Courses Overview >> Short courses >> Mind, Matter and Life: A Unified Systemic View

Mind, Matter and Life: A Unified Systemic View

Course dates: 
Friday, 20 April, 2018 to Sunday, 22 April, 2018

With Fritjof Capra and Stephan Harding

Fritjof Capra will present his synthesis of the new “systems view of life” and will then concentrate on one of its most radical philosophical implications: a scientific theory which, for the first time, unifies mind, matter, and life. Stephan Harding will then show how we can use Fritjof’s unifying insights to help us develop a deeply felt sense of embeddedness in the living ecology of our planet.

Over the last thirty years, a new systemic understanding of life has emerged at the forefront of science. At the core of this new understanding we find a fundamental change of metaphors: from seeing the world as a machine to understanding it as a network. This change has profound philosophical, social, and political implications. In this course, Fritjof will present his synthesis of the new “systems view of life” and will then concentrate on one of its most radical philosophical implications: a scientific theory which, for the first time, unifies mind, matter, and life.

Stephan will then show how these new insights from the new systems understanding of life help us to experience the Earth and its ecological interactions as one integrated planetary organism in which we are symbiotically embedded.  Developing this kind of science-based, deep ecological perception is perhaps the most important task for consciousness in our time, requiring us to expand our sense of self to include the myriad systemic relationships that constitute our living planet, our animate earth.

What will participants gain from taking part in this course?

  •  Appreciation of the importance of systems thinkig.
  •  Understanding of the systems view of life, integrating life’s biological, cognitive, social, and ecological dimensions
  •  Realization of how to overcome the centuries-old split between mind and matter
  •  Learn how to apply the systems view of life to understanding Earth (Gaia) as a complex living system
  •  Understand and experience the interconnections between systems thinking, Gaian science, deep ecology and the development of consciousness
Fritjof Capra

Fritjof Capra

Fritjof Capra, PhD., physicist and systems theorist, is the author of several international bestsellers, including The Tao of Physics (1975), The Web of Life (1996), and The Science of Leonardo (2007). He is coauthor, with Pier Luigi Luisi, of the multidisciplinary textbook, The Systems View of Life (Cambridge University Press, 2014). Fritjof’s new online course is based on his textbook.

 

Dr Stephan Harding FLS

Stephan Harding

Stephan oversees the MSc in Holistic Science, teaching on the core models and as part of several of the short courses at the College. Stephan was born in Venezuela in 1953, and  came to England at the age of six with his father and housekeeper, with whom he spoke Spanish (his mother tongue).  Since childhood Stephan has had a deep fascination with the natural world, and his scientific cast of mind lead him to do a degree in Zoology at the University of Durham and then a doctorate on the behavioural ecology of the muntjac deer at Oxford University. After completing his first degree he returned to Venezuela where he was a field assistant for the Smithsonian Institute, studying mammalian diversity in the rainforest and in the lowland plains. After Oxford Stephan was appointed Visiting Professor in Wildlife Management at the National University in Costa Rica, where he lived for two years before becoming a founder member of Schumacher College in 1990.  The College’s first teacher was James Lovelock, with whom Stephan has maintained a long-lasting friendship and scientific collaboration that lead to their joint appointment as founding chair holders of the Arne Naess Chair in Global Justice and the Environment at the University of Oslo.  At Schumacher College Stephan has taught alongside many of the world’s leading ecological thinkers and activists, including Arne Naess, Fritjof Capra, Vandana Shiva, David Abram, James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis.

Fee: 
£ 395.00
Course fees include all vegetarian meals, field trips, materials and all teaching sessions. The programme will run from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening and includes two nights private accommodation and lunch on Sunday.