Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Wrap-Up Discussion of the Last Day's Wrangling over Nominalism


The primary defender of nominalism in these debates has been Levi Bryant.  If I had to pin the disagreements between us on one thing, though perhaps not the most important, I would say that it is because I am working on a realist pragmatic phenomenology, and he is not.  I would have little to offer the larger discourse if I were giving just another pragmatic phenomenology; there are very few of those, but only a subfield of a small tradition would make note.  But a realist, non-Husserlian phenomenology ... that's something else that few offer.  As far as I can tell, Levi has little interest in working through a phenomenology let alone a realist one.  By "working through," I have Husserlian standards in mind ... all those books.  A contemporary example would be Robert Corrington.

Aside, the context of the original outburst of activity among many conversants was Matt's initial post on his Footnotes2Plato blog, wherein Levi and others were challenging him.  I stepped in to assist and defend process metaphysics in the American tradition. (Whitehead is an Americanist, but not really a pragmatist, which is mostly an issue of historical classification.)  Many conversants have been misinterpretting/misunderstanding both the place and necessity of eternal objects in Whitehead, which he elaborates from Peirce.  I stepped in to clarify this.  They are logically necessary for realism of most any sort other than "I believe an external world exists," which is not the only kind of realism and is widely considered only a necessary but not sufficient premise to how "realism" is commonly used.

So, that's why I've been posting on the subject.  Wander over to Matt's Footnotes2Plato and Adam Robert's Knowledge Ecology for the rest of the back-and-forth.

1 comment:

  1. I should clarify a bit.

    The "many conversants" refers not just to participants of that conversation, but the many times Matt has discussed this issue on his blog over the last few months.

    Perhaps more importantly, much of what goes on in Peirce and Whitehead is trying to move beyond the realism/idealism divide, which is a funny thing to say given how much I've written "realism." I have mostly been writing about ontological realism, btw, but have not until just now actually directly written that. That's why I'm talking about scholastic realism, since I need to deal with that to move from ontological to epistemic realism.

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