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02 May 2011

A Not-So-Recent Insight, Recently Put Into Aphorism Form...


Okay, so the aphorism isn't quite perfected yet, but here goes:

Nothing exists except that some work* has been done to make it so, and nothing continues to exist unless some work is done to maintain it.**
  
This seems like the foundation of both process-relational and object oriented ontologies as I understand them.  I think it has deep implications for our theories of society and for our understanding of our relationship to non-human entities.  

* I want to note that the work can be done either within the entity (autopoiesis) or by another entity acting upon it (allopoiesis).
** There is a complement to this aphorism: All work either creates something new or maintains something that already existed.

3 comments:

michael- said...

If I may mutate your maxim a bit, couldn't we say:

'No object exists except that some process has occured to make it so, and no object continues to exist unless some process is in effect to maintain it.'???

Thus tipping the balance of consideration towards the process-relational types of thinking...

Just my thoughts.

Jeremy Trombley said...

This works too, Michael. I chose the term "work" to emphasize the energy that is put into making something exist. The point is that nothing simply exists, and nothing simply remains in existence without some energy going into its creation and maintenance.

michael- said...

Agreed. Actually, i quite like the term "work" as you use it. It does seem to add an extra vitality to what we call processes. cheers-

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