Tag Archive: process-relational thought

“Ultimately, the thinking of speculative pragmatism that is activist philosophy belongs to nature. Its aesthetico-politics compose a nature philosophy. The occurrent arts in which it exhibits itself are politics of nature.

“The one-word summary of its relational-qualitative goings on: ecology. Activist philosophy concerns the ecology of powers of existence. Becomings in the midst. Creative change taking place, self-enjoying, humanly or no, humanly and more.”

These two short paragraphs close the Introduction to Brian Massumi’s recent, and thoroughly Whiteheadian, book Semblance and Event. They serve as a good epigraph to what I’d like to discuss here, which is the “neo-Whiteheadian wave” I see arising in cultural theory and its connections to ecology and to “speculative realism” (which, in Massumi’s hands, becomes speculative pragmatism; the differences are worth exploring).

View full article »


One of the things that Ecologies of the Moving Image has left unresolved, and left me needing to think more about, is the extent to which my Peircian “triadism” holds up.

Philosophically, the case for some sort of triadism as a way of getting around dualisms is, at first blush, appealing. But there are triads, and there are triads.

View full article »

The preliminary schedule is out for The Nonhuman Turn in 21st Century Studies.

The list of speakers reads like a “who’s who” of the neo-ontological, speculative-realist crowd in cultural and media theory: Steven Shaviro, Jane Bennett, Brian Massumi, Erin Manning, Mark Hansen, Ian Bogost, and Tim Morton are among the keynotes, while lesser mortals like myself, Mackenzie Wark (not so lesser last time I checked), and others known to the philoso-blogosphere (Woodard, Stanescu, Denson, et al.) are also scheduled to present.

View full article »

Life outside the lava lamp

Over at Naught Thought, Ben Woodard (sorry, Ben, for the earlier misspell) wants “to know what the Process/Relational folks think” of his thoughts about philosophies of process versus philosophies of objects or substances (or something like that). What follows is one quick and dirty way of thinking of a certain key difference between these two approaches.

View full article »

The Speculative Realist blogosphere has recently been alight with debates over the role of religion, God, theism versus nihilism, the secular and the “post-secular,” and other such things. Since these are topics I’m naturally interested, and somewhat invested, in, I ought to participate, but time constraints have made that all but impossible for me recently.

(One of those constraints is a trip this week to the Rachel Carson Center in Munich for “Moving Environments: Affect, Emotion, and Ecocinema,” about which I intend to blog, and perhaps live-blog, while there. I leave tomorrow, so stay tuned for more on that.)

Adam’s post Knowledge Ecology provides a useful way into these discussions, but see also these posts at Footnotes to Plato (and this one), Plastic Bodies, Immanent Transcendence, Larval Subjects, and After Nature.

View full article »

Among the books coming out in this fall’s Duke University Press catalog (pdf) is one I’m particularly looking forward to: Elizabeth Grosz’s Becoming Undone: Darwinian Reflections on Life, Politics, and Art.

Grosz is among the most exciting thinkers in the post-Deleuzian landscape — a tremendous synthesist of the biological (especially Darwinian), philosophical (especially “vital materialist”), and feminist (notably drawing on Luce Irigaray here), whose work offers rich insights for bridging the sciences and humanities.

View full article »

Malick’s tangled bank


It will take some time before I can say anything very intelligible about Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life.

But here are some initial thoughts, for what they’re worth.

(1) This is the film in which Malick just lets it go, and lets it flow…

View full article »

After Nature

After Nature, the new blog hosted by process-relational ecophilosophical fellow traveler Leon Niemoczynski, now has an RSS feed. That means that I can enthusiastically recommend that philosophically inclined readers of this blog subscribe to it.

Leon is author of Charles Sanders Peirce and a Religious Metaphysics of Nature. The five most popular tags on his blog give you a good idea of what to expect there: they are “Whitehead,” “Deleuze,” “Peirce,” “process-relational philosophy,” and “speculative realism.” And Leon has already begun posting some excellent field-guide style tutorials: one on Ecstatic Naturalism, another on Speculative Realism and Object-Oriented Ontology, and a third is being promised for “Speculative Naturalism,” subtitled “The God of Peirce, Whitehead, Deleuze, and Meillassoux.”

Welcome to the blogosphere, Leon.

Differences are starting to emerge in our group reading of Integral Ecology, with Tim Morton taking a grumpy stance from the back of the car while others are measured but generally more positive in their assessments. Tim’s main criticism seems to be the Object-Oriented Ontological one that E/Z’s categories “map perfectly onto normal everyday human prejudices,” and specifically prejudices against non-sentient beings. Tim writes:

View full article »

This continues from the previous post, where Shinzen Young’s model of core mindfulness practices was expanded into a system of classifying what a human bodymind can do. Here the model is deepened following the process-relational insights that are at the core of Shinzen’s system as well as of other (especially Mahayana and Vajrayana) Buddhist systems, and of the philosophies of A. N. Whitehead and, in some respects, of C. S. Peirce, Gilles Deleuze, and other process-relational thinkers. This part is followed by a concluding segment, found here.


View full article »