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Actology: Action, Change, and Diversity in the Western Philosophical Tradition

Two streams run through the Western philosophical stream: one characterized by Being, beings, the unchanging, the static, and the unitary; and the other by Action, actions, the changing, the dynamic, and the diverse. The former might be represented by Parmenides, Plato, and much of what followed; the latter by Heraclitus, and by rather less of what followed. The book explores the “Action” stream as it wound its way through history, through Heraclitus, Plato, Aristotle, Hegel, Maurice Blondel, Henri Bergson, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, process philosophy and theology, Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and John Boys Smith.

The journey enables us to create the beginnings of an “actology”: a way of seeing ourselves, the universe, and God in terms of actions in patterns rather than as beings that change. Such an actology offers a complete alternative narrative far more in tune with the diverse and rapidly changing world in which we live than the ontology that has shaped philosophy, theology, and much else for the past two thousand years.

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