Archive for February, 2010

“A reflection in a mirror is at once a truthful appearance and a deceptive appearance. The smile of a hypocrite is deceptive, and that of philanthropist may be truthful. But both of them were truly smiling.” (AI, 241)


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Philip Clayton publicly intives Dan Dennett to a debate in Claremont, when Dennett comes to one of the Claremont Colleges on Feb. 16, 2010.

I think it will be an exciting moment or event if Dennett accepts it, because there was a story.

Dennett’s agreement: “We are very excited to announce that Daniel Dennett, leading philosopher among the “New Atheists,” has just agreed to debate Claremont philosopher and theologian Philip Clayton this coming Tuesday, February 16, from 2-3pm in CGU’s Albrecht auditorium. Since Dennett rarely (if ever) talks with real theologians, this should be a memorable, dramatic, first-of-its kind event. Please plan to come for the fireworks, tell everyone you know, and bring as many friends and grandparents as you can.”

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“Sense-perception, as conceived in the isolation of is ideal purity, never enters into human experience. It is always accompanied by so-called ‘interpretation.’ This ‘interpretation’ does not seem to be necessarily the product of any elaborate train of intellectual cognition. We find ourselves ‘accepting’ a world of substantial objects, directly presented for our experience. Our habits, our states of mind, our modes of behavior, all presuppose this ‘interpretation.’ In fact the concept of mere sensa is the product of high-grade thinking. It required Plato to frame the myth of the Shadows in the Cave, and it required Hume to construct the doctrine of pure sensationalist perception. Yet even animals share in some ‘interpretation.’ There is every evidence that animals enjoy a sensationalist experience. Dog smell, eagles see, and noise attract the attention of most of the higher animals. Also their consequent modes of behavior suggest their immediate assumption of a substantial world around them.” (AI, 217-218)

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“The distinction between ‘appearance and reality’ is grounded upon the process of self-formation of each actual occasion. The objective content of the initial phase of reception is the real antecedent world, as given for that occasion. This is the ‘reality’ from which that creative advance starts. It is the basic fact of the new occasion, with its concordances and discordances awaiting coordination in the new creature. There is nothing there apart from the real agency of the actual past, exercising its function of objective immortality. This is reality, at that moment, for that occasion. Here the term ‘reality’ is used in the sense of the opposite to ‘appearance.’” (AI, 210).

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“It is the definition of contemporary events that they happen in causal independence of each other. Thus two contemporary occasions are such that neither belongs to the past of the other.” (AI, 195)

“There is thus a certain indirect immanence of contemporary occasions in each other. For if A and B be contemporaries, and C be in the past of both of them, then A and B are each in a sense immanent in C, in the way in which the future can be immanent in its past. But C is objectively immortal in both A and B. In this indirect sense, A is immanent in B, and B is immanent in A. But the objective immortality of A does not operate in B, nor does that of B operate in A. As individual complete actualities, A is shrouded from B, and B is shrouded from A. It is not wholly true that two contemporaries A and B enjoy a common past. In the first place, even if the occasions in the past of A be identical with the occasions in the past of B, yet A and B by reason of their difference of status, enjoy that past under a difference of perspective elimination. Thus the objective immortality of the past in A differs from the objective immortality of that same past in B. Thus two contemporary occasions, greatly remote from each other, are in effect derived from different pasts.” (AI, 196)

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“The universe is dual because, in the fullest sense, it is both transcient and eternal. The universe is dual because each final actuality is both physical and mental. The universe is dual because each actuality requires abstract character. The universe is dual because each occasion unites its formal immediacy with objective otherness.”

“The universe is many because it is wholly and completely to be analysed into many final actualities.”

“The universe is one, because of the universal immanence. There is thus a dualism in this contrast between the unity and multiplicity. Throughout the universe there reigns the union of opposites which is the ground of dualism.” (AI, 190)

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“Ultimate realities are the events in their process of origination.” This working hypothesis describes two doctrines. The one is the “external Creator,” who created out of nothing. The other is “a metaphysical principle,” that there is nothing in the universe other than components of these instances. Whitehead accepts the latter doctrine, using “Creativity” which means that “each event is a process issuing in novelty.” “Immanent Creativity” or “Self-Creativity” avoids the meaning of a transcendent Creator. (AI, 236)

“The creativity is the actualitzation of potentiality… The process of creation is the form of unity of the Universe.” (AI, 179)

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