I am a philosopher (Ph.D.) with an interdisciplinary background in fields of evolutionary anthropology, psychoanalysis, complexity science and big history. I have spent my life searching for the truth of being and now seek to share that search with the world in a form that is aligned with self-understanding. Throughout my search I have come to appreciate the power of philosophical thinking for its perpetual questioning, and the power of psychoanalytic thinking for its self-reflectivity. I attempt to combine perpetual questioning and self-reflectivity into all of my work as I find this is the source of truly new form and creative being. Thus all of my webinars and courses are designed from this foundation with the aim to participate in a universal dimension of self-becoming.
What I Offer
I am someone who was first driven to understand the difference between humans and nature or humans and biological life. This difference led me to the study of the emergence and evolution of language, culture, technology, and self-consciousness. Of course, these phenomenal forms may exist in the non-human world, but it is also obvious that these phenomenal forms have expanded to determine the human world in ways that are quite dramatically different from anything else we can observe.
From this conclusion I become fascinated by the potential ontological consequences of human knowledge: language, culture, technology, and self-consciousness. Of course, it is impossible for anyone to have all the answers to this line of questioning, but the inherent incompleteness in this questioning is also what makes it so interesting to study! In this study our search for the truth becomes part of the truth itself because we have to question the way we use our own language, instantiate cultural traditions, utilise technology, and develop our own self relationship. Nothing is pre-given and thus everything is to-be-determined. You can think about it as an open-ended and life-long challenge!
Do you feel that you are walking a similar path?
If so, you are on a pathway to inner knowing and self-understanding. To simplify to the extreme, I believe that this pathway is one structured as a “strange loop” of identity (A->B; B->A), and not in a linear path A->B->C. These loops are not fixed and closed, they can be “broken” (divided) or “built” (integrated) with the introduction of a new element (C). These loops are not flat and neutral, they are curved and directional, capable of spiralling “downwards” or “upwards” depending on the way the self “attaches” or “detaches”, “includes” or “excludes” old and new relations.
If one is not attentive to one’s own “self-surface” one could spiral into addiction (an inability to control one’s own relational universe), or nihilism (an inability to stabilise meaning in one’s relational universe). That is why it is so important to fully and openly examine one’s own self and to understand one self on the level where addiction and nihilism can be transformed into an integrated mode through real self-definition (determining one’s own relational universe) and real depth of meaning (stabilised purpose in one’s own relational universe).
For me, simply put, “Philosophy in the 21st century” is about the mysteries and adventures of this universal self process of understanding. Throughout history the greatest thinkers have meditated on being, self, community and life in general. Now we live in a time where we are offered the possibility of integrating this knowledge so that we can interpret our world anew. When the self understands in a way that it is aligned with its deepest truth, we gain a core foundation in which the unpredictability and chaos of existence is presented with its only real antidote: a solid core of understanding which brings with it an internal power, and an internal certainty, to act.
Thus, the work I do in virtual and actual contexts is about the problem of meaning which appears as a hole or a gap or a crack internal to our self-loop cycle. This hole-gap-crack may be why our world is experiencing deep problems of work, connection, closeness, intimacy, unity and community. If the individual is broken and fragmented the social will be broken and fragmented. The individual and the social are ultimately interconnected or entangled, constantly mirroring each other. The structure is necessary and so is the subject; the subject is necessary but so is the structure. They dynamically inform one another in a universal process that can only be navigated by the understanding grounded in life.
The even bigger wager of this work is that we can approach the grandest challenges in our world, whether they be political, economic, ecological, psychological, social, sexual, gendered, emotional, or otherwise, if we are able to go back to our foundations of knowledge, and our foundations of consciousness. The problems we claim are problems may change, the solutions we are certain are solutions may fall away. We may see that linear models of problem X requiring solution Y is in-itself limiting our perception in a harmful and destructive form. In terms of pragmatics for a complex world we may require more nuanced reflectivity. We may learn to see more in terms of paradox and contradiction and knots which catch our own self off guard, as if we learn something about our self that we were not conscious of for years or even decades.
In short, my work attempts to open spaces that attempt to be outlets for the self’s higher cognitive inclinations: to see and discuss and act with nuance and subtlety and courage. Here we embody and enact the dialectical process and use philosophy in such a way that it approaches the field of our self and world ideology. The aim is always the freedom that can come from engaging in this activity. To cut a loop here that you did not even know was there; to build a new loop here that you did not even think was possible before!
My work starts with a virtual platform, a simple blog and vlog. This is where I make a stand on what I really think and how I really feel. On this virtual platform I offer general commentary on big cultural issues, I offer introductory material to philosophy, psychoanalysis and science, and I also offer higher level material on frontier philosophical discussions and works. This work is a work of liberation because I want to use new media as a tool for new forms of dialogue, expression and open-access to all world knowledge. Knowledge is no longer regulated by big institutions, hidden behind pay-walls, or guarded exclusively by academic professionals. Knowledge is open and free for all, and this can be used for self-awareness that leads to a new integration.
My work then aims to function in the actual. In this actual I want to connect philosophical notions (like Plato’s notion of “Form”, Parmenides notion of “Being”, Democritus notion of “Atom”, Heraclitus notion of “Change”, Descartes notion of “Cogito”, Spinoza’s notion of “Substance”, Kant’s notion of “Noumena”, Hegel’s notion of “Identity”, Schopenhauer’s notion of “Will”, Freud’s notion of “Unconscious”, Heidegger’s notion of “Dasein”, Lacan’s notion of “Real”, Deleuze’s notion of “Multiplicity”) to embodied experience and vice versa (connecting embodied experience to philosophical notions). This is what I would call a true “notional mediation” in which the level of philosophical notions (A) is connected to our real embodied experiences (B) (A->B; B->A).
What opens with this loop? I believe that what opens is a new way of thinking and a new way of acting in relationship to the challenges of our time. To put it in philosophical terms, this is the concept at work in or as time in order to discover what it really and truly is in-and-for-itself. Join me.
Last, C. 2019. Symbolic Orders and Structure of Universal Internalization. In: Evolution: Evolutionary Trends and Aspects. Ed. L.E. Grinin & A.V. Korotayev. pp. 120-144. Volgograd: Publishing House ‘Uchitel’. [forth-coming]
Last, C. 2019. Global Brain: Foundations for a Distributed Singularity. In: The 21st Century Singularity and Global Futures. A Big History Perspective. Ed. D.J. LePoire. Springer. [forth-coming]
Last, C. 2018. A Reflective Note for Dialectical Thinkers. International Journal of Žižek Studies, 12(4): 1-48. ISSN: 1751-8229. [link]
Last, C. 2018. Cosmic Evolutionary Philosophy and a Dialectical Approach to Technological Singularity. Information, 9(4): 78. DOI: 10.3390/info9040078. [link]
Last, C. 2017. Big Historical Foundations for Deep Future Speculations: Cosmic Evolution, Atechnogenesis, and Technocultural Civilization. Foundations of Science, 22(1): 39-124. DOI: 10.1007/s10699-015-9434-y. [link]
Last, C. 2017. Global Commons in the Global Brain. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 114: 48-64. DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2016.06.013. [link]
Last, C. 2015. Information-energy metasystem model. Kybernetes, 44(8/9), pp. 1298-1309. DOI: 10.1108/K-11-2014-0231. [link]
Last, C. 2015. Human Metasystem Transition (HMST) Theory. Journal of Evolutionary & Technology, 25(1), 1-16. [link]
Last, C. 2014. Human Evolution, Life History Theory, and the End of Biological Reproduction. Current Aging Science, 7(1), 1-8. DOI: 10.2174/1874609807666140521101610. [link]
Last, C. 2014. Global Brain and the Future of Human Society. World Future Review, 6(2), 143-150. DOI: 10.1177/194675. [link]
Last & Muh. 2013. Effects of Human Presence on Chimpanzee Nest Location in the Lebialem-Mone Forest Landscape, Southwest Region, Cameroon. Folia Primatologica, 84: 51-63. [link]
Last, C. 2013. The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution (2009) by Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending. vis-a-vis: Explorations of Anthropology, 12(1), 120-123. [link]