With that three-part series uploaded, I’ll be taking a break from posting extended articles here (as I’ve threatened to do once or twice already!) — with the exception of my contributions to the coming Integral Ecology reading group series, which will begin within a week and continue through June and July. The schedule and list of participating blogs for that series will be published soon.
Immanence will generally be less active over the summer months, but if anyone is interested in submitting a guest contribution — especially in a poetic or artistic vein — please send your ideas (or posts) to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Since the “GeoPhilosophy” category of posts has overshot all others by far (up to 160, compared to 92 for “EcoCulture,” 81 for “Politics,” 69 and 68 respectively for “MediaSpace” and “SpiritMatter,” and less for others), I’d like to try to gradually rebalance the equation.
A final note on the “What a bodymind can do” series. One of the criticisms I sometimes hear of process-relational, or at least relationalist (not quite the same thing), ontologies is that they are anthropocentric. This is a bit perplexing, since their history is a virtual “who’s who” of those who’ve tried to overcome the dichotomy between humans and the world, mind and matter, subject and object, and the tradition of lining up the former terms in each of those dyads over against the latter terms. Their efforts can, of course, be criticized for not fulfilling their stated goals, but the difference between critiquing the theory versus the practice should be made explicit.
Since process-relationists tend to be interested in doing, not just in theorizing, we generally start with understanding what we can do. That’s why “what a bodymind can do” focuses on what a human bodymind can do. But there is nothing whatsoever in principle preventing a slug or an HB graphite pencil from developing its version of what a slug or pencil bodymind “can do” (as long as the slug or pencil is a bodymind, i.e. a mental-material, at-least-partially-autopoietic entity-process — I won’t venture here into guessing whether the pencil is or isn’t that, but the slug most definitely is, even if I can only imagine what it’s mental world feels like).
By the way, for a quick primer in “relational ontology,” I recommend Wesley Wildman’s article “An Introduction to Relational Ontology,” available as a PDF here. And for process-relationalism, see the references in my primer here.
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