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Saturday, 6 August 2011

Hunky, Gunky and Junky - all Funky Metaphysics

Been reading Bohn's recent papers on the possibility of junky worlds (and therefore of hunky worlds as hunky worlds are those that are gunky and junky - quite funky, as I said in the other post). He cites Whitehead (process philosophy tends to go hunky) but also Leibniz in his company - he wouldn't take up gunk as he believed in monads but would accept junky worlds (where everything that exists is a part of something). Bohn quotes Leibniz in On Nature Itself
«For, although there are atoms of substance, namely monads, which lack parts,
there are no atoms of bulk, that is, atoms of the least possible extension, nor are
there any ultimate elements, since a continuum cannot be composed out of
points. In just the same way, there is nothing greatest in bulk nor infinite in
extension, even if there is always something bigger than anything else, though
there is a being greatest in the intensity of its perfection, that is, a being infinite in
And New Essays:
... for there is never an infinite whole in the world, though there are always
wholes greater than others ad infinitum. As I have shown elsewhere, the universe
itself cannot be considered to be a whole.»
Leibniz, he says, would take the material world as possibly gunky and therefore hunky.

Bohn argues that unrestricted composition cannot be a necessary principle if there is a junky world. This is because a composite of everything is to be prevented. There is no obvious principle concerning composition that can replace that one as a necessary principle if junk is to be possible. So he concludes that composition is a contingent matter.

This is very much in line with the ontology of fragments: things are composed with no upper limit and everything is a composer as much as a composition and a fragment. There are no archaic parts, there are no archaic wholes. Just gunk and more junk and some hunk. Hunky metaphysics is clearly a generalised anti-creationism, a metaphysical Darwinism, as it makes no room for fixed atoms or wholes while it takes composition to be contingent. There is nothing untouched by compositionality. Additionally, there could be a world where a, b and c compose D while in another world a, b and c (or their counterparts a', b' and c') compose nothing. The rest of each world, plausibly, makes a difference. That is, some internal relatedness of things are congenial to the hunky principle that composition is contingent.

1 comment:

  1. que inveja de vc aí mergulhado na lingua inglesa, em tudo o que se tem de melhor em termos de filsofia. torço por vc, pra representar bem nosso brasilsao, escrevendo coisas bem boladas na lingua dos gringos. boa sorte!