The Process Ontology of Whitehead’s Metaphysics

I’m beginning to realise that in the UK philosophical canon Whitehead took up the radical empirical monism I associate with James, Bergson, Northrop and Pirsig, and which is seeing a resurgence in those increasingly rejecting a material metaphysics underlying the physical world. New-realists like Smolin, the new-panpsychists like Kastrup, Tononi and the Integrated Information Theorists … Continue reading “The Process Ontology of Whitehead’s Metaphysics”

The Divided Brain – a Director’s Cut

Iain McGilchrist’s film “The Divided Brain” was released last week. The film one half of your brain doesn’t want you to see. An hour and a quarter of anyone’s time well spent. [Full disclosure: I have written positively about McGilchrist’s work before, and contributed to crowdfunding of the film project.] “The halves of our brain … Continue reading “The Divided Brain – a Director’s Cut”

Taking Idealism for a Spin

Quite a few of my recent posts have been focussed on the idealism <> realism relationship – from the original reality and appearances saga, where we discover truth vs seeming goes back as far as pre-Socratic Parmenides – to Hegel/Bradley vs Russell/Moore in the late 19th C / early 20th C. One reason for it … Continue reading “Taking Idealism for a Spin”


I said, when reading Aldous Huxley back in 2007, that I was having trouble seeing the wood for the trees – what specific points Huxley was making – even though it was already a given that some kind of perennial philosophy is what we are dealing with in real life. Since before then my approach is … Continue reading “Perennialism”

Older US Views of European Union

This is really just a riff on some coincidental connections about what needs to happen around the fallout from #EURef (the result of which will finally be announced tomorrow morning.) Not a high profile celebrity these days I guess, so I’d no reason to know if George Steiner was dead or alive, it hadn’t occurred to me … Continue reading “Older US Views of European Union”

It’s Evolutionary Psychology Stupid

(Editorial Note : This paper was originally prepared for the 2005 Liverpool Conference on Robert Pirsig and his Metaphysics of Quality (MoQ). It is a personal non-technical view of the MoQ, and indeed the first part of paper is an entirely subjective and naive account of the author’s “thought journey” that led to reading Pirsig … Continue reading “It’s Evolutionary Psychology Stupid”


The term Cybernetics tends to be associated with computer control systems and AI these days, but when the term was first coined it was originally about how systems of any kind – social systems – governed themselves. It was back in 2002 I read Jean-Pierre Dupuy’s work on the origins of cognitive science “The Mechanization … Continue reading “Cybernetics”

On Walden Pond

Finished Thoreau’s Walden, reading it mainly to and from work on the bus. (I mentioned earlier the coincidence that it was the subject of BBC’s “In Our Time” recently too, just as I had unpacked the book from our recent relocation onto the bed-side cabinet – so a comprehensive re-read was in order.) A little … Continue reading “On Walden Pond”