This is continuance of my prior post, “Individuals in Process Philosophy,” and works through related issues. There, I argued that there is a sense in which an actual event is not an “individual.” It is an “individual” in the sense that an individual event exists, but more than the individual event is real because of the implications of temporality, and thus the term “individual” is problematic in process philosophy.
Instead of appealing to the reality of temporal relations, one could appeal to absolute "emergence," which is to say that under certain (efficient) causal conditions additional effects occur. This is epiphenomenalism and a common reading of supervenience. But this is only partially helpful, because the explanation reduces to the claim of constant conjunction, and does not get us beyond bare empiricism. Rather, if we accept that causality can be integral, that is, that causal power is something the fuses and merges, then an emergent phenomena is just the birth of something new. Its novelty is more than irreducibility or concurrence.
I argue against the idea that conscious awareness per se is a case of a causal phenomena, and thus I dodge that part of the debate about epiphenomena or super-vening phenomena having causal power or not. For those just tuning in, that is the debate about whether conscious intention is an illusion or causally efficacious. Instead, I say that conscious awareness is a sign for underlying biological processes that do have causal power, and conscious awareness is limited to an explicit semiotic mediation. Its new power is the ability change how the underlying semiotic system is represented. That is, its like a program that decides to rewrite part of itself in a new programming language and recompile it, even though the underlying hardware is the same. An important dis-anology is that adopting or changing a symbolic system, e.g., a language or culture, alters the underlying hardware or neurology.
Now, if we want to get more complicated, by the way, I will change an earlier sentence to "An event is such by virtue of its relations to its past and future." Temporality is now grammatically possessive, which is to say that temporality is relative. How relative? Ultimately that is an empirical question. If temporality is the relating of an event, which is the whole of temporal relations of past, present, and future, which are not unidimensional or simple, then time is relative. This is why Bogost’s Alien Phenomenology idea is not new to me, and I did not invent this perspective.