Monthly Archives: August 2017

experience and causality

“It is thus not a matter of choosing between two accounts of experience that are just as abstract: that of purificatory empiricism, which acts as though causality could be eliminated from our experience like a parasitical belief, and that of science, which acts as if experience could be defined on the basis of a chain of causes. The point is to affirm them both as abstract and therefore highly interpretative, that is, also, to construct a more complete interpretation.” (Isabelle Stengers, Thinking with Whitehead, p.338)


“Importance and function are obviously linked: the function as we construct it, mathematically or by discursive reasoning, takes advantage of a conformity maintained between the present and its past. It transforms this conformity as a function of the present, and the future is then exhibited as the mere reproduction of the same in different circumstances. Whether this function is physico-mathematical, biological (the organ as a wager on the importance of what affects it), or psychological (the past providing the present with its meanings) matters little. What counts is that the function exhibits the accomplishment constituted by making the present continuous with regard to the past.” (Isabelle Stengers, Thinking with Whitehead, p. 202)