Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash

[This is a reply to the following blog post: Mutual mutation.]

Wow, so many great insights in one post! (BTW, I too love using etymology for insights.)

I agree that entering into a mutual relationship is the most profound interaction. I think of the Buddhist concept of mutual causation/reciprocal causation/dependent origination/dependent co-arising. Mutualism is the driving force of increasing complexity in the universe.

I’m not quite as clear on how this transformation of other and self into mutualness happens in detail. But I think it shows not only that otherness is transcendent, real, relevant and radically surprising but equally that self is transcendent, real, relevant and radically surprising. From time to time we surprise ourselves by suddenly embracing (prehending, grasping) some part of otherness as selfness, e.g., when multicellular life emerged, when sexuality emerged, when societies emerged, etc. Form this mutual embrace of self and other, the self is transcended and the other is transcended. Mutual mutation indeed!

I love that surprise is a form of prehension/grasping! But I don’t see it as to take what is super, beyond, above by a self. I see it as the reverse: what is super, beyond, above taking, grasping the self. This direction of the grasping is more in line with (older) meanings of surprise: To capture, seize; to take possession of by force; to take prisoner; To capture, seize; to take possession of by force; to take prisoner (obsolete). I like this way of thinking of the other grasping the self because it gives a form of agency to otherness.

So I agree that we need to adopt a stance/state that leaves ourselves open to being taken/prehended/grasped by otherness, but I’m not sure that stance is a form of prehension by the self because we, as selves, are not doing the grasping. I see it as perhaps the opposite of our being in a stance that is ready to grasp the other; we need to adopt a stance that is ready to be grasped by the other. We can still use the word, suprehension, we need only define it as a mode/stance/state/attitude/etc in which the self opens itself up to being prehended/grasped by the super/other, not the other way around. Suprehension becomes an act by the self of letting go, opening up, dropping boundaries.

I love thinking of suprehension as a form of fallibilism! Not open to the perpetual possibility of error, with the negative connotation associated with error, but open to the possibility that the world/other is merely different than ourselves expected. One of my favorite aphorisms is not better, not worse, just different.

Finally, Suprehension is knowledge set against infinity as qualitative fact. I must admit this aphorism lost me. I think I get that infinity perpetually generates an inexhaustible succession of novel categories, each filled with countable/myriad instances of said category. But I don’t quite see how this characterization of infinity relates to suprehension. Perhaps we can discuss in our next call.

Written by

I am an Ironist currently exploring new career paths.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store