Vibrant Matter, Thinking like a Dancer,
and Contagious Architecture
New Horizons in Process Thinking
Reading about Good Books
We live in a hurried age, and few people have the time or opportunity to read good books such as the eight identified on this page. But we may have time to read about them, thanks to the descriptions offered by their publishes. And the very act of reading about them provides us with what process thinkers call lures for feeling and reflection.
Lures for feeling and reflection are not public matters of fact we see with our eyes, but rather, in the words of Brian Massumi, lived abstractions. They are proposals, offerings, for how we might live in the world. Always they are relational and event-oriented, encouraging us to think about ourselves and our worlds in certain ways (constructive or destructive) and act in them accordingly. Whitehead calls them propositions.
The entertainment of lived abstractions is aesthetically delightful in its own right, but today, for many process thinkers, the stakes are ethical, too.
Process thinkers are interested in how, in an age of global climate change, humans beings might build communities that are creative, compassionate, resilient, participatory,multicultural, and ecologically wise, with no one left behind. These communities embody the spirit of what we call "ecological civilizations."
In June 4-7, 2015, the largest interdisciplinary conference ever to have taken place in the world will occur in Claremont, California, devoted to the end of thinking through the intellectual principles and practical guidelines for how these civilizations might emerge. The conference is called Seizing an Alternative: Toward an Ecological Civilization. One of the planners for the conference, John B. Cobb, Jr., proposes that such a civilization will require five transitions in human thinking: a shift from individualism to community, from anthropocentrism to biophilia, from sens-bound empiricism to radical empiricism,. from we-they thinking to world loyalty, and from conventional morality to counter-cultural (justice-oriented) morality.
These eight books, and many others like them, offer theoretical foundations and practical guidelines for this new, more ecologically wise way of living in the world. For this reason, among many others, you may want to read about them and, if time permits, read them, too.
-- Jay McDaniel
Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things
Thought in the Act: Passages in the Ecology of Experience
Always More than One: Individuation's Dance
Moving without a Body
Semblance and Event