I'm not sure about the term 'post-metaphysical' - does it mean trying to find a ground for 'spirit' without appeal to unknowable special qualities. Or does it mean finding a place holder for that mystery other than 'God'. Or what? I'd appreciate a straightforward explanation of what is meant by the term. Or, a link to such a discussion. 


I should say I come with the bias that I believe the height and the core of being alive is to surrender to mystery, that, indeed, the world is unknowable in any final sense. That said, I'm prepared to entertain other views. Or, it may even be that my views and 'post metaphysical' are compatible? 



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True -- you said the right brain is the "locale" of such thinking.  In my dictionary, site and locale are synonyms.  :-)


What problem do you think I see?

I'm not following you, but I really would like to.  Are you saying that your descriptions are non-interpretive and non-historical because they proceed from the all?


Also, can you direct me to the question of mine you've identified above, where I imply that all is part?

I'm not certain you know the sense I mean.  I mentioned already that I didn't see 'history' in Newtonian linear-causal terms (I see it more in terms of Whitehead's prehensive unification), but you came back immediately and told me that I was espousing a Newtonian view.  What is the sense of 'interpretive' that you think I mean?


I want to say frankly that it appears to me you are using a double standard.  You describe your view in 'historical-esque' terms -- as a view that comes after Newton and Einstein, as a kind of Bohrian two-mode integration, as a particular stage of development, as being 'the way forward' for 'a new paradigm,' etc -- and yet seem to criticize any similar appeal to 'historical-esque' terms in my language.

'All' is a signifier, evoking a 'signified' (the two being inseparable).  The 'referent' of the signified varies by context but could refer, as I think you intend, to a non-conceptual state.

"All, for me, is all..."


I am not arguing with that use of all -- which is akin to Panikkar's use of the word 'God.'  But in your phrase above, your use of 'for me' underlines what I'm getting at: I think it's important to acknowledge that not everyone means what you mean. 


Why not?

Perhaps so.  How do you understand that?  What's going on, when people use the same words and mean different things by them?


And if people mean different things by 'all,' is there more than one 'all'?  Or is the 'all' of someone who means something other than you not 'all' at all?

So you're being dismissive with me, as your last two posts attest.  Okay.  Thanks for the conversation, Tom.  I won't try further.
Okay, yes, I've been feeling frustrated too -- and, interestingly, have also felt you were sidestepping some of my questions.  I had thought my response to your question about all being a concept was clear -- I meant it as a clearer statement of my view than a 'yes' or 'no' to your question would have been.  But I'll put it another way (responding to both implied meanings of your question).  The word 'all' is a concept, yes, but not all is a concept (e.g., reality is not just a concept, not just an interpretation).

Tom:  All varies---that's what I took you to be saying: historicized all.  All, for me, is all, everything, absolute, general, unsignified.  I think Jacques would agree, but he hides too much for my taste.

Tom:  We mean very different things by our use of such words as all, absolute, historical, complementarity, non-conceptual.

In both of these quotes, you are describing and attesting to a variant meaning of "all" from the one I hold (or the one you suppose me to hold).  Can you tell me how you can speak in terms of variant meanings and simultaneously deny that your descriptions involve interpretation? 


Also, when you say that your "all" differs from my "all," how is that different from my suggestion that, in relation to assertions about "all" (or other metaphysical terms), we should take into consideration "from whence" such claims are being made (and should acknowledge that the 'intended all' of particular speech acts thus may differ)? 


Lastly, why do you describe your perspective in particular and developmental terms -- as Bohrian, post-Newtonian, post-Einsteinian -- and simultaneously criticize me for attempting to 'particularize the all' when I make reference to the importance of considering the context of claims about metaphysical entities or the nature of reality?

That's something to write home about!


I have asked you a number of questions above, and honestly would be interested in your response to them. 


Personally, I don't think reference to 'history' necessarily presupposes or requires a Newtonian, linear causal perspective, and is just as consistent, say, with Whiteheadian/Wilberian prehensive unification (where we may perceive the past 'enfolded' in the present, not as linear/deterministic cause but as integral to actual occasions in the creative advance into novelty).  Within the relational/embodied 'gestalt' of an actual occasion, causal 'threads' may be seen to ex-ist -- may stand forth or be 'called forth' via enactive inquiry -- and such identified 'causes' have practical and explanatory power, but this is quite different from (and does not imply) adherence to linear-mechanistic metaphysics.

Tom:  It's not, Bruce.  The prehensive unification of which Whitehead and Wilber (and Hartshorne, for that matter) speak is causal-linear.  That which is given from the past unifies in a temporal process.  I've poured over their language very carefully, and that's what I see of their understandings.  They kinda get there, but their languaging is cluttered and unclear.

As I recall, Bonnitta, who considers herself a process philosopher, voiced a view on causality which was essentially an outline of the prehensive unification view (as I understand it), and you said you agreed with her at the time.

Tom:  I would agree that causal threads are relevated---lifted into view.  But even to call such a thread causal smacks, to my mind, of a linear-mechanistic view.  I think the full lesson of quantum physics can be put as Joel has said: causation is infinite.  So, yes, if one relevates some observed relation as causal, one can then construct a causal story consistent with the assumption of causation as applied to that observable.  That's just one story among an infinite others.

The various autopoietic, systems, and complexity science views all still identify "causal patterns," and describe various relevant causal loops in play in a particular system (system being defined as co-related, interactive -- and bootstrapping -- causal loops), and I would not describe any of these views as linear-mechanistic.  Your moratorium on the use of the word "cause" puts you out of step with most of these views.

I agree a particular causal description, from a holistic/tacit perspective, is 'just one story among infinite (possible) others' (in a relatonal field that is essentially boundless), but not all such stories are immediately or equally relevant for an individual with particular concerns or interests -- say, someone who wants to restore a suddenly slowly-running computer back to its optimal speed, or someone who wants to help a family get out of a destructive relational pattern.

Tom:  If people mean different things by all, they're contradicting by implication. 

True.  Do people mean different things by 'all'?

Tom:  In any conception of different alls, all is for any such conception a part, it is by definition less than all.  There's only one everything, in my books.  This is to answer your question here:  "Can you tell me how you can speak in terms of variant meanings and simultaneously deny that your descriptions involve interpretation?"

I'm not clear how this answers my question (regarding your denial of interpretation).

I understand the argument that a description of multiple "alls" renders each such "all" a part (of a greater implicit "all" in which such differentiated activity is taking place).  That implicit all or whole is the "all" of the person who can take a meta-view on various worldviews.  The "all," as I see it, is both the same (or homeomorphically equivalent) across worldviews -- in that, homeomorphically, it is the defining implicit-whole horizon of any particular proclamation about "all" (which is something you can see when you can take a meta-view) -- and different across worldviews, to the extent one consciously means anything by it at all, and to the extent that (in such saying) you say it with such and such an understanding and you employ it in a particular way in the economy of your worldview (which includes implicit and explicit dimensions -- mythos and logos, in Panikkar's terms). 

Bruce:  when you say that your "all" differs from my "all," how is that different from my suggestion that, in relation to assertions about "all" (or other metaphysical terms), we should take into consideration "from whence" such claims are being made (and should acknowledge that the 'intended all' of particular speech acts thus may differ)?

Tom:  A "from whence" is causal.  I don't have a "from whence" because whenceness, in my view, speaks the very all I'm continuously referencing in my posts.  Per my first paragraph above, that's a very different understanding of from whence.

If "from whence" is irrelevant, beyond the ultimate "from whence" (The All), then why don't we both mean the same thing by "all" (or any other word, tacit or not), since we are both The All speaking? 

Also, in your discussion on the Machine thread, "from whence" did seem to matter a lot to you:  machines, you argued, differ fundamentally from organisms because they don't exhibit internal relatedness and are externally assembled rather than arising from a process of internally related differentiation(s).

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