2018 Theme: “Nature and the Symbolic in the Human and Non-human”
A central feature of any naturalism is that there is at least some form of continuity between mind and nature – or, that mind “stretches” to meet nature (in the words of John Dewey). But, what is “mind” within a naturalistic register? What within nature might be able to “think?” As any “ecstatic” naturalism seeks to explore nature’s deeply embedded transformational potential, the theme of this year’s congress questions nature’s potential for “mind” – or “intelligence” – and questions how that mind or intelligence might be at work within the natural world, especially as expressed by means of symbol. Papers at the Ecstatic Naturalism conference engage such fields as applied philosophy, political ecology, and biosemiotics, and connect them with within the stream of contemporary philosophical naturalism.
This conference is open to interested graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars.