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Speaker: Professor Peter Simons (Trinity College, Dublin) 'Why Process Metaphysics?'

Egenis Seminar

An Egenis, the Centre for the Study of Life Sciences seminar
Date20 January 2014
Time15:00 to 16:30
PlaceByrne House

Process metaphysics is a species of metaphysical view according to which the most fundamental entities in the natural universe are processes rather than things or substances. While a minority view in the history of metaphysics, it has enjoyed supporters from Heraclitus to Whitehead, its most frequently cited 20th century advocate. Whiteheads own view, influential though it has been, chiefly in North America, is in fact somewhat eccentric in its understanding of the term process. Process metaphysics has made something of a comeback in recent years under the names perdurantism and four-dimensionalism. In this talk I will consider reasons from science and philosophy for and against subscribing to the priority of processes, finding some good and some less so, and concluding with an argument to the effect that, while processes are arguably the fundamental entities, there is a further layer of metaphysical ultimates below that of processes.


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