seeking the path
[‘the paradox is now fully established that the utmost abstractions are the true weapon with which to control our thought of concrete fact.’—A.N. Whitehead.]: This simply boils down to the observation that things endure, which is only a paradox if one starts from the scientific assumption that there are no such things as things. The paradox is in the presupposition. Whitehead mistakenly assumes that the concrete is instantaneous, and then proclaims a paradox when he discovers it is not. Concrete things are transcendent, but this does not make them abstract. [‘To be abstract’, says Professor Whitehead, ‘is to transcend particular concrete occasions of actual happenings’.] ‘transcend’ u/l: No, it is to ignore them. the full sentence noted: A rock is therefore abstract if, by its remaining unchanged (as the same rock), it transcends the successive particular concrete states of the advance of the tide. [… Thus the man watching the sea-gull may notice a second sea-gull, and it is possible that he should be sensibly aware of the same specific shade of whiteness in the throat of each of them, although he cannot name this shade. The particular occasion, then, is irrelevant to what is meant by the ‘absolute specific shade of white’, since it can be within more than one particular occasion. It is in this sense that the absolutely specific shade of white is abstract.]: From this argument it follows that my cousin Bill is abstract, since he is independent of the particular occasions in which he is present. Cousin Bill is transcendent in that he is the invariant of a number of different situations, but he only becomes abstract if he is thought of apart from any situation. But as a concrete existing transcendent he is always in some situation. [But as the plain man would admit, there are an infinite number of points in a line.]: Only if adjacent points are separated by a line. If not, there is no way of getting beyond one point. [A point cannot be thought of as an infinitesimal line, it is something of a different kind, and is not a part of the line in the same sense in which the smaller lines into which it is divided are parts of the line.]: This is misleading. A line can be divided into infinite numbers of smaller lines by
Published on Jun 26, 2013
Part B includes two early essays (Nibbana and Anatta and Sketch for a Proof of Rebirth) as well as notes from a Commonplace Book and Margina...