Tam Hunt’s new collection of essays, Eco, Ego, Eros: Essays in Philosophy, Spirituality and Science, was published in early 2014. It is available in paperback or Kindle on Amazon.com.
Kirkus Reviews positively reviewed this new collection: “A beautifully designed, thoroughly stimulating new paradigm of scientific spiritualism.” The rest of the Kirkus review is available here.
Christof Koch, formerly a tenured professor at CalTech and now Chief Scientific Officer at the Allen Institute for Brain Science, wrote the Foreword for Hunt’s book. He states:
“By reading Eco, Ego, Eros, you are about to embark on a voyage of discovery that uses rational analysis by some of the greatest Western thinkers, combined with the experimental and theoretical investigation of nature, to make sense of the riddle of our existence. Authored by Tam Hunt, an environmental lawyer and philosopher, this series of short chapters, reflecting their origin in a regular online column, has a magnificent writ. Starting out with panpsychism, the ancient teaching that all creatures and, indeed, all matter, are to a smaller and larger extent conscious, the book covers quantum mechanics, relativity theory, evolution by natural selection, the origin of life, scholars from Descartes to contemporary philosophers of mind, Gödel and the limits of mathematics, Western, Hindu and Buddhist ideas about mind, and the author’s own mystical experience when smoking dope in the Pacific Northwest.”
“Absent-minded science” - the practice of today’s mainstream science of ignoring, either intentionally or by oversight, the role of mind in nature - is the focus of this volume of essays by Tam Hunt. Hunt is a former columnist for the Santa Barbara Independent and this book contains the first three years of his columns, including a bonus detailed interview with Giulio Tononi, developer of the Integrated Information Theory of consciousness that is growing in popularity in recent years. Also included is an interview with Christof Koch, a neuroscientist and biophysicist who has “outed” himself as a panpsychist. Panpsychism, a theme that runs through most of Hunt’s essays, is the notion that matter and mind are two sides of the same coin, so where there is mind there is also matter and where there is matter there is also mind. Koch, Tononi and Hunt are part of a growing awareness that mind needs to be taken seriously in science as well as in philosophy. Mind is fundamental in any coherent ontology and this series of essays outlines a system that puts mind back where it should be: at the base of our worldview.
Tam Hunt is a lawyer, philosopher and writer based in Santa Barbara, California. He is a Visiting Scholar in psychology at UC Santa Barbara.