Gerçek Potansiyellik: Bir Whitehead İncelemesi
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TABANLI, Egemen. The Real Potentiality: An Analysing of Whitehead. Ph.D. Ankara, 2023. This research deals with Alfred North Whitehead's concept of what he called "real potentiality". This concept is positioned in opposition to a particular doctrine of substance and the idea of isolation and inertia that it instills in the particles of matter in Newtonian physics. The particles of matter in question are seen as substantial units of being, abstracted from the rest of the universe and complete in themselves. By virtue of their substantial nature, these units of being are thrown out of the field of potentiality, that is, out of the processes of genesis. The idea of isolation that the dominant idea of substance instilled in the matter of physics formed the basis of a certain cosmology. In this cosmology, the universe is assumed to be a simple collection of particles of substantial matter. The universe, defined as a simple sum of isolated units of being devoid of potentiality, cannot constitute the ground for creativity and innovation. This understanding, which summarizes the cosmology of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, tends to see the universe as a mechanistic structure that constantly follows the same routine. In Whitehead's metaphysical system, the characteristic of actual entities, which are the basic unit of existence, is not isolation but relativity. Within the scope of this relativity, each actual entity is a constitutive element, that is, a potentiality, for the other. Whitehead differentiates this type of potentiality, which he puts forward on the basis of actual entities, from "general potentiality" by calling it "real potentiality". General potentiality is absolute and emphasizes the unlimited multiplicity of possibilities provided by abstract entities that Whitehead calls "eternal objects". This aspect of potentiality is set out in the chapter on Eternal Objects. Real potentiality, on the other hand, refers to a type of potentiality that is limited by the data provided by the actual world. Thus, contrary to modern thought, in which actuality is separated from potentiality, Whitehead connects these two concepts. For this, Whitehead attributes a kind of vitality to actual entities. According to Whitehead, they are experiencing units of being. Therefore, every actual entity is in relation with its beyond. The word "beyond" here does not only have a spatial meaning. Actual entities are particles of experience that extend beyond themselves both spatially and temporally. Whitehead, who tries to explain each singular phenomenon on the basis of actual entities in accordance with the ontological principle he has put forward, exhibits the particles of space and time in a structure related to beyond itself like actual entities. In this respect, space and time themselves are presented as a relational complex that does not exclude the factor of potentiality. Whitehead's doctrine of real potentiality is laid out in the chapter entitled Actual Entities and Real Potentiality. This study takes into account that Whitehead's main intention was to explain the process of becoming in the universe on the basis of actual entities directly and argues that the discourse of real potentiality is a consequence of this idea.