Monday, December 13, 2010

Epistemology of the unknown

Just finished reading Adrian and Levi’s most recent posts, and last nite I had a chance to read Steve’s ruminations on the limitations of this format. … However, I think one thing that has gotten really left out of recent discussions is not simply the fact that privacy exists in Whitehead (something I think the OOO tend to want to ignore for some reason), but how it functions. What follows is in my next post is admittedly a mix of Whitehead, contemporary quantum theory, and my own thoughts on this issue, but I think it really does relate to the debate at hand.
One point first, however. Levi has said in recent posts that he thinks I overemphasize the epistemological over the ontological, and he is right, I think that OOO doesn’t deal enough with certain epistemological issues. He is also right when he says I emphasize the human in my critique of OOO. But it shouldn’t be thought that I privilege human epistemology – on the contrary! The only reason why this may seem to be the case is that I think OOO talks in ways that import human ‘semiotic’ categories into the domain of things.]

Sri Aurobindo follows another tack however when he points out that the “Unknowable” from our standpoint is not necessarily unable to be known, but rather, is simply something that falls outside the limits of our mental framework and perceptive capacity; so that upon moving our standpoint to a new framework, or acquiring new powers of knowledge through an evolution of consciousness, for instance, we could gain knowledge of what is currently only able to be expressed as the “unknown” or the “unknowable”.]

Whitehead under vigorous focus; Sri Aurobindo watches amusingly the flurry of juvenility. [TNM]

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