Monday, December 30, 2013

The new edition of Cosmos and History is now published

The new edition of Cosmos and History is now published, and can be found

In it I've published a paper and an interview.

a helpful tweet

350+ views of my post in its very first day thanks to EVC himself.  That number has now swollen to over 1300.  Thanks again to EVC for the below helpful tweet, it has helped After Nature find many new readers.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Jägerblut "Maria durch ein Dornwald ging"

can plants really communicate with each other?

Good friend Adrian from Immanence blog poses the question HERE.  He cites some very interesting research from the publication Quanta.  

“It turns out almost every green plant that’s been studied releases its own cocktail of volatile chemicals, and many species register and respond to these plumes.”

“Just a few months ago, the plant signaling pioneer Ted Farmer of the University of Lausanne discovered an almost entirely unrecognized way that plants transmit information — with electrical pulses and a system of voltage-based signaling that is eerily reminiscent of the animal nervous system.  ’It’s pretty spectacular what plants do,’ said Farmer. ‘The more I work on them, the more I’m amazed.’

Some of this reminds me of James' A Pluralistic Universe, Lecture IV, on Fechner.  Specifically I am thinking about the section on "the plant soul."  See HERE. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"We're more microbial than human."

Interesting piece from NPR.  From the article,
"When you're looking in the mirror, what you're really looking at is there are 10 times more microbial cells than human cells," Proctor says. "In almost every measure you can think of, we're more microbial than human." 
The horde of microbes is so vast that their genes swamp our genes. In fact, 99 percent of the genes contained in and on our bodies are microbial genes. 
This expanding view of the microbiome is changing how some people think about humans — not as individual entities but as what philosopher Rosamond Rhodes calls a "supraorganism."

For the rest of the article, link HERE.  This brings to mind the Whiteheadian concept of organism as nexus.  In particular, this thought from a post I wrote some time back comes to mind:
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.    

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

SAAP 2014 full program

HERE.  Of particular note are the sessions "Experience and Reality: Thinking with Whitehead and the Pragmatists" and "New American Naturalisms."  The panel proposals are worth downloading and looking at.

naturalism's philosophy of the sacred

Congratulations to Martin Yalcin on the publication of his fine manuscript, Naturalism's Philosophy of the Sacred.  (Amazon link HERE.)  The book features a very detailed yet comprehensible introduction to "ordinal metaphysics," as well as the philosophies of Justus Buchler and Robert S. Corrington.

I look forward to working with Martin at this year's (our fourth!) ecstatic naturalism conference.  From what I've heard, Martin is also starting up an open access online journal that shall cover topics in the metaphysics of religion, philosophical naturalism, and speculative thinking in the American and contemporary continental philosophical traditions.

quote of the day

"Natura naturans [nature naturing] is the productive power, self-generative, active, yet suspended, as it it were, in the product.  Natura Naturata [nature natured] is the sum total...nature in the passive sense."

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Aids to Reflection

"This Aids to Reflection book, especially [James] Marsh's [American 1829] edition, was my first Bible."

- John Dewey, Collected Works v. 9

Monday, December 16, 2013

quote of the day

"Logic is the backbone of philosophy. And nothing is quite clear logically unless it can be put mathematically. Ideally at least, a philosopher should be a mathematician and logician as well as metaphysician. Perhaps this could be said of Plato, certainly of Leibniz, Peirce, and Whitehead."

- Charles Hartshorne, Creative Synthesis & Philosophic Method

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Accelerationism Symposium Berlin livestream (VIDEO)

Accelerationism event (feat. Brassier, Noys, Negarestani, and others) livestream link HERE.

reflections on Eduardo Viveiros de Castro's pluralist "universal relationism" and "multinaturalism"

Eduardo Viveiros de Castro has recently joined others, such as Mehdi Belhaj Kacem, in appropriating savagery as a way to do “imaginary” (speculative-metaphysical) philosophy where ethnography, anthropology, and cosmology are included at once.  MBK does so in the realm of nihilistic but spirited culture where EVC’s culture is firmly positioned with reference to nature, pace Descola, Latour, etc. etc.  EVC’s nature-culture ontology is radically pluralistic and “multinatural”: it includes humans, other animals, gods, spirits, and the dead, as much as it includes “inhabitants of other cosmic levels,” meteorological phenomena, plants, objects, and artifacts.

EVC’s metaphysics, like MBK’s, states, in agreement with Q. Meillassoux, that “correlationism” must be “dealt with” and “overcome” (dismantled, reappropriated, and reinstalled).  For EVC this means passing through “the metaphysics of others” and returning to the “dissident” tradition of panpsychism via Tarde, Latour, James, and Whitehead.

Taking anthropology to be a truly pluralistic science, EVC calls for a reinscription of perspectivalist metaphysics – a metaphysics he finds at work in Amerindian cultures.  Not merely another view about “Nature” EVC calls for the very reinscription of human relations to nature by way of a “multinatural perspectivalism” inspired by these Amerindian cultures.

In place of current “modern” relations to nature, then, we are told that a “radical materialist panpyschism” must also be an “immanent perspectivism.”  One must place relations over substance and “the alterity of nexus” over any essentialist unities.

In the words of Benjamin Noys, EVC is thus “anti-correlation but pro-relation.”  While Amerindian multinaturalism and perspectivalism are indeed anthropomorphic they are not anthropocentric.  Again Noys: “The real way to break with correlation is via anthropomorphism, via panpsychism, and to, in a sense, drown ‘correlation’ [as but] one form of relation within a sea of other forms of relation.”

As Noys concludes, “A panpsychism of existence [is a] thought that places all in relation and otherness.  There is a universal relationality, of which even the thinking of relation is only one part.”

For more on EVC's pluralist universal relationism and multinaturalism, see his "Cosmologies: perspectivism" HERE.

Friday, December 6, 2013

quote of the day

"We must become nothing, we must go down to the vegetative level; it is then that God becomes bread. "

- Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace

HT Paroikein & P.E.S.T