- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Process Metaphysics1' during my Thesis research, as from December 2017.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Statistics" above.
Write-up2 (as at 02/09/2020 08:34:05): Process Metaphysics
- A foundation-stone of my – and most philosophers’ – account of identity is that “things” – or at least some “things” – exist. Without things to persist, there can be no persistence and no diachronic identity.
- There has been much discussion about just which things exist, and which things make up – or compose4 – other things – see, for instance:-
→ "Hudson (Hud) - Vagueness and Composition"
→ "Markosian (Ned) - Brutal Composition"
→ "Miller (Kristie) - The Existential Quantifier, Composition and Contingency"
→ "Parsons (Josh) - Conceptual Conservatism and Contingent Composition"
And especially …
→ "Van Inwagen (Peter) - The Special Composition Question"
→ "Van Inwagen (Peter) - When are Objects Parts?"
- However, some recent papers I’ve seen on Aeon cast doubt on the existence of things, and prefer to focus on processes – in particular, biological ones. This is “process metaphysics”, or “naturalistic metaphysics”. See:-
→ "Vieira (Celso) - Which is more fundamental: processes or things?"
→ "Dupre (John) - Metaphysics of metamorphosis"
The above two papers are all I’ve read on the subject thus far.
- Relevant books include:-
→ "Rescher (Nicholas) - Process Metaphysics: An Introduction to Process Philosophy"
→ "Ladyman (James), Ross (Don), Spurrett (David) & Collier (John) - Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized"
- I’ve recently come across the work of Anne Sophie Meincke, who has collaborated with John Dupré. Some of her work is in the reading lists below. They seem to be proposing a non-substance version of Animalism5.
- Also, it seems that Chinese philosophy eschews substance in favour of process, at least according to Byung-Chul Han.
- Books by Alfred North Whitehead – while historically important – are not a priority in this context.
- Nor are those on Process Theology.
- Back in the previous century, around 1993, I used to attend the meetings of “The Society for Process Thought”, and corresponded frequently with its chairman, Patrick Lewin. A quick Google didn’t reveal anything about the Society, or Patrick, so maybe both are extinct. I did find an old Newsletter that mentioned both: The Ethical Record, December 1993, on the Conway Hall Website.
- I’m not sure how much of an impact this stance has on my research. I’d already suggested that animals are each individuated by a life6, itself a process.
- For a Page of Links7 to this Note, Click here.
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read8 include the following:-
- "Dupre (John) - Metaphysics of metamorphosis"
- "Han (Byung-Chul) - Shanzhai: Deconstruction in Chinese"
- "Vieira (Celso) - Which is more fundamental: processes or things?"
- A further reading list might start with:-
- "Ladyman (James), Ross (Don), Spurrett (David) & Collier (John) - Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized", Ladyman
- "Meincke (Anne Sophie) - Persons as Biological Processes: A Bio-Processual Way Out of the Personal Identity Dilemma", Meincke
- "Meincke (Anne Sophie) - Processual Animalism", Meincke
- "Meincke (Anne Sophie) - The Disappearance of Change: Towards a Process Account of Persistence", Meincke
- "Meincke (Anne Sophie) & Dupre (John) - Biological Identity: Why Metaphysicians and Philosophers of Biology Should Talk to One Another", Meincke & Dupre
- "Rescher (Nicholas) - Process Metaphysics: An Introduction to Process Philosophy", Rescher
- This is mostly a place-holder9.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (02/09/2020 08:34:05).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
- I need a note on Composition.
- It is involved in – but not identical to – issues of Constitution.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2020