Generative Science

Putting the Fire in the Equations; Generating multilevel dynamical processes in Physics and Psychology

Physics Articles / Talks / Bibliography   |   Psychology Articles / Talks / Bibliography  |  Search

next up previous contents index
Next: 13.2 When actualities at Up: 13. Summary of the Previous: 13. Summary of the

13.1 General Process Logic

This section summarises the principal definitions and arguments that are held to be true for all kinds of processes, events and their causes. That is, the arguments are held to be (logically) true independent of any particular application.
An Actual Particular
is a fully-determinate simple particular.
Finiteness Postulate
Actualities, singly and in aggregates, are necessarily Finite (in the Euclidean sense).
Actualities could be past events
Actualities are simple and indivisible when the occurrences in the past are ultimate, durationless and indivisible events, and not extended processes.
When there are potentialities for some future actualities, we attribute being (existence) to the set of potentialities itself (rather than to any alleged `future actualities'). :LP That is, a set of potentialities is now to be regarded as a particular entity in the world, along with all the other particular entities in the world. They are not be be seen as merely the properties of the previous event after which these potentialities came to be. Nor are they (after Locke) to be viewed as a relation between the initial and produced actualities. Nor are they (after Aristotle) to be constituted by the actual entities which might be produced.
Analysis of Actualising
Suppose an actualising event A, say, causes an actualising event B. This causation may be deterministic or indeterministic. Then the fact of that causation implies
that the event B was possible, i.e. that there was a real possibility for the change,
that there must have been a real and active power or propensity to make B happen rather than remain only possible,
that the power or propensity must at least have been directed to the occurrence of B,
that there was a set of possibilities for the change. This set may have members apart from the possibility for B, and its members form a `space-time' of possibilities for change, only one of which actually occurs,
that these various possibilities are related to each other in some structure, and
that there was a form of distribution of the power or propensity over the set of possibilities, since, in general, not all possibilities are equally likely.
that once one possibility is actualised, there is a corresponding restriction of the distribution of propensities for subsequent actualisations.
Places in `space-time'
the `possibilities for actuality'.

We can then say that the event is at a place when that possibility is being realised, and that this results in that place being `filled'. Since what is actual is at least possible, the set of filled places is a changing subset of the set of all places possible in the world.

a fundamental real relation between places. It is a relation between places that holds independently of whether or not the related places are filled. We can think of it as specifying an absolute metric distance between all pairs of places.
The extensive continuum
is the manifold of places ordered by the relation of extensiveness. It is therefore a continuous order of possibilities for actuality.
Propensity field
distribution of propensity over an extensive continuum
Principle of Definite Past
An actualising at place p occurs after all places which precede p are either definitely filled or definitely not filled.
Actualisation and Special Relativity
Relativity limits only `communications' (i.e. law-like signals) to the speed of light -- it leaves open the possibility that the effects of purely contingent orderings could be felt simultaneously over large spatial regions.
next up previous contents index
Next: 13.2 When actualities at Up: 13. Summary of the Previous: 13. Summary of the
Prof Ian Thompson


Author: I.J. Thompson (except as stated)