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The Immanent Frame, the Social Science Research Council’s forum on religion, secularism, and the public sphere, is in the midst of publishing a series of responses to David Graeber’s and David Wengrow’s The Dawn of Everything. My contribution, entitled “The Dawn of Everything Good?“, appeared last week. The series can be read here. The following […]

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The following post elaborates on some comments I made this week at the Ritual Creativity conference at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. Deep thanks to conference organizers Katri Ratia and François Gauthier for inviting me to what turned out to be an immensely rewarding event, and to my co-panelists Graham Harvey, Sarah Pike, and Susannah […]

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Readers of Shadowing the Anthropocene will know that Buddhist thought has influenced my own thinking in profound ways. To be more precise, Buddhist thought, feeling, and practice has influenced my own thought, feeling, and practice. But there are many forms of Buddhism; like all philosophical and religious systems, it is a long and complex historical […]

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(Warning: This post goes into ontological questions of interest only to philosophers.🙂 I leave aside their potential ecological implications for another time. But see Arne Vetlesen’s Cosmologies of the Anthropocene: Panpsychism, Animism, and the Limits of Posthumanism for one take on those. I hope to discuss that book in a future post.) One of the […]

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One of the things modern humans aren’t very good at is being fully present in a given moment — being here now, as Ram Dass famously put it — and remaining so in the midst of the activities, distractions, and challenges of the day. Meditation apps and mindfulness teachers can train you to do that […]

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Reading Nigel Clark and Bron Szerszynski’s just published Planetary Social Thought: The Anthropocene Challenge to the Social Sciences is helping me think through what I see as perhaps the key philosophical debate of the current time. That debate is over the “ontological politics” of the difference between science in its theory and practice — including […]

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I will be making parts of my “Advanced Environmental Humanities” course open to the EcoCultureLab community and a limited broader public. Technical details remain to be worked out, but I’d like to make our readings and discussions open, so as to include interested participants from outside the university community. The course is a graduate and […]

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French philosopher and psychoanalyst FĂ©lix Guattari, in his The Three Ecologies, was the first to articulate the threefold nature of ecology, but he failed to provide a clear articulation of why there should be three and only three ecologies — not two, not one, not four or more. What is the ontological justification for this […]

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In part 1 of this article, I compared two recent books, each of which proclaims a “new paradigm” in the scientific study of emotions and affect: Lisa Feldman Barrett’s â€śconstructivist” How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain and Stephen Asma’s and Rami Gabriel’s â€śbasic emotions”-rooted The Emotional Mind: The Affective Roots of Culture and Cognition. In […]

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The study of emotions, particularly within the field of affective neuroscience, is a complex field riven by paradigmatic division. In my book Shadowing the Anthropocene, I proposed a way to engage with one’s experience, including one’s emotional or affective experience, within an “eco-ethico-aesthetic” (or “logo-ethico-aesthetic”) practice that could help us deal with the “Anthropocene predicament.” […]

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Social media debates over the J. K. Rowling “transphobia” flare-up have encouraged me to formulate my own position on all of this. I’m still in the midst of that and would be happy for feedback (respectful, please). In general, I see this as an example of what happens when two social movements move forward in […]

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A social media conversation prompted me to dig up something I had written in my notebook years ago after reading Serhii Plokhy’s masterful book on “premodern identities” in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. Which in turn prompted me to realize that coronavirus provides an answer to the question I had just finished writing an article about […]

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