- An important paper, though not for the reason I thought from the title. Naturally, I’d expected it to be about Metamorphosis1, but it’s mostly about Process Metaphysics2.
- In fact, the word “metamorphosis”3 is only mentioned in the title, though the process is mentioned about half-way through: “ … all organisms – and cells and organs – have life cycles, and can have very different properties at different stages. A golden-haired boy becomes a grey-haired old man; a larva hatches from an egg and becomes a pupa, imago and finally an insect. If we are committed to thingness, it becomes a real quandary as to how something can undergo such profound changes to its fundamental properties without ceasing to exist. A process, on the other hand, does not persist by some central something remaining the same, but rather by the causal connections between the activities that continue to sustain the process. For example, at every stage of the life cycle of the insect, a flurry of metabolic processes allows it to maintain its current form. Another set of processes manages its transition from larva to pupa, and pupa to adult. ”
- I’ll discuss this further under the Process Metaphysics4 Note.
- Enough for now to remark that Dupré quotes an unusually large number of other Aeon papers, with apparent appreciation:
→ "Ganeri (Jonardon) - The tree of knowledge is not an apple or an oak but a banyan",
→ "Tobia (Kevin Patrick) - Change becomes you",
→ "Skillings (Derek J.) - Life is not easily bounded",
→ "Wertheim (Margaret) - Physics’s pangolin",
→ "Vieira (Celso) - Which is more fundamental: processes or things?",
→ "England (Jeremy) - Why trees don’t ungrow",
→ "Yong (Ed) - Microbes have no morals", and
→ "Smith (Subrena E.) - Why philosophy is so important in science education".
- He also cites "Ladyman (James), Ross (Don), Spurrett (David) & Collier (John) - Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized", also with enthusiasm.
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