An Interdisciplinary Research Seminar on Mind & Nature

Sign Up


Exploring mind and nature from multiple disciplines.


Featuring a conversation between scientists and philosophers with different expertise.


All the presentations and dialogues are available as downloadable video and audio.

the Mindfulness of Nature

The historical discussion concerning the relationship of mind and nature has often centered around the well-worn battle between reductive materialists and mind-body dualists. Typically the scientific consensus was set against philosophical arguments regarding science’s epistemic limits. These debates often made little progress, and one sometimes has the sense that the participants are talking past each other.

Today, however, a new aspect of the topic is emerging.  Across multiple scientific disciplines, there is a growing recognition of nature’s mindfulness - that is, of the prevalence of diverse kinds of minds within nature - as well a philosophical renaissance of more robust and expansive naturalisms. During this gathering, we intend to explore this generative intersection and the way it could help reconfigure our vision of mind and nature. 

  • How widespread is mind or mentality in the natural world?
  • Is there a diversity of kinds of mind, or kinds of mentality?
  • Which aspects of the mental are open to scientific inquiry?
  • Does the prevalence of minds in the natural world have any philosophical implications?

Seminar Facilitators :

Sarah Lane Ritchie & Tripp Fuller, from the University of Edinburgh, will be co-hosting this research gathering. It is part of a three-year project titled God & the Book of Nature supported by the John Tempelton Foundation.

So often scholars get stuck in disciplinary silos, over-determined by the inherited prejudices and unaware of potentially vibrant conversation partners in other disciplines. Our goal is to bring together multiple disciplines for a scientifically-rigorous, skeptically-persistent, experientially-informed, and spiritually-humble conversation.

Seminar Contributors

Philip Clayton

Claremont School of Theology

Christof Koch

Allen Institute

Tim Ingold

University of Aberdeen

Joanna Leidenhag

University of St. Andrews

Jonathan Delafield-Butt

University of Strathclyde

Philip Goff

Durham University

Thomas Jay Oord

Center for Open and Relational Theology

Godehard Brüntrup SJ

University of Berlin

Don't miss out.
Sign up for the research seminar!