caps to melt and global temperatures to rise, leaving cities submerged by tropical lagoons where flora and fauna restart their evolution. Human population migrates towards the polar circles. Rather than being disturbed, the protagonist is enraptured by the new nature that is replacing the old world and decides to move south towards the sun. 

Though encaged within cognitive capitalism, we call for an epistemic acceleration. The symposium convenes to refresh the cartography of the keywords employed in the last centuries to describe economy and the political response to it: development, progress, growth, accumulation, peak, degrowth, revolution, speculation, entropy, singularity, sustainability and so on. Today it is time to anticipate and accelerate, for sure, time for anastrophism and not catastrophism.

metaxology: thinking from within the "in-between"

This came up during our "Metaphysics of Individuation" reading group this past summer.  A student from the group recently emailed me these two links to post, for those interested.  We had looked at some of these issues in Stengers, Latour, Whitehead, Tarde, Simondon, Deleuze, Leibniz, and the other usual suspects.

Didier Debaise, "What is Relational Thinking?" from Inflexions (no. 5, 2012) and Didier Debaise, "A Philosophy of Interstices: Thinking Subjects and Societies from Whitehead's Philosophy" from Subjectivity (no. 6, 2013).  The latter article's abstract is worth posting below.  I see resonance with metaxological ontology, e.g. William Desmond, Robert Corrington, Robert Neville, i.e. the American process ontologists. The space or interstice, the space of the "in-between," usually thought of as something empty or secondary with no importance to the identity of things, actually can itself through a negative activity be involved in the process of how "selves" come to be, especially within environments where this "in-between" is said to be absent or "not."  Rather, as Debaise points, it is quite the opposite:
The notion of interstice appears in philosophy as something empty, an in-between, with no importance in the constitution of things. I argue, on the contrary, that the concept can be retaken in a new interpretation of living subjects as a main category to interpret the spatial and temporal dimensions of a subject.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Technobiophilia: Can we get all the nature we need from the digital world? [updated, again]

Link to a fantastic Aeon article, HERE.  It discusses whether nature digitally experienced - that is, digital or virtual environments - can supplant experience of "traditional" nature, that is, "nature" understood as the physical world and the living things in it.

A major premise of the article is that there is nothing "unnatural" (of course).  Thus computer viruses are just as "natural" as biological viruses.  But one might ask whether connections to the natural world (natural in the tradition sense, ie. organic, biological) are indeed vital to our experiences of the digital and electronic world.  In other words, how does one world "stretch" into the other, and vice versa.

With respect to this "stretch," one may say for example that there is a "culture" of bees as much as there is a an "online culture."  How is a "beyond" of each's specific reality status, that is, beyond nature and culture, beyond experience and nature, constituted?  The "beyond" of nature and culture, of nature and experience, to my mind, begins in the refusal to pose each against the other or taking each in strict distinction to the other.  The "natural" understood in its most generic sense is simply whatever is in and of the world.  This is the meaning of a capacious and judicious naturalism.

There is no category more generic than "nature" if nature means "whatever is, in whatever way it is."