12/3: Stephen Barker -“Flux First: A Journey into Neo-Heraclitean Time”

Den 12 mars har Filosofiska föreningen äran att presentera Stephen Barker (University of Nottingham). Barker är “Associate Professor” och “Reader” (ung. motsvarande docent) i filosofi och forskar inom framförallt språkfilosofi, metafysik och metafilosofi. Hans hemsida finns här. Detta föredrag handlar om metafysik och dess abstract lyder som följer:

“Call a ‘being-first ontology’ a conception of concrete reality that takes states of being, like possessing a property, to be fundamental, and which takes change to be a pattern in being. Call a ‘flux-first ontology’ a view that takes change, or flux, as basic, and sees concrete being, concrete objects persisting and having properties, as patterns in prior flux. The being-first approach has been with us since Parmenides, and is indeed, the dominant conception of being and change, and indeed, seems to be written into modern physics. The flux-first conception has been under siege since Heraclitus, and has largely been dismissed as incoherent. (Indeed, current philosophy does not even conceive of it.) This paper provides a new conception of what a flux-first ontology might be, which moves beyond mere process theory, viz, treating events as more basic that persisting objects. Flux-first analyses time in terms of change (flux), and not change in terms of time (as Being-first does). It treats ‘the now’ as fundamental, but it’s not presentism (only the present exists), nor a ‘moving spotlight view’, nor ‘growing block’. For Flux-first, the pervasive sense of time flow we all seem to have is no illusion. It’s real. To understand flux-first, you have to rethink something very basic about how we typically conceive of the structure of concrete reality. You have to rethink what properties (forms/universals) fundamentally are and how they manifest themselves in the world. The standard view, Being-first, holds that properties are fundamentally things possessed by objects, things ‘instantiated’, located at spacetime regions. In Flux-first, however, properties enter the world in an irreducibly, dynamic way, as aspects of change. The basic concrete episodes of reality are not states of affairs, but bundles of properties, which, you might say, dance together.”

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