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[Xmca-l] Re: Lloyd Alexander on becoming (and Heidegger?)

On Thu, Jun 11, 2015 at 9:09 AM, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.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
and Heidegger.
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)