By John G. Bennett
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Additional resources for The Dramatic Universe: The Foundations of Natural Philosophy
Though difficult in its exercise, this form of thought is, nevertheless, extremely limited in its scope. Experience has shown that it is inadequate for finding answers to the practical problems of life, and, indeed, the great exponents of the dialectic—from Plato to Hegel and Marx—have proved unsatisfactory guides to practical life, whether private or public. The dialectic leads also to a defective linguistic form. Our usual language, though full of inconsistencies and ambiguities, can be adapted to the description of two-term systems.
Whitehead, Process and Reality, p. 4: "Philosophers can never hope finally to formulate these metaphysical first principles. Weakness of insight and deficiencies of language stand in the way inexorably. " + Cf. Bertrand Russell, Human Knowledge, Its Scope and Limits, p. 527: "All human knowledge is uncertain, inexact, and partial. " ++ Cf. C. Bailey, The Greek Atomists and Epicurus, p. ] were illusory, and proclaiming that man could and must rely upon himself to work out his own salvation. In China, Confucius taught the reliability of human reason and adjured men to banish their fears of the unknown.
Relatedness, in turn, is incomplete unless we bring it back to immediate experience with the characteristics of 'thus and so'. Since we find ourselves always obliged to take our experience as 'thus and so', we have to admit the fourth category of subsistence. Once again it is necessary to go beyond 'thus and so' in order to take into account all that might be, but is not, present. This additional element of our experience is the category of potentiality that requires five independent terms for its exemplification.