This paper argues that there is value in a systematic philosophical approach to relations and surveys some of the major issues in the philosophy of relations. Rather than siding withrelational ontology over substantivist ontology, however, the paper argues that the best philosophical approaches are causal theories of relation in which both relations and entities take their rise from an ontologically fundamental causal flux. The causal theories of relation and entities discussed here are Neoplatonist participation metaphysics, Buddhist pratītya-samutpāda metaphysics, Whitehead’s process metaphysics, Peirce’s semiotic metaphysics, and Bohm’s implicate-order metaphysics, all of which require an approach to causation that extends far beyond commonsense concepts of causation. The paper illustrates the explanatory virtues of causal theories of relation in relation to the realms of fundamental physics, ordinary life, and religious faith.
A new Twitter connection sent me a link the other day to this presentation by Robert Kegan:
Be sure to check out the podcast attached to this blogpost. Here Kegan discusses the fifth order of consciousness further than he has before.
I think Kegan’s concepts here are connected to social Trinitarian theology, relational ontology, the importance of listening in theology, and are key to constructing a missional theology.