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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Pretemporal origination: A process approach to understanding the unification of the history of science and the science of history
by McNulty, Christopher, M.A., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2013, 111; 1550254
Abstract (Summary)

Philosopher of science Wilfrid Sellars argues that there are two mutually exclusive images of human-in-the-world that philosophy ought to unify: the "manifest image" of common, shared experience and the "scientific image" of imperceptible objects. Process philosophy, as a metaphysical framework, is in a unique position to allow both images to sit together in dynamic tension, rather than allowing one image to collapse into the other. Not only do I maintain that process philosophy is logically robust, but I also argue that there are several instances of empirical verification of process as an ontology.

Taking a process ontology seriously, however, requires that we re-articulate an understanding of the two grand narratives that are utilized to explain our origins: the socio-cultural evolution of consciousness and the objective evolution of the universe. I call these the history of science and the science of history, respectively. In Western academia, the science of history is usually given ontological priority; but within a process metaphysic, neither can be said to be explanatorily primary. That which holds these two narratives together, and that which produces spacetime itself, I refer to as "pretemporal origination." The mode through which this process elicits evolution is through creative-discovery, wherein creation and discovery are not two separate modes of mind-universe interaction, but unified on a continuum of constraints.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Swimme, Brian
Commitee: Welch, Kerri
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Philosophy and Religion with a concentration on Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 52/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Metaphysics, Philosophy of Science, Science history
Keywords: Cosmology, Evolution of consciousness, History of science, Pretemporal origination, Process ontology, Science of history
Publication Number: 1550254
ISBN: 978-1-303-64473-3
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