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Co-organized with our friends at the California Institute for Integral Studies (CIIS), the Center for Process Studies recently concluded its long-awaited "Metaphysics and the Matter With Things: Thinking with Iain McGilchrist" Conference. We were very happy to have Dr. McGilchrist attend in person--a long trip from his home on the beautiful lsle of Skye on the northwestern coast of Scotland.

The conference was prompted by the recent publication of Iain's magnum opus, The Matter With Things: Our Brains, Our Delusions, and the Unmaking of the World (2021) which puts forth a truly adventurous process-relational weltanschauung based upon his longstanding research into brain lateralization and the different ways in which the left and right hemispheres attend to the world. Indeed, many are (rightly) calling this book one of the most important publications of the century (so have a read!).

 

Like Iain's work, we structured the conference to be deliberately interdisciplinary in nature, featuring four sessions: 1. Neuroscience and Psychology; 2. Physics and Biology; 3. Philosophy and Aesthetics; and 4. Spirituality and the Sacred. Each session included three presentations by key scholars including: Àlex Gómez-Marín, Michael Jacob, and Thandeka (1); Ruth Kastner, Timothy Eastman, and Michael Levin (2); Matt Segall, Zak Stein, and Carolyn Cooke (3); and Richard Tarnas, John Vervaeke, and myself (4). 

 

The conference was well attended with 100 in-person attendees and 300 online participants. All sessions were recorded and will be released on the Center for Process Studies YouTube channel in the coming weeks. The responses to the event have been overwhelmingly positive and Matt Segall and I anticipate producing an excellence edited volume based upon revised and expanded presentations.

I want to personally thank all who attended and contributed to the event, Iain included, and all who made this conference a truly memorable occurrence. Special thanks in particular to Matt Segall and Jared Morningstar for their unmatched collaboration. And a heartfelt thanks to Iain for his pioneering work!

 

Stay tuned for more from myself and the Center for Process Studies.

Andrew M. Davis

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