“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Monday, April 9, 2012

Talking at the American Anthropological Association

If I had my time again I might have been an anthropologist. I'm giving this talk at the annual meeting in November:

Interobjective Mind

Ecological mind is no more and no less than the coexistence of beings and the networks of affiliation between them. The simplicity of this idea accords with contemporary "enactive" theories of mind, in which mind is distributed among relata such as neurons, the physical body, and the environment, rather than being a "thing" that can be located "in" the brain.

What is called "intersubjectivity" is a small region of a much larger space of "interobjectivity." This space includes nonhuman beings such as animals and even nonsentient beings such as plants--and even nonlife such as stones and clouds.

In this paper I shall be delineating the ways in which the emerging philosophy movement called object-oriented ontology allows us to think mind in a way that is deeply congruent with ecological awareness, and with traditional human societies.

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