Peircean Animism and the End of Civilization | Eugene Halton (2005)

Charles Peirce claimed that logically “every true universal, every continuum, is a living and conscious being.” Such a claim is precisely what hunter-gatherers believe: a world-view depicted as animism. Suppose animism represents a sophisticated world-view, ineradicably embodied in our physical bodies, and that Peirce’s philosophy points toward a new kind of civilization, inclusive of what I term animate mind. We are wired to marvel in nature, and this reverencing attunement does not require a concept of God. Marveling in nature proves to be not only a motive source of human evolution, but key to continued development.

“Our intelligence cannot wall itself up alive, like a pupa in its chrysalis. It must at any cost keep on speaking terms with the universe that engendered it.”

William James1

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