Networks, Processes and Ereignisse. A Metaphysics and Ontology for the age of dynamic entanglement.

Tina Rock (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We live in an age of entanglement and connection; we can reach the four corners of the universe at the touch of a finger. We also just seem to realise that we are engulfed by constant creation and evolution, by connectivity and malleability, by networks and information – not only in the realm of technology but also in the field of biology. However, we seem to lack an ontology and a metaphysical system that can cope with these insights. Traditional hierarchical metaphysical systems and the conventional ontologies of substance - characterised by stability, and the simple location of well-defined and separate constitutive elements - seem quite incapable of accounting for the dynamic and entangled reality that we are uncovering.

This state of affairs is not surprising since relationality and creative change pose many challenges for rational thought. Thus the most fundamental of these challenges that we encounter in coming to terms with our entangled reality seems to be the following: How can we conceptualise, systematise or account for - in a word how can we think - that which is relational, changing and creative as well as novel, without either turning it into stable hierarchical structures or ending with relativism and epistemic chaos?

In this paper, I will propose three concepts that I consider fundamental in order to come to terms with these challenges: dynamic networks, processes and the Ereignis. Adequately understood all three terms describe or imply the dynamic, correlated, evolving and multiple reality we live in, but each concept focuses on and accounts for different aspects of what there is. The aim of this paper is simply to clarify the nature of these conceptual layers and to uncover their mutual inter-dependence.
Original languageEnglish
JournalKritikos
Volume16
Issue numberSpring 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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