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[Xmca-l] Re: Lloyd Alexander on becoming (and Heidegger?)
On Thu, Jun 11, 2015 at 9:09 AM, Greg Thompson <email@example.com>
> And this to the notion of "becoming" - perhaps someone out there could help
> me with the literature on "becoming"?
We come therefore close to the central problem of Western
ontology: the relation between Being and Becoming. We have
given a brief account of the problem in Chapter III. It is
remarkable that two of the most influential works of the cen
tury were precisely devoted to this problem. We have in mind
W hitehead's Process and Reality and Heidegger's Sein und
Zeit. In both cases, the aim is to go beyond the identification
of Being with timelessness, following the Voie Royale of west
ern philosophy since Plato and Aristotle.22
But obviously, we cannot reduce Being to Time, and we
cannot deal with a Being devoid of any temporal connotation.
The direction which the microscopic theory of irreversibility
takes gives a new content to the speculations of W hitehead
It would go beyond the aim of this book to develop this prob
lem in greater detail; we hope to do it elsewhere. Let us notice
that initial conditions, as summarized in a state of the system,
are associated with Being; in contrast, the laws involving tem
poral changes are associated with Becoming.
In our view, Being and Becoming are not to be opposed one
to the other: they express two related aspects of reality.
A state with broken time symmetry arises from a law with
broken time symmetry, which propagates it into a state be
longing to the same category.
In a recent monograph (From Being to Becoming), one of
the authors concluded in the following terms: "For most of the
founders of classical science-even for Einstein-science was
an attempt to go beyond the world of appearances, to reach a
timeless world of supreme rationality-the world of Spinoza.
But perhaps there is a more subtle form of reality that involves
both laws and games, time and eternity. "
This is precisely the direction which the microscopic theory
of irreversible processes is taking.
- Prigogine and Stengers. Order out of Chaos (1984)