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Being (a Brain)

  • Clayton Crockett
  • Jeffrey W. Robbins
Part of the Radical Theologies book series (RADT)

Abstract

In Book Two of his Metaphysics, the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle asks the question of being. His task is to “study the things that are, qua being.”1 Being refers fundamentally to substance, but there are multiple substances and “many senses in which a thing may be said to ‘be.’”2 Aristotle affirms that being exists as a multiplicity or a plurality, rather than a simple unity. All humans by nature desire to know being, or what is, but the answer is not easy or simple or self-evident. In this chapter, we will affirm that being is energy transformation, which is the conclusion of the previous chapters. At the same time, we will suggest that being as energy is also becoming a brain, which means not just a physiological brain but the possibility of complexity, a fold of being that takes the form of what Gilles Deleuze calls a time-image.

Keywords

String Theory Dark Energy Cosmological Constant Quantum Gravity Grand Unify Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    The Basic Works of Aristotle, ed. Richard McKeon (New York: Modern Library, 2001), p. 732Google Scholar
  2. Aristotle, Metaphysics 2, 1003b, pp. 16–17Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    Ibid. (Aristotle, Metaphysics 2, 1003a, p. 33).Google Scholar
  4. 3.
    Martin Heidegger, Being and Time, trans. John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson (New York: Harper & Row, 1962), p. 375.Google Scholar
  5. 4.
    See Jürgen Habermas, Post-Metaphysical Thinking: Philosophical Essays, trans. William Mark Hohengarten (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1992), p. 7.Google Scholar
  6. 5.
    Martin Heidegger, Basic Writings, ed. David Farrell Krell (New York: HarperCollins, 1977), p. 424.Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    See Jean-François Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, trans. Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumi (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984), p. xiv.Google Scholar
  8. 7.
    Alain Badiou, Being and Event, trans. Ray Brassier (London: Continuum, 2006), p. 4 (emphasis in original).Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ibid., p. 316. See also the Deleuzian critique of Badiou by Clayton Crockett, Deleuze Beyond Badiou: Ontology, Multiplicity and Event (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Lee Smolin, Three Roads to Quantum Gravity (New York: Basic Books, 2001), p. 63.Google Scholar
  11. 13.
    Albert Einstein, Relativity: The Special and the General Theory (New York: Three Rivers Press, 1961), p. 48.Google Scholar
  12. 19.
    Lee Smolin, The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, The Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005), p. 151.Google Scholar
  13. 24.
    G. W. F. Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit, trans. A. V. Miller (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979), p. 33.Google Scholar
  14. 25.
    On self-emergent complexity, see Stuart Kauffman, At Home in the Universe: The Search for the Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995).Google Scholar
  15. Murray Gell-Mann, The Quark and the Jaguar: Adventures in the Simple and the Complex (New York: Henry Holt, 1994).Google Scholar
  16. 26.
    See Antonio Damasio, Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain (Orlando: Harcourt, 2003), p. 198.Google Scholar
  17. 27.
    See Catherine Malabou, What Should We Do with Our Brain?, trans. Sebastian Rand (New York: Fordham University Press, 2008), p. 5.Google Scholar
  18. 29.
    Gilles Deleuze, The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque, trans. Tom Conley (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993), p. 13.Google Scholar
  19. 30.
    Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, What is Philosophy?, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Graham Burchell (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994), p. 201.Google Scholar
  20. 32.
    Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 2: The Time-Image, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Robert Galeta (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1989), p. 17.Google Scholar
  21. 36.
    Jacques Derrida, Of Grammatology, trans. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1976), p. 68.Google Scholar
  22. 44.
    See Lisa Randall, Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Hidden Dimensions of the Universe (New York: HarperCollins, 2006).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Clayton Crockett & Jeffrey W. Robbins 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clayton Crockett
  • Jeffrey W. Robbins

There are no affiliations available

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