the word “process”

May 24, 2011

I only have time for a quick thought on the matter here. But consider the following statement:

“Everything that happens must be explained, in some sense, through the activity of individuals.”

Could Whitehead have said this? Yes. In fact, he does. It’s called “the ontological principle” in his work.

Could Latour have said it? Yes. The universality of actors in Latour speaks to this.

But try to imagine Bergson or Deleuze, or Simondon, making the statement above, and it’s simply unimaginable.

That’s why the attempt to lump just about everyone under the term “process” is a grievous philosophical error. The primacy of individuals, or lack thereof, is just about the most important decision you can make in metaphysics. If two groups of philosophers disagree on this very fundamental issue, then it is very hard to class them together, to say the least.

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