"How Forests Think," lecture on his book How Forests Think: Toward an Anthopology Beyond the Human by Eduardo Kohn.
Kohn was a candidate for the keynote of Ecstatic Naturalism 2018 (the eighth year of the conference!) but lack of available dates during the conference got in the way. It's interesting to know that Kohn privileges C.S. Peirce and his semiotics as a main source of philosophical inspiration. Kohn outright claims that Peirce's semiotics is crucial for his project, which I find interesting. See After Nature post "A Speculative Phenomenology of Non-Human Consciousness" HERE to see the connections. It would have been great to have him as a keynote, as his project overlaps with the theme of the conference so well.
You can listen to the lecture HERE, and see the call for papers to the conference below. Note that papers can still be accepted for a few select spots if arranged ahead of time. Note also the change of conference date.
Eighth International Congress on Ecstatic Naturalism
April 13th & 14th, 2018
"Nature and the Symbolic in the Human and Non-human"
A central feature of any naturalism is that there is at least some form of continuity between mind and nature – or, that mind "stretches" to meet nature (in the words of John Dewey). But, what is "mind" within a naturalistic register? A basic premise for naturalists such as Charles S. Peirce, John Dewey, George Herbert Mead, Alfred North Whitehead, or Susanne Langer – naturalists in the American philosophical tradition – is that "mind" is essentially symbolic. This is to say that, conceptually, mind is both expressive and representational. This, though, begs the question: what within nature might be able to "think?" As any "ecstatic" naturalism seeks to explore nature's deeply embedded transformational potential, the theme of this year's congress questions nature's potential for "mind" – or "intelligence" - and questions how that mind might be at work within the natural world, especially as expressed by means of symbol. What precisely is nature's potential for expressive intelligence and how is it expressed through symbol and concept? And further, what other than the human might be able to "think?" What does it mean to think? Can machines think? Can forests think? Insects? Birds? Fish? Transcending beyond the boundaries of the human, we seek papers that wish to explore especially non-human modes of intelligence within the realm of the symbolic in order to connect naturalism to applied philosophical fields, whether animal ethics, cognitive science and artificial intelligence, political ecology, biosemiotics, and so on. Papers need not be exclusively about the philosophy of ecstatic naturalism but are encouraged to at least minimally address its perspective before moving on to present a different thesis of the paper so as to place all papers of the congress within the stream of contemporary philosophical naturalism.
Submissions of abstracts 300-500 words in length should be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org Paper deadline (no more than 15-20 minutes in length of reading or 6-8 pages double-spaced) of March 1st.
RALPH WALDO EMERSON PRIZE:
GIVEN TO A GRADUATE STUDENT, OR SOMEONE WHO GOT HER OR HIS PhD WITHIN THE PAST FIVE YEARS, FOR THE BEST PAPER BY A JUNIOR SCHOLAR. THE PRIZE COMES WITH A $500 AWARD.
TO QUALIFY FOR THE EMERSON PRIZE, YOU MUST WRITE ON ECSTATIC NATURALISM PER SE. AS IN THE OTHER PAPERS, THE PAGE LIMIT IS 6-8 PAGES. SEND THE COMPLETED PAPER TO EITHER OF THE ABOVE EMAILS BY MARCH 1ST.
THE GENERAL THEME OF THE CONGRESS SHOULD
TAKE PLACE WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF RELIGIOUS OR NON-RELIGIOUS NATURALISM AS IN THE PREVIOUS SIX YEARS.
REGISTRATION FEES: $ 75 FOR FACULTY AND $ 25 FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS. SHORTLY WE WILL HAVE AN ONLINE SITE FOR REGISTERING WITH CREDIT CARDS. PERSONS USING CASH OR CHECK CAN REGISTER AT THE CONGRESS.