•  10134
    The spectre of global environmental destruction is before us, the legacy of the expansion and domination of the world by European civilization. Not even the threat to the continued existence of humanity is enough to move the members of this civilization to alter its trajectory. And Marxism, which had held out the possibility of creating a new social order, has been swept from the historical stage by the failure of Eastern European communism. Nihilism Inc. is an attempt to overcome this crisis. E…Read more
  •  6688
    Postmodernism and the Environmental Crisis is the only book to combine cultural theory and environmental philosophy. In it, Arran Gare analyses the conjunction between the environmental crisis, the globalisation of capitalism and the disintegration of the culture of modernity. It explains the paradox of growing concern for the environment and the paltry achievements of environmental movements. Through a critique of the philosophies underlying approaches to the environmental crisis, Arran Gare pu…Read more
  •  3841
    Environmental degradation is the most important complex of problems ever confronted by humanity. Humans are interfering with the world's ecosystems so severely that they are beginning to undermine the conditions for their own continued existence. They are polluting the air, the oceans and the land. They are rapidly exhausting the reserves of minerals and destroying the resources of the world on which civilization depends, while destroying other life forms on a massive scale. At the same time hum…Read more
  •  2854
    Stepping Beyond the Newtonian Paradigm in Biology. Towards an Integrable Model of Life: Accelerating Discovery in the Biological Foundations of Science
    with Plamen L. Simeonov, Edwin Brezina, Ron Cottam, Andreé C. Ehresmann, Ted Goranson, Jaime Gomez‐Ramirez, Brian D. Josephson, Bruno Marchal, Koichiro Matsuno, Robert S. Root-­Bernstein, Otto E. Rössler, Stanley N. Salthe, Marcin Schroeder, Bill Seaman, and Pridi Siregar
    In Plamen L. Simeonov, Leslie S. Smith & Andreé C. Ehresmann (eds.), Integral Biomathics: Tracing the Road to Reality, Springer. pp. 328-427. 2012.
    The INBIOSA project brings together a group of experts across many disciplines who believe that science requires a revolutionary transformative step in order to address many of the vexing challenges presented by the world. It is INBIOSA’s purpose to enable the focused collaboration of an interdisciplinary community of original thinkers. This paper sets out the case for support for this effort. The focus of the transformative research program proposal is biology-centric. We admit that biology to …Read more
  •  2564
    Aleksandr Bogdanov and Systems Theory
    Democracy and Nature 6 (3): 341-359. 2000.
    The significance and potential of systems theory and complexity theory are best appreciated through an understanding of their origins. Arguably, their originator was the Russian philosopher and revolutionary, Aleksandr Bogdanov. Bogdanov anticipated later developments of systems theory and complexity theory in his efforts to lay the foundations for a new, post-capitalist culture and science. This science would overcome the division between the natural and the human sciences and enable workers to…Read more
  •  1761
    Defending Robert Rosen’s claim that in every confrontation between physics and biology it is physics that has always had to give ground, it is shown that many of the most important advances in mathematics and physics over the last two centuries have followed from Schelling’s demand for a new physics that could make the emergence of life intelligible. Consequently, while reductionism prevails in biology, many biophysicists are resolutely anti-reductionist. This history is used to identify and def…Read more
  •  1750
    Systems Theory and Complexity
    Democracy and Nature 6 (3): 327-339. 2000.
    In this paper the central ideas and history of the theory of complex systems are described. It is shown how this theory lends itself to different interpretations and, correspondingly, to different political conclusions.
  •  1698
    This book offers an historical study and critique of Marxism as it was developed in the Soviet Union, then outlines and defends a version of process philosophy on the basis of which a form of eco-Marxism is defended.
  •  1580
    Chreods, homeorhesis and biofields: Finding the right path for science
    Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 131 61-91. 2017.
    C.H. Waddington’s concepts of ‘chreods’ (canalized paths of development) and ‘homeorhesis’ (the tendency to return to a path), each associated with ‘morphogenetic fields’, were conceived by him as a contribution to complexity theory. Subsequent developments in complexity theory have largely ignored Waddington’s work and efforts to advance it. Waddington explained the development of the concept of chreod as the influence on his work of Alfred North Whitehead’s process philosophy, notably, the con…Read more
  •  1496
    Beyond Desartes and Newton: Recovering life and humanity
    with Stuart A. Kauffman
    Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 119 (3): 219-244. 2015.
    Attempts to ‘naturalize’ phenomenology challenge both traditional phenomenology and traditional approaches to cognitive science. They challenge Edmund Husserl’s rejection of naturalism and his attempt to establish phenomenology as a foundational transcendental discipline, and they challenge efforts to explain cognition through mainstream science. While appearing to be a retreat from the bold claims made for phenomenology, it is really its triumph. Naturalized phenomenology is spearheading a succ…Read more
  •  1360
    One of the most influential recent developments in supposedly radical philosophy is ‘posthumanism’. This can be seen as the successor to ‘deconstructive postmodernism’. In each case, the claim of its proponents has been that cultures are oppressive by virtue of their elitism, and this elitism, fostered by the humanities, is being challenged. In each case, however, these philosophical ideas have served ruling elites by crippling opposition to their efforts to impose markets, concentrate wealth an…Read more
  •  1344
    The transformation of universities from public institutions to transnational business enterprises has met with less resistance in Australia than elsewhere. Yet this transformation undermines the founding principles of Australian democracy. This democracy emerged in opposition to the classical form of free market liberalism that the neo-liberals have revived. The logical unfolding of social liberalism in Australia underpinned the development of both the system of wage fixing and the idea of publi…Read more
  •  1328
    This paper argues that while Heidegger showed the importance of architecture in altering people's modes of being to avoid global ecological destruction, the work of Christopher Alexander offered a far more practical orientation to deal with this problem.
  •  1219
    Editorial. Special issue on Integral Biomathics: The Necessary Conjunction of the Western and Eastern Thought Traditions for Exploring the Nature of Mind and Life.
    with Plamen L. Simeonov, Koichiro Matsuno, and Abir U. Igamberdiev
    Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 131 (December, Focussed Issue): 1-11. 2017.
    The idea about this special issue came from a paper published as an updated and upridged version of an older memorial lecture given by Brian D. Josephson and Michael Conrad at the Gujarat Vidyapith University in Ahmedabad, India on March 2, 1984. The title of this paper was “Uniting Eastern Philosophy and Western Science” (1992). We thought that this topic deserves to be revisited after 25 years to demonstrate to the scientific community which new insights and achievements were attained in this …Read more
  •  1213
    Toward an Ecological Civilization
    Process Studies 39 (1): 5-38. 2010.
    Chinese environmentalists have called for an ecological civilization. To promote this, ecology is defended as the core science embodying process metaphysics, and it is argued that as such ecology can serve as the foundation of such a civilization. Integrating hierarchy theory and Peircian semiotics into this science, it is shown how “community” and “communities of communities,” in which communities are defined by their organization to promote the common good of their components, have to be recog…Read more
  •  1209
    The global ecological crisis is the greatest challenge humanity has ever had to confront, and humanity is failing. The triumph of the neo-liberal agenda, together with a debauched ‘scientism’, has reduced nature and people to nothing but raw materials, instruments and consumers to be efficiently managed in a global market dominated by corporate managers, media moguls and technocrats. The arts and the humanities have been devalued, genuine science has been crippled, and the quest for autonomy and…Read more
  •  930
    From 'Sustainable Development' to 'Ecological Civilization': Winning the War for Survival
    Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 13 (3): 130-153. 2017.
    The central place accorded the notion of ‘sustainable development' among those attempting to overcome ecological problems could be one of the main reasons for their failure. ‘Ecological civilization' is proposed and defended as an alternative. ‘Ecological civilization' has behind it a significant proportion of the leadership of China who would be empowered if this notion were taken up in the West. It carries with it the potential to fundamentally rethink the basic goals of life and to provide an…Read more
  •  927
    HENRI BERGSON AND THE MIND BODY PROBLEM: OVERCOMING CARTESIAN DUALISM
    Cosmos and History 16 (2): 165-181. 2020.
    There are few philosophers who have been so influential in their own lifetimes and had so much influence, only to be subsequently ignored, as Henri Bergson (1859-1941). When in April 1922, Bergson debated Einstein on the nature of time, it was Bergson who was far better known and respected. Now Einstein’s achievements are known to everyone, but very few people outside philosophy departments have even heard of Bergson. Following Friedrich Schelling and those he influenced, Bergson targeted the Ca…Read more
  •  925
    The Eco-socialist Roots of Ecological Civilization
    Capitalism Nature Socialism 32 (1): 37-55. 2021.
    The notion of ecological civilisation has become central to Chinese efforts to confront and deal with environmental problems. However, ecological civilisation is characterized by its proponents in different ways. Some see it as simply an adjunct to the existing system designed to deal with current ecological crises. Its more radical proponents argue for a socialist ecological civilisation that should be developed globally and transform every part of society, changing the way people perceive, liv…Read more
  •  888
    The fracture in the emerging discipline of biosemiotics when the code biologist Marcello Barbieri claimed that Peircian biosemiotics is not genuine science raises anew the question: What is science? When it comes to radically new approaches in science, there is no simple answer to this question, because if successful, these new approaches change what is understood to be science. This is what Galileo, Darwin and Einstein did to science, and with quantum theory, opposing interpretations are not me…Read more
  •  870
    Ecological Civilization: What is it and Why it Should be the Goal of Humanity
    Culture Della Sostenibilità 27 (1): 8-23. 2021.
    In 2007 the Chinese government embraced ‘ecological civilization’ as a central policy objective of the government. In 2012, the goal of achieving ecological civilization was incorporated into its constitution as a framework for China’s environmental policies, laws and education, and was included as a goal in its five-year plans. In 2017, the 19th Congress of the Communist Party called for acceleration in achieving this goal. Expenditure on technology to ameliorate environmental damage, reduce po…Read more
  •  870
    From Kant to Schelling to Process Metaphysics: On the Way to Ecological Civilization
    Cosmos and History : The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 7 (2): 26-69. 2011.
    The post-Kantians were inspired by Kant’s Critique of Judgment to forge a new synthesis of natural philosophy, art and history that would overcome the dualisms and gulfs within Kant’s philosophy. Focusing on biology and showing how Schelling reworked and transformed Kant’s insights, it is argued that Schelling was largely successful in laying the foundations for this synthesis, although he was not always consistent in building on these foundations. To appreciate this achievement, it is argued th…Read more
  •  810
    The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Western World (review)
    Cosmos and History 8 (1): 412-449. 2012.
    Review of Iain McGilchrist, 'The Master and His Emissary'
  •  804
    Aleksandr Bogdanov's History, Sociology and Philosophy of Science
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 31 (2): 231-248. 2000.
    With the failure of the Soviet Union, Aleksandr Bogdanov has come under increasing scrutiny as the anti-authoritarian, left-wing opponent of Lenin among the Bolsheviks and the main inspiration behind the Proletk'ult movement, the movement which attempted to create a new, proletarian culture (Sochor, 1988). Bogdanov's efforts to create a new, universal science of organization, a precursor to systems theory and cybernetics, has also attracted considerable attention (Gorelik, 1980; Bello, 1985; Big…Read more
  •  791
    By revealing the centrality of stories to action, to social life and to inquiry together with the implicit assumptions in polyphonic stories about the nature of humans, of life and of physical reality, this paper examines the potential of stories to transform civilization. Focussing on the failure of environmentalists so far in the face of the global ecological crisis, it is shown how ethics and political philosophy could be reconceived and radical ecology reformulated and reinvigorated by appre…Read more
  •  747
    MacIntyre, Narratives, and Environmental Ethics
    Environmental Ethics 20 (1): 3-21. 1998.
    While environmental philosophers have been striving to extend ethics to deal with future generations and nonhuman life forms, very little work has been undertaken to address what is perhaps a more profound deficiency in received ethical doctrines, that they have very little impact on how people live. I explore Alasdair MacIntyre’s work on narratives and traditions and defend a radicalization of his arguments as a direction for making environmental ethics efficacious.
  •  729
    The Western and Eastern thought traditions for exploring the nature of mind and life
    with Plamen L. Simeonov, Koichiro Matsuno, Abir U. Igamberdiev, and Denis Noble
    Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 131 1-11. 2017.
    This is the editorial to the special edition of Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology on the role engagement with Eastern traditions of thought could play in the advancement of science generally and biology and the science of mind in particular.
  •  686
    Developing MacIntyre’s metaphilosophy, Whitehead’s contention that philosophy ‘is the most effective of all the intellectual pursuits’ is elucidated and defended. It is argued that the narratives through which philosophical ideas are evaluated can refigure the stories constituting societies. In this way philosophical ideas become practically effective and come to be embodied in institutions. This is illustrated by the challenge by process philosophy to scientific materialism in the face of an im…Read more
  •  683
    Postmodernism as the Decadence of the Social Democratic State
    Democracy and Nature 7 (1): 77-99. 2001.
    In this paper it is argued that the corresponding rise of postmodernism and the triumph of neo-liberalism are not only not accidental, the triumph of neo-liberalism has been facilitated by postmodernism. Postmodernism has been primarily directed not against mainstream modernism, the modernism of Hobbes, Smith, Darwin and social Darwinism, but against the radical modernist quest for justice and emancipation with its roots in German thought. The Social Democratic State, the principles of which wer…Read more