- May 19, 2022
- 7:00 pm
In-Person and Livestream First Unitarian Universalist Church & Center
1187 Franklin Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
Important Event Information
- Portions of the audio was released on our podcast.
- A recording is available to all registrants until Thursday, May 26, 2022 11:59 p.m. PDT.
Dive deeper with Exploring Wonder and Urban Wildness with David Abram: An In-Person Walking Workshop either on Saturday, May 21 or Sunday, May 22. Learn more at the workshop's web page.
David Abram has been an inspirational leading voice at the intersection of ecology and philosophy for over 25 years. In his first book, The Spell of the Sensuous, he popularized animism, the worldview of many Indigenous people, with the phrase "the more-than-human world" to speak of nature as a realm that deeply includes humankind—with all our culture and technology—while also necessarily exceeding humankind. This phrase was taken up and remains a key term within the worldwide movement for ecological sanity.
A close student of the traditional ecological knowledge of a diverse array of Indigenous peoples, his work articulates the interconnection of humans both with the varied sensitivities of the plants and animals upon whom we depend, as well as with the agency of the places that surround and sustain our communities. Our unique modalities of mind, David suggests, simply cannot be understood in isolation from the material dynamism and fragility of the breathing Earth.
Join CIIS philosophy faculty Matt Segall for an inspiring conversation with David on the wild intelligence of our bodies, the ecological depths of our imagination, and the ways in which sensory perception and wonder inform the relation between the human animal and the animate Earth.
David Abram, PhD is a cultural ecologist and geo philosopher. He is the author of The Spell of the Sensuous and Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology. Described as "revolutionary" by the Los Angeles Times, as “daring” and “truly original” by the journal Science, David's work explores the ecological depths of the imagination, articulating the ways in which sensory perception, language, and wonder inform the relation between the human animal and the animate earth. In his first book, David coined the phrase "the more-than-human world" in order to speak of nature as a realm that thoroughly includes humankind (with all our culture and technology), yet also necessarily exceeds humankind; the phrase has now been taken up as a key term within the worldwide movement for ecological sanity.
David was perhaps the first contemporary philosopher to advocate for a reappraisal of Indigenous animism as a complexly nuanced and uniquely viable worldview, one which roots human cognition in the dynamic sentience of the body while affirming the ongoing entanglement of our sentience with the uncanny intelligence of other animals. A close student of the traditional ecological knowledge of diverse Indigenous peoples, his work also articulates the entwinement of human subjectivity with the varied sensitivities of the plants upon whom we depend, as well as with the agency of the particular places (or bioregions) that surround and sustain our communities. Our unique modalities of mind, David suggests, simply cannot be understood in isolation from the material dynamism and fragility of the breathing Earth.
David has been the recipient of numerous awards, including Rockefeller and Watson Fellowships, and the international Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction; he recently held the international Arne Naess Chair in Global Justice and Ecology in Norway. Co-founder and director of the Alliance for Wild Ethics (AWE), and a distinguished Fellow of Schumacher College in England, David lives with his family in the foothills of the southern Rockies.
Matthew D. Segall, PhD, received his doctoral degree in 2016 from the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program at CIIS. His dissertation was titled Cosmotheanthropic Imagination in the Post-Kantian Process Philosophy of Schelling and Whitehead. It grapples with the limits to knowledge of reality imposed by Kant's transcendental form of philosophy and argues that Schelling and Whitehead's process-oriented approach (described in his dissertation as a "descendental" form of philosophy) shows the way across the Kantian threshold to renewed experiential contact with reality. He teaches courses on German Idealism and process philosophy for the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program at CIIS. He blogs regularly at footnotes2plato.com.