EP 232 Matthew David Segall on Process Philosophy and the Origin of Life

Jim talks with Matthew David Segall about the ideas in his and Bruce Damer‘s new essay, “The Cosmological Context of the Origin of Life: Process Philosophy and the Hot Spring Hypothesis.” They discuss the “philosophy as footnotes to Plato” idea, the hot springs origin of life hypothesis, closing the gap between chemistry & life, Whitehead’s idea of concrescence, metaphysics in philosophy, minimum viable metaphysics, why physical law doesn’t imply biological organisms, process-relational philosophy, deep-seated cosmic habits, the hero’s answer, the type 1a supernova, rigorous speculation, the incalculability of the adjacent possible, the nature of matter, autocatalysis, the tension between the actual & possible, the rate of evolution, getting past the error catastrophe, Prigogine’s ideas about dissipative systems, teleology & the second law of thermodynamics, why DNA is not a blueprint, the Fermi paradox, bringing the universe to life, social implications of the origin of life, panpsychism & panexperientialism, integrated information theory, why matter & energy must have an endogenous telos, prehension, life wanting to live better, necessity & openness, questioning falsifiability, and much more.

Matthew David Segall, Phd, is a transdisciplinary researcher, writer, teacher, and philosopher applying process-relational thought across the natural and social sciences, as well as to the study of consciousness. He is Associate Professor in the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness Department at California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, and the Chair of the Science Advisory Committee for the Cobb Institute.