Saturday, May 4, 2013

Pan-correlationism and anthropocentric responsibility

My response to Balder in the last post follows:

Bhaskar and/or OOO transcendentally deducing what is real gets me back to one of my first questions in the OOO thread. OOO is anti-correlationism, yet this speculative realist premise or transcendental deduction is itself an anthropocentric and correlationist translation, or kosmic address as it were, of what reality is like. I.e., it is an existent speculating on a subsistent. Even though it admits no direct access to verify or confirm such a speculation, it nonetheless seeks evidence by deducing the premise from empirical, scientific findings, i.e., after the 'facts.'

But of course the 'facts' are those actual, manifest occasions. It matters not if those facts subsisted before we came along to 'exist' them in our translated worldspace. Subsistence might grant ontic status to objects regardless of epistemic translations, but as Balder points out even subsistence is an actual occasion and has nothing to do with that occasion's withdrawn reserve or excess. An occasion's actuality might be otherwise under different conditions. Yes, some such occasions may have been around (subsisted) a long time relatively, since the Big Bang, hence their apparently stable structure. But they could be different under different initial conditions, which conditions may very well change at the end of this cycle and the beginning of another.

So this notion of the withdrawn is still necessary to keep things open and otherwise, and to posit it in a non-metaphysical way that doesn't require changeless and timeless Causal realms and states with immediate access. As I said, it may appear timeless and changeless given the human translative frame and the billions of years of semi-stability. And it does thereby open doors into post-metaphysicality, which is after all the current integral project. Still, I take the Lingam's point that even so, this is the human postmetaphysical kosmic address that is speculating or transcendentally deducing it all. Reality no doubt subsists that speculation, but it doesn't exist as this translation beforehand and hence back around to our epistemic correlationism. Which is why even Bryant is now back to being a correlationist in this post and our discussion thereof here and preceding/following.

Bryant now advocates a form of pan-correlationism in that all suojects translate their worlds. But this goes beyond anthropocentric translation. And elsewhere he has noted that all suobject equally exist, but do not exist equally, accounting for the notion of suobjects of more inclusive mereological scale. So the next obvious conclusion is that it is the responsibility of anthropos, with this knowledge, to move forward and progress. Without humanity, at least its more enlightened progressives, we are in very real danger of catastrophic destruction via climate change, possibly even to the planet for millennia if not forever. Hence a return to this sort of correlationism and its enacted teleos might indeed be thwarted if we get obsessed with its modernist manifestations.

Even though he admits correlationallism in that all machines have at least partial access to the thing in itself (TII), still the TII cannot be reduced to that access, even if we add up all such accesses (itself an impossible task). In that sense the TII subsists and is not dependent on another machines access to it. In that regard recall this discussion on how kennilingus approaches subsistence, the TII, the Causal, and access.

Another point is Bryant realizes we cannot just lump all human access into one universal access. It depends on all sorts of factors, from gender, class, education, work, tech etc. While kennilingus might not emphasize these differences enough it does include, even if lopsided, cognitive and other stages based on empirical observation and testing. And it is in this regard that OOOers can refine their own notions of how humanity can increase its access to the TII, while still not claiming to total access via some nirodha state equivalent to the withdrawn Causal TII.

And to reiterate, having progressed beyond a modernist anthropic correlationism we can return to a more evolved anthropic access, for it is only through that sort of access that we can remedy the devastation created by a less evolved anthropos on the environment. It is questionable that the damage we've done can fix itself at this point, unless by fix we mean such dramatic climate change that humanity and most forms of complex life are eliminated. Earth may survive but it may never give birth to these life forms again.

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