Monday, June 23, 2014

"the human" and meso-mining

Wait a minute, who advocates for "the human" (as a general, or a universal, concept) today anyway? 18th-century rationalists? Come on.

Ok, ok, we get it: so deanthropocentrism means advocating for actually existing humans (so you say) and non-humans alike.

But there again is that age old preference for the *actual* over the possible; or more accurately: potential is downgraded before the categorically reductionistic move of "meso-mining" (neither sham category of so-called "over" or "under" mining). Meso-mining means reducing always the entities of the world to their supposed finished states as frozen objects.  What's fully formed or fully individuated is always primary for the meso-miner.

But that is an ontological impossibility.

Sure, we may have an ideal state of complete information/entities/particulars where they are, let's say, "complete" in their process of individuation. But that is a regulative ideal, and a general, or the Absolute realized (it is what differentiates Hegelian metaphysics from Schellingean or to some extent Kantian, I am thinking his essay "Perpetual Peace."_

If meso-mining is true all absolutes are already realized. But this is patently false in an a continually becoming universe; an evolving universe where forms change.

Leaving behind the meso-miner for a moment, regarding pre-formed individuals - say "eternal objects' as full finished and completely individuated Ideal patterns with rigid borders that stand as lures for the not-yet-actualized, this is where I side with Hartshorne rather than with Whitehead.  I am not sure that there are fully formed particulars save for their temporal contribution to the past.  There is, however, I am sure, the capacity for further future particularization. This is the most general category one knows: the capacity for further particularization is creativity. Some call this capacity production or productivity, some call it free activity, and some may call it experience (I don't prefer that term due to its vagueness).

In any case, maybe there will be "objects" when the universe of becoming-particular "ends," as that could be the only complete, final state of information for the process of individuation to end.. But then again, at that point there wouldn't "be" anything save for the objective immortality of the past, as everything that could occur will have occurred and thus be accomplished (note again: this is a regulative ideal).  Only in the past is anything ever truly finished or fully formed.  Only in a final state of affairs (a would-be future) could anything ever be fully accomplished.  But that would be an extinction of becoming as we know it, and creativity forever forestalls that.

Well then, the question then becomes: does the fact that one takes creativity (as process philosophers do, e.g. Whitehead, Deleuze, Peirce, Hartshorne, James, or even now Stengers, Simondon, Latour, etc. etc.) to be a fundamental ingredient in the universe mean that you are some kind of "undermining" monist?  Hardly.

[UPDATE]: Thanks to Terry from Agent Swarm blog for pointing out this fantastic post:

[UPDATE]: See my post "Individuated Possibles and Possibility as Type" HERE.

[UPDATE]: Why "fully-formed" or completely individuated (if that means non-accomplishing, unchanging, resting entities) is an impossibility, or so says science, HERE.   "All things restlessly search for rest."  It's not exactly a bad thing.