Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Are categories Real?

Murray also has a draft paper available for the upcoming volume on critical realism and integral theory in which Balder will also be featured (1). This is interesting from p. 3, in that Bhaskar said "categories are not to be viewed as something which the subjective observer imposes on reality; rather categories such as causality, substance, process, persons, etc. — if valid — are constitutive of reality as such, irrespective of their categorization by observers or thought." L&J explicitly state in PF that our basic categories are part of human embodiment and not outside us in reality. I questioned that though in this post which may be more akin to Bhaskar.

Compare the following in the section "are categories in nature?" with my linked post above:

"My current interpretation of Bhaskar's 'categories are real' is that the categories we perceive (and enact) are not arbitrary and that they arise from mechanisms, processes, and structures in the Real. Nature does not produce trees vs. shrubs—it does not contain these human-invented categories. But there is something in nature (having to do with how genetics and reproduction work) that clusters
living objects with similar properties, such that our perception of the world as containing trees and
shrubs is mostly accurate. [...] Yet, to follow Embodied Realism, any category that we actually have or use, such as tree or force, can only be an approximation of what exists in nature. It is misplaced concreteness to assume that objects in nature are constrained to manifest according to any known
category — though we can assume that nature produces different types of things and thus contains
categories" (8).

I'd also suggest the OOOers and SRealists like Bryant, DeLanda, and other embodied realists like Varela,  Thompson and Clark, as well as post-structuralists like Derrida and Caputo, add to this discussion with autopoiesis, dynamic systems, extended mind and differance. All of which have been explored in the forum with regard to the very nature of Murray's inquiry.

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