Living with Abundance in a Pluralist Cosmos: Some Metaphysical Sketches
87 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2013
Date Written: January 6, 2013
This document sketches a pluralist metaphysical system various inspired by the ideas of Bruno Latour, Paul Feyerabend, Graham Harman, J.J. Gibson and William James. The system can be summarized in eight propositions as follows: 1. Objects: Individual entities of many different scales are the ultimate stuff of the cosmos. 2. Abundance: These entities enter into relations with other entities but are never exhausted by any of their relations or even by their sum of all possible relations. 3. Realms of Being: In the large objects exist in patterns of relatively stable interactions among multiple objects. These are relations of indirect or vicarious causality. 4. Unity of Being: Humans desire the ability to access and reflect on memories of events in one’s life. The extent that that is achieved is called Unity of Being. 5. Life Way: A Latourian collective, with human and non-human members, is considered to participate in all the Realms in which any member of the collective plays a role. The ‘envelope’ of those Realms is called a Life Way. 6. Latourian Negotiation: Collectives having different Life Ways have been interacting through a process of negotiation in which differences among Life Ways are resolved and commonalities created or not depending on the desire to extend the boundaries of the larger more inclusive collective. 7. Realms of Abundance: Realms of Being are organized into Realms of Abundance, of which three have appeared to far: Matter, Life, and Culture. 8. The Fourth Arena: The current global Latourian negotiation brings us to the edge of a fourth Arena of Abundance. If it goes well, that’s where our successors will dwell.
Keywords: metaphysics, ontology, pluralism, James, Latour, Feyerabend, Harman, objects, Realms of Being, abundance
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