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Myth Salon: From Physics to Philosophy with Dr. Jesse Bettinger

On Tuesday January 22, the Myth Salon will open the New Year with another very special treat! Dr. Jesse Bettinger is part physicist, part process philosopher, and part soccer player and coach. We’ve uncovered another renaissance scholar – an educator who weaves neuroscience, ecology and ancient history into a mix of mythology and metaphysics. Jesse Bettinger earned his doctorate from Claremont with a dissertation tracing an event-logic through emergent models of physics intricately tied to process philosophy. Put your thinking cap on and break out the soccer ball!

In his talk for the Myth Salon, he will follow shifts in the foundations of science from a substance to a process, and then explore with us some of the intricacies in the connections that link the physical sciences with Buddhism and Hinduism. At heart, logic reveals a relational set of dynamics—from physics and cosmology to chemistry and biology—predicated not on ultimate stuff, but on events of spontaneously emerging relational values, “dependently-arising” in a self-organizing process. This logic revises gravity, space time, string theory and quantum mechanics into emergent frameworks, which means that nature doesn’t reduce to a final thing but to a process. Put simply, at the fundamental scale, science passes from a 3rd-person enterprise to a 2nd-person one. We can thank the French feminist phenomenologists for revival of the logic of the second-person.

All the while Jesse has been developing models to articulate the webs of connections among physics and philosophy, he has served as a staff coach/recruiter for Stanford University’s soccer scouting camps. Most recently, Jesse served as a practice player and team manager for the Claremont Colleges Rugby team as they made back-to-back appearances in the National Championship tournament.


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