A different conception of causality – self and Umwelt

“The logic of this conception of causality is practically diametrically opposed to the logic of classical physics, in which efficient causes determine the course of an event. This means that the prehended facts of the past do not “push” the process into the future in the way in which the causality of classical physics does (including the theories of relativity, thermodynamics and dynamic systems theory). With Whitehead’s idea of process, the present of a process has a special meaning: The more complex a process is, the less of what is happening in the present is a simple continuation of the past. The present is not the passive and trivial transition from a completed past into a predetermined future. This is because the process decides, in its present, which factors from the past are to be considered relevant and which role the selected factors will have in forming the future. It is also because of this creative decision-making process that an actual occasion persists for a certain amount of time, as a creative act cannot be infinitely short like the infinitesimal time interval dt in physics. To put it simply, creativity takes time.”

Spyridon A. Koutroufinis

Life and Process — Introduction: The Need for a New Biophilosophy