Thursday, August 4, 2011

Clarifications on the One and the Many, and the Problem of History

More on thinking  being, genesis, identity, and change.

In my discussion of the One and the Many, I am clearly not thinking it in a classical Greek way.  It's not, for instance, a discussion of Parmenidean block-being.  For the most part, they saw static being as most real, whereas change as flux was unreal.  In contrast, I am addressing singularity vs. plurality in a cosmos where change is real.  Hence, cosmogenesis becomes a problem because then we must ask what comes first, e.g., how the one becomes many, or how any determinate being becomes the presumedly plural cosmos.  Any particular positing of what was first becomes a limitation on what may be.  I mostly discuss this in terms of an "identity principle," because the initial structure/identity is what is limiting, not its mere being or existence.

The issue of cosmogenesis and the One and the Many may seem to be minor point.  But if history is real, as it must be for most articulations of process metaphysics, then initial distinctions will reverbate.  This is less of a metaphysical discussion per se than a methodological one.

What am I after?  An understanding of the interrelation of the identity and genesis principles.  This correlates to discussions of actual occasions and concrescence, or objects and their withdrawal in object-oriented ontology.

1 comment:

  1. Another linkage.

    The identity and genesis principles are ontic correlates of natura naturans and natura naturata. See Spinoza, Ethics, Part I, Prop. 29, Scholium. Corrington reinvents these distinctions.

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