Skip to main content

Naturphilosophie, logic and Quine

Cesar Schirmer took the end of my post as suggesting that universal logic could evolve in a direction that would make it into a general study of contingency that sort of pre-empts any effort towards a renewed Naturphilosophie. I'm convinced by Hamilton Grant that some kind of Naturphilosophie is in order. The issue is: what makes contingency possible. There are two kinds of answer, one that says things are just contingent and necessity is rather what needs to be explained and another that has that contingency is to be explained (and maybe necessity too). Among the second kind of answer, there is the thesis that contingency is ignorance. Typically, our ignorance. I take a Naturphilosophie à la Hamilton Grant is not far from this thesis. But it makes ignorance less ours. (Or not only ours.) Contingency is intrinsically natural, but this, contrary to the first kind of answer, is not an unexplainable fact but rather something that calls for philosophy, it calls for Naturphilosophie (that amounts to a Contingenzphilosophie).

What would it look like? I don't know, but I was thinking of Quine's sphere in the end of the Two Dogmas as an inspiration. It is a product of our sovereignty. for Quine, that places some things as less revisable. If we can make sense of the idea that the sovereignty is not only ours, we can say that nature itself places things either in the centre or in the periphery of the sphere and does that by a series of decisions where each one depends on earlier ones. Now, maybe then a Naturphilosophie should ask what (natural) sovereignty is like. Contingency is a natural phenomenon and makes us rethink the split between formal and material (as in logic and physics) in the same way that Quine's sphere does. Contingency and necessity, and whatever else follows from them and much does especially logic, are not indifferent to nature, nor is the carving up of events (or states of affairs) as contingent and necessary. Surely, the notion of contingency comes before we find laws of nature. But then again, nature, for Naturphilosophie, is not the realm of laws.


Popular posts from this blog

Giving Birth

This is a month of giving birth: 1. On the first day of the month (my birthday) I sent out my book BUG (Being Up for Grabs) to publisher. A birth-giving moment. 2. On the forth, we started the Journal, called Journal of Questions. It is a Jabèsian and Jarryian endeavor that intends to reflect in many languages about the gaps between thought and translation. It will be available soon. 3. On the 10th, day before yesterday, offspring Devrim A. B. was born. Her name means revolution in Turkish and is a roughly common name. She's very attentive and concentrated - especially on her own fingers that she learned to molest in her youth during her womb months. She was gestated together with BUG. Hope the world enjoys.

My responses to (some) talks in the Book Symposium

Indexicalism is out: l   The book symposium took place two weeks ago with talks by Sofya Gevorkyan/Carlos Segovia, Paul Livingston, Gerson Brea, Steven Shaviro, Chris RayAlexander, Janina Moninska, Germán Prosperi, Gabriela Lafetá, Andrea Vidal, Elzahrã Osman, Graham Harman, Charles Johns, Jon Cogburn, Otavio Maciel, Aha Else, JP Caron, Michel Weber and John Bova. My very preliminary response to some of their talks about the book follows. (Texts will appear in a special issue of Cosmos & History soon). RESPONSES : ON SAYING PARADOXICAL THINGS Hilan Bensusan First of all, I want to thank everyone for their contributions. You all created a network of discussions that made the book worth publishing. Thanks. Response to Shaviro: To engage in a general account of how things are is to risk paradox. Totality, with its different figures including the impersonal one that enables a symmetrical view from nowhere

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 power.» And New Essays: ... for there is ne