In the human spirit, as in the universe, nothing is higher or lower; everything has equal rights to a common center which manifests it’s hidden existence precisely through this harmonic relationship between every part and itself. ~ Goethe
There problems of space and time, identity and change, or object and process are critical to any philosophy that refuses to ignore it’s metaphysical roots.
Before identity, the temporal boundary distinguishes an object from an event.
One can say that the distinction of object and event, especially with respect to a solitary object, depends on it’s rapidity of change, or the degree to which the object is transformed.
The point is that identity is conceptual or categorical. It involves an event-recurrence within a category. An object individuates a concept within an event-category. The smaller the category, the closer we get to the identity of individuals.
Though we speak of objects for convenience, there are no objects, only events, and there is no exact description of an event. How could there be an absolute sameness across moments if the object or event at a given moment cannot be fully specified?
If there is no ineluctable quantum of value that determines for all observers what an object or event is, or what the constitutive properties of an event are, given the viewer-centred nature of constitutive properties, the causal role of those properties will depend on their valuation.
Objects can either be absorbed into events or they can be conceived as persisting with properties that change as the event transpires. In the latter instance, the change in the event is usually interpreted as an attribute or ‘predicate’ attached to the object.
…process thinking entails an event ontology. For microgenetic theory, an object is always an event. It is not a slice in time but has a temporal history, minimally the change that actualises the object, it’s momentary becoming-into-being. The event is the development of the object in a succession of phases over a duration of existence. An object is a theoretical construct in an extended duration that includes a no-longer-existing-past.
In process theory, change results from novelty in recurrence, with stability achieved in perceptual epochs. In positivism or logical atomism, change tends to occur in the properties, the object itself remaining unchanged. Put differently, the epochs of process theory are irreducible changes through which objects and properties are generated, whereas the atoms of positivism are irreducible solids in which properties are ingredient, or to which they are attached.
An ostensibly stable object such as a rock or a tree, not to mention a particle or a person, is as much an event as a hurricane. (!!)
[Quoting Hart (1949)] Once we realise that the discharging and transition of energies are the only perceptible and apperceptive constituents of reality, physical as well as mental and social, the meanings of ideas and propositions stopped being attributes which we could add to, or subtract from the objects, arbitrarily. Experience became the sole arbiter.
If experience is the world received in the senses, that world is not experienced at all, while if experience is the world of perception, it is a derivation, a model or mirror of the world of sense.
The object does not rest on – but consists of – it’s infrastructure; what the individual brings to the perception is an inherent part of the perception, not something the individual adds to or takes away from an object.
…the philosophy of experience has to be based in the actual nature of experiential objects. This actual nature is not the bare object but the full process of it’s actualisation.
External relations are either independent of objects or part of them. If they are independent, how do they bring the objects into relation? If they are part of them, where does the object end and the relation begin?
The view advanced here is not situated in the contemporary philosophical discourse over internal and external relations, which equates relations with properties and assumes terms that have or do not have these properties. To identify a relation with a property petrifies it in language. Once this step is taken, and given the assumption that terms are not themselves bundles of relations, the conclusion is inevitable that relations are external to terms. The position take here on the other hand, arises in the context of a general monist theory (microgenesis) on the relation of thought to reality. On this view, natural relations within objects, or within the mind/brain, and by implication within non-cognitive entities, are internal to the totality of nature or cognition, in which every particular is a momentary contrast.
The relations that constitute events are not themselves actualities, but rather potentialities or possibilities. Were the dynamic of a relation to actualise, it would freeze as an object and lose it’s relational quality.
For psychic relations to extend into the world, as they do, is for the world to be an extension of the mind. The inner connectedness of the world is not it’s ostensible relatedness in the world, but it’s formative trajectory in the mind/brain. Moreover, if the individual mind exemplifies becoming in nature, this trajectory would correspond to the aim to closure of entities in physical becoming. The physical whole or existence of an entity, or other objects in the world, cannot be reconstructed from it’s spacial context, for this represents the endpoint of a parallel stream. Rather, the coherence of the whole in relation to the parts is in the temporal diachronic of the becoming of one actualisation. An actualisation is how parts individuate. Relations of individuation determine how parts come into existence. Once we apprehend an object (a thought, etc.) it’s relationality is finished.
We perceive parts, not the genuine wholes from which they arise, nor the process through which they actualise. A genuine whole is not a container of parts but a potential to give rise to them. Genuine relations are also imperceptible. The imperceptibility of genuine wholes and their transformation into parts, combined with the emphatic sense of object solidity, makes holistic and relational thinking unpalatable to many people.
Causal efficacy is imagined to be the primary locus of exchange of energy in the world, and is the principle theory of how mental objects and physical entities behave.
…real or genuine change occurs in the actualisation of events into a timeless now, while illusory or apparent change is ‘projected’ onto objects in conscious perception, a distinction that is paradoxical, since it implies that perceptible change is illusory while genuine change is imperceptible.
An object is a momentary cluster of relations that constitutes a portion of a field. The persistence of the object or it’s continuance over time owes to the immediate recurrence of a similar cluster.
…the stability of the object depends on the novelty of it’s successive replacements.
If abstractions are achieved at the cost of some part of the truth, what is lost in an abstract category is the value that belongs to those virtual instances the category encloses.
To abandon the idea that some properties are more basic than others, or that some are essential and others accidental, is to consider all properties mid-dependent. This avoids the idea of a substance with properties and relations, some cognitive, others physical, and the corollary assumption that secondary qualities are psychic additions.
Microgenetic theory implies that the fundamental relation is a shift from whole to part. The diversity of multiplicity of the world and the mind is the individuation of clusters through a series of whole-part shifts in personal or extra-personal space and time. In other words, a single process, a kind of travelling wave, lays down diversity, instead of a multiplicity that is unified in a pulse of consciousness or diverse processes acting on a manifold of parts.
An event is a span over momentary clusters of intrinsic relations determined by interest.
The shaping effect of interest or value on what properties are relevant to the event is due to the affectual tones that accompany the object in it’s transition from potential to actual. The value stream is intrinsic to this transition, at the mental pole as desire, at the object pole as worth and at an intermediate phase as interest.
…interest is derived to worth, which takes on ethical valence (good,bad), then prescriptive emphasis (ought).
Thoughts and feelings grow into the objects of experience.
Events and participants, large or small, depend on foci of interest. The world is the totality of such events. What the world is at a given moment depends on whether a flea looks to left or right. It is the totality of all occurrences from all perspectives, or perhaps, from only One.
We live on the edge of a world that is continuously becoming actual. The cluster of relations that constitutes an occasion of experience leaves in it’s wake a forward going dynamic anticipating an advance in a category that is infinitely divisible. That is why we never quite grasp events other than as classes or properties or categories of object appearances.