EcoCiv Podcast #17 – Matthew Segall: Whitehead, Marx, and Ecological Civilization
Andrew Schwartz speaks with Matthew Segall, who is a philosopher at the California Institute of Integral Studies, and a popular blogger at Footnotes2Plato.com. He is also the author of a number of books, including The Physics of the World-Soul: The Relevance of Alfred North Whitehead’s Philosophy of Organism To Contemporary Scientific Cosmology. Throughout his work, Matthew consistently demonstrates an ability to clearly explain complex philosophical concepts, and to show how they are relevant to important matters of politics, science, and religion.
At a recent conference in San Francisco, he gave a talk called “Whitehead and Marx: A Cosmopolitical Approach to Ecological Civilization.” In short, Matthew argues that Whiteheadian process philosophy and Marx’s critique of capitalism must be brought together. Process philosophy, he suggests, not only helps to “diagnose the metaphysical roots of the present ecological catastrophe,” but also provides a corrective to Marx’s anthropocentric view of nature “as dead and awaiting the value-creating power of human consciousness.”
In this episode of the EcoCiv Podcast, Andrew and Matthew discuss the importance of thinking with Whitehead and Marx about an ecological civilization, imagining societies beyond capitalism, developing a non-anthropocentric politics, and why Matthew says we need to think and act locally.
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Music Credit: “lax” by Fascinating Earthbound Objects