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The Metaphysics of Connection: Discreteness, Continuity, and In-discreteness.


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Wilson, BE 2007 , 'The Metaphysics of Connection: Discreteness, Continuity, and In-discreteness.', PhD thesis, Unversity of Tasmania.

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An interest in individual, particular things is a normal and indeed necessary
part of everyday thought, but for a number of reasons it is problematic when such
thinking is formalised into a philosophical system. The feature which attracts about
particular things is their discrete nature, which is evident as separateness, distinctiveness
and self-containedness. Philosophical systems which have such a view of objects tend to
emphasise features which make individuals distinctive entities, and to downplay features
which support connection between entities, and similarity across entities. This project
seeks to do a number of things which advance the understanding of connection: (1) To
characterise the contrasting notions of discreteness and continuity, and to find an
alternative to both, named in-discreteness, which enables continuity to be a productive
concept; (2) To find within philosophical characterisations of substance some features
which contribute to a new understanding of continuity; (3) To identify features in nonphilosophical
systems such as ecological psychology and dynamical systems theory
which can contribute to an understanding of connection; (4) to assess some
philosophical areas of interest which seem to embody in-discrete principles, such as
cognitive science and meaning-holism, and (5) to apply all of these connection-friendly
concepts to a reworking of process philosophy. The in-discrete reality which emerges is
(i) composed of unbounded entities, (ii) dynamic, (iii) evolutionary, in the sense of every
entity having a lineage, (iv) ecological, in the sense of being composed of mutually
dependent connected entities, (v) indeterminate, in the sense of being immune to unique
characterisation, and (vi) creative, in the sense of being unfinished and open.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Wilson, BE
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