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Philosophical Thought

Processualism and substantialism as two philosophical paradigms

Bydanov Viktor Evgen'evich

PhD in Philosophy

Senior Educator, the department of Philosophy, Saint Petersburg State Technological Institute (Technical University)

190013, Moskovskiy prospekt, 24-26, Saint Petersburg

Stanzhevskii Fedor Alekseevich

ORCID: 0000-0003-0297-2930

PhD in Philosophy

Senior Educator, the department of Philosophy, Saint Petersburg State Technological Institute (Technical University)

190013 Moskovskiy prospect, 24-26, Saint-Petersburg








Abstract: The subject of this research is the advantage of the ontology of process over the ontology of substance in description of the ontological structure of the world. Analysis is conducted on the comparative heuristic potential of essentialism and substantialism on the one hand, and philosophy of the process on the other hand. Essentialism postulates stable, mature, already constituted objects with objectively given essential characteristics that form profound structure of the object. The clearly differentiated array of concepts and categories that reflects the structure of reality and the nature of things is placed on the reality in the flow of becoming. The philosophy of process, in turn, insists on the dynamic and relational nature of reality, and considers time to be the factor constitutive of reality. The fabric of reality is comprised of the processes that relate and interact with other processes forming their dynamic context. The article demonstrates the applicability of the ontology of process in biology, namely on the example of the phenomenon of symbiosis and holobionts. The arguments are provided that the object can be ontologically described as a process; however, a range of processes (for example, photosynthesis) cannot be analyzed in the object categories. Criticism is expressed towards the concept of essential properties of the substance, taking into account perspectivism and variants of the processes of with objects. It is indicated that gradualism characteristics to the philosophy of process allows removing dichotomies and introducing nuances into the binary picture of reality. The novelty of this work consists in highlighting the questions faced by the philosophy of process, namely the question of determination of the status of time essential for determining the process as the basic ontological entity.


process, ontology, substantialism, essentialism, field, object, affordance, relation, individual, gradualism

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

This article discusses two philosophical paradigms - the philosophy of process and the philosophy of substance. It should be noted at once that the article is devoted to certain advantages of procedural thinking over substantive. However, this does not mean that the philosophy of substance is devoid of any merit; the working hypothesis of this article is that processualism and substantialism relate to each other in a similar way to the relationship between Einstein's physics and Newton's physics. In other words, the philosophy of process is able to provide a global model describing the world, whereas the philosophy of substance provides, often, heuristically valuable and useful, but limited due to its static nature, models of the local level. The philosophy of process, of course, has great predecessors, starting with Heraclitus himself [1]; in particular, the comprehensive dialectics of Hegel and Marx should be emphasized. And, although, indirectly, the demonstration of the achievements of processualism is an argument in favor of the superiority of dialectical thinking, strictly speaking, we cannot assert the identity between dialectical philosophy and processualism. Indeed, processualism is only one of the facets of a comprehensive and multifaceted philosophical dialectic, but not all representatives of the modern philosophy of process consciously resort to the dialectical method, even if such an appeal to the great philosophical tradition would undoubtedly be productive. In a sense, the article deliberately analytically emphasizes only the process as one of the components of dialectics; the question of how the modern Anglo-Saxon philosophy of the process can fit into the broader scope of philosophical dialectics will have to be postponed until subsequent works.

The paradigmatic nature of processualism and substantialism is connected with the fact that both of them fundamentally differ in defining the formulation and methods of solving philosophical and even scientific problems; thus, if classical genetics based on the idea of discreteness is based on a substantialist system of philosophical assumptions, then the environmentally oriented theory of development systems in biology is based on processualism. Processualism and substantialism differ significantly from each other as systems of beliefs, values, and methods; they have different views on such philosophical problems as the ontological structure of the world, the relationship between language and reality, the role of time in the constitution of the world and its various regions, etc.

In this article it is proposed to consider the achievements of the Anglo-Saxon philosophy of the process of recent decades, which it owes to such philosophers as N. Rescher [2], J. Seibt [3,4,5], R. Raud [6], J. Dupree [7], etc. The main idea of the article is that the philosophy of process has a number of advantages over the philosophy of substance both in the field of ontological description of the world, and in relation to individual regions of the world (first of all, to the biological world). However, before proceeding to the consideration of the actual philosophy of the process, it is necessary to give a brief description of the philosophy that it criticizes - namely, the philosophy of substantialism and essentialism.

Essentialism and Substantialism

From the point of view of J. Kona, essentialism includes a number of assumptions that are based on naturalism, naive realism, reductionism and a kind of semantic version of transcendentalism [8, p. 44].

In its naturalistic aspect, essentialism presupposes the idea of the nature or essence of a thing (phenomenon) as a set of deep inner properties of a thing, which, in turn, generate cognizable properties. In other words, naturalism attributes fixed characteristics to things: things have a nature that determines their behavior or action. Naive realism establishes a parallelism between the structure of language and the structure of denoted things: just as words are discrete units, so things are separated from each other by their inner essence, a characteristic set of essential qualities. Thus, reality, from the point of view of essentialism, consists of a set of pre-data, already preexisting objects; reality is a set of ready-made objects awaiting perception by a passive subject. Things have their own identity, which is given before any of its linguistic expression; this identity consists of internal properties that make up a hidden deep structure, and the latter lies at the basis of surface properties by which one can recognize the species belonging of a thing. It follows from this that essentialism is closely related to substantialism: in fact, the essence here is a kind of substance that is the foundation of the external manifestations of a thing and does not depend on the language in which we describe reality.

Reductionism, at stake, is associated with the reductive function of language, by virtue of which it refers to classes and categories, and not to unique events and individual moments [8, p. 46]. Concepts, of course, have a general character, and the concept of a language using a separate word to denote each individual phenomenon is absurd. However, since, from the point of view of essentialism, language reflects the structure of reality, then objective existence is attributed to discrete categories in this language while ignoring the differences between individual members of a group or class in favor of their supposed identity. Discrete categories are separated by boundaries defined by the necessary essential properties that characterize a given class or category and represent the essence of this class. Differences are declared insignificant and unimportant and, thus, incomplete generalizations of changing phenomena turn into strict and rigid categories, perceived as an objective given; here there is a reification.

The transcendental aspect of essentialism connects it with the problem of representation of reality. Transcendental essentialism is based on the ideal of a transcendental denoted, fixed meaning. In order to "fix" a representation so that it denotes something definite and strictly delimited, it is necessary to weaken the role of the context in which linguistic signs acquire a final meaning, or to present this context as a given and stable one; however, in reality, the context has an infinite and fluid character, so that the meaning of the signs (constituting a certain representation) can never be completely fixed. Thus, essentialism not only asserts that reality consists of clearly categorized self-identical things, but also assumes stable linguistic definitions of each thing containing a fixed list of unchangeable properties. Entities should be static, unchangeable, independent of superficial transformations in the external manifestation of things and of historical changes in the understanding of their nature. It is necessary to "transcend" the flow of changes in order to achieve the absolute, and replace becoming with stable being. Essentialism tries to impose strict outlines and clear categories on phenomena that are in flux, in motion. An object is an entity that exists independently of human consciousness, selfidentical and stable in time. Such a concept of an object is a consequence of abstraction from those world processes in which it participates; a certain residue is assumed in the object, which is not exhausted by the relations of interdependence that determine its appearance.

Naive realism postulates objects that exist independently of our perception, self-identical and stable in time. There are, on the one hand, particularies individual single objects, and on the other universals, divided into properties ("round", "blue"), and on the other into species and genera ("cockroach", "tree", etc.). As mentioned above, particularies and universals reflect the structure of reality itself, independent of our consciousness in particular, the way we distribute objects by species, is the only possible way of articulating the world. The change is characterized as the preservation of a self-identical thing (its essential qualities) with the variability of "accidental" contingent properties. However, such an essentialist picture of reality leads to a number of problems. Thus, problems arise in the context of the question of vagueness for example, it will not be easy for an essentialist to clarify the essence of a forest, since for this it is necessary to find out the number of trees from which one can already talk about a forest (6, p. 15). Or, for example, an acorn and an oak are characterized by different essential properties, and in this connection the question arises about the boundary from which we can already talk about an oak (or the question of at what point the tadpole turns into a frog, because they also have very different essential properties). Whether boiled carrots possess the essential properties of carrots as such and from what point in the known history the ship of Theseus ceases to be, in fact, the ship of Theseus such questions are difficult for an essentialist to solve. Even if we assume the existence of nature in a thing and define it as what changes in this thing at the slowest pace, then we will go beyond the limits of classical essentialism (6, p. 16). In addition, the naturalization and "objectification" of the distinction between necessary and contingent properties raises serious questions indeed, some properties of a thing may turn out to be essential from one point of view and insignificant from the other. So, a long-lying animal body may turn out to be good food for a vulture-scavenger, but it is absolutely unsuitable for food for a leopard. In addition, over time, initially insignificant properties can acquire a significant role so, at first, an innocent habit of a spouse can eventually develop into a strong irritant.

As already mentioned, essentialism and substantialism are two sides of the same coin; essence is nothing more than a set of essential properties of substance that define it as such. The most radical criticism of substantialism belongs to the authorship of Johanna Seibt. In her works, she shows the impossibility of a strict definition of substance, and instead identifies twenty principles that characterize the "myth of substance" or the philosophy of substantialism. Such an analytical approach makes it possible to demonstrate that even those ontologies that reject the idea of substance belong to substantialism: it is enough to show that they profess some of the axiomatic principles or assumptions of substantialism. Thus, there is a family similarity between different versions of substantialism, depending on which of the twenty basic assumptions they adopt. Let us limit ourselves to an example of six out of twenty assumptions [3, pp. 500-502]: a) the principle of ontological closure: there are only two types of entities specific individual individuals (substances) and their attributes; b) the principle of categorical dualism: objects are particularies, and attributes are universals; c) the principle of the ontological function of linguistic structures: language structure reflects the ontological structure of the world; d) the principle of independence of the ontological subject: the ontological subject of attributes is independent of these attributes; e) the principle of particularity of individuals: all objects, and only they, have an entirely specific and singular (particular) character; f) the principle of object change: all changes are modifications of objects and depend on the existence of the latter.

From the point of view of the philosophy of process, all these principles are wrong as, indeed, all the other axioms of the philosophy of substance. However, since it is practically impossible to prove the infidelity of some ontology in a direct way, it should be limited to demonstrating the inconsistency of the consequences to which it leads. In this regard, Seibt shows how certain combinations of the principles of substantialism cause insoluble contradictions: for example, combinations of a number of principles of particularism (a fundamental version of substantialism that asserts the existence of only particular concrete objects a dog, a chair, a star) give rise to internally contradictory ontological theories in particular, the theory of "naked" particulars, as well as the theory of tropes [4]. In addition, the principles of substantialism give rise to aporias in the field of ontological explanation of the constancy of objects among changes, as well as explanations of individuality and qualitative similarity between objects. Seibt argues that in order to create an alternative to substantialism, it is not enough to abandon only some of its assumptions; it is necessary to reject absolutely all the principles of substantialism as a whole. Even Whitehead retains one of the principles of substantialism, which leads to the problematic atomism of his philosophy of process. According to Seibt, from the point of view of the consistent philosophy of the process, the world consists only and exclusively of processes; the category of process is sufficient for an adequate description of the world.

In contrast to substantialism, which asserts the existence of only particular individuals, Seibt puts forward the theory of processes as universal individuals [5, p. 141]. Substantialism tendentiously asserts the existence of only specific individual (particular) things however, we know that erosion, the atmospheric front and photosynthesis are no less real than a dog, a chair or a comet. The fact that processes are individuals can be found in the example of Hurricane Katrina, which was a self-sustaining system and which we endowed with individuality to such an extent that we gave it a name. We can talk about one process of erosion that has been going on for decades, about the same flood, etc. The individuality of the process depends on its characteristic mode of action, on its functional role in a certain context. In addition, we distinguish the processes among themselves: so, "it's snowing" and "it's raining" are different processes. The model of processes as universal individuals are nonsubjective forms of action - such as "it is snowing", "photosynthesis takes place", etc. Their universal character is due to the fact that, unlike single, particular objects (particularies), they do not necessarily occur in a unique space-time position (they can occur simultaneously in many places); the processes are recurrent, that is, repeatable not only in space, but also in time - the process as an action presupposes continuous recurrence (multiple repetition) of the same dynamic property, namely this action itself. In addition, the universality of the processes allows you to change the scaling; actions can be both universal and as specific as possible (photosynthesis in the garden, photosynthesis on an apple tree, photosynthesis in some part of the apple tree, etc.).

In his philosophy, Seibt offers the most logically based theory of processes, but because of this, the most formal. In this regard, it seems necessary to fill this form with content - this is exactly the attempt that will be made in the further text of the article.

The need for a process category: Nicholas Rescher

From the point of view of the philosophy of the process, the dominant position of things in nature and their constancy is, at best, a useful fiction, and at worst, a delusion. According to David Cobb, a prominent representative of American process theology, "everything that is not a process is an abstraction from the process, and not a full-fledged reality" [9, p. 14]. Material objects, ultimately, consist of energy in a state of motion and flow. Seemingly permanent things that retain their identity in the midst of change are only the centers of comparative and transient stability in an environment of continuous change. Accordingly, in a dynamic world, things cannot exist without processes, and processes are fundamental in relation to things; things arise, develop and disappear in the midst of processes of change.

Events such as the separation of the moon from the earth, the birth of life or the murder of Alexander II consist of processes, sequences of actions and interactions; here a discrete event dissolves into a variety of processes consisting of other processes. Becoming is no less important than being, but rather, it is it that has a fundamental character. However, in Western culture, it is customary to give the palm to "stable" things, and the fact that storms, heat waves and atmospheric fronts are no less real than dogs or oranges is forgotten. The philosophy of the process asserts that in order to adequately represent the reality of our world, it is necessary to recognize the primacy of action over substance, process over product, change over constancy and novelty over continuity. Thus, time and change become one of the main metaphysical categories, and process becomes the central category of ontological description. Ultimately, the philosophy of the process suggests considering the temporal aspects of reality as its most characteristic and significant components.

From the point of view of Nicholas Rescher, a process is "a coordinated set of changes in the appearance of reality, an organized family of occurrences that are systematically connected to each other in causal or functional terms ... The process consists of a single series of interrelated incidents (developments) unfolding in mutual coordination in accordance with a certain program. Processes always assume various events, and events exist only in processes and through processes. Processes develop over time" [2, p. 38].

The unity of the process presupposes a systematic cause-effect or functional action based on law-like regularity, regularity; it is not deterministic, but rather restrictive. Processes are characterized by internal complexity, by virtue of which they retain their identity (the structural identity of operations makes it possible to re-identify the process), and by turning to the future, by virtue of which they actualize various possibilities.

Processes can be independent and not independent; the latter have some kind of activity birds singing, flowers blooming, etc. Independent processes (temperature drop, lightning flash) do not represent the activity of actual figures. In the philosophy of the process, independent processes are considered paradigmatic. Unlike medieval scholasticism, in which the principle of operari sequitur esse was adopted, that is, action is subordinate to the being of a thing and, accordingly, all processes are independent, in the philosophy of the process Esse sequitur operari. This means that things are constituted from the flow of processes, and substantiality is subordinated to action; things are what they do the philosophy of the process identifies the being of a thing with its actions, real or possible. Moreover, the very individuation of things and their isolation from the mixed conglomerate of physical processes requires mental processes (and, it should be added, social processes). Independent processes can also play the role of a cause: thus, fire heats water, although fire is not a substantial thing.

Moreover, the substance itself and its properties (attributes) have a procedural and relational existence to be a single thing means to function in different situations; properties also manifest themselves differently in different contexts. In general, things can be understood as clusters of actual and possible processes. In any case, from an epistemological point of view, processes are of paramount importance because without processes, a thing would be inert and unknowable, separated from world interactions. Our epistemic access to the properties of things is based on conclusions from their way of acting and influencing us that is, it is mediated by the processes in which they manifest themselves.

The paradox of substantialist metaphysics lies precisely in the fact that without processes it is impossible even to clarify what a thing is. Classically, it is customary to characterize substances through properties that can be primary (they describe the substance as it is in itself) and secondary (they underlie the effect of the substance on other things and reactions from the latter). However, in reality it is very difficult to clarify what the essential or primary properties of a substance are, since we can only establish what reactions this substance causes in various contexts (for example, solid resists pressure, transparent lets light through, and it is difficult to imagine properties "by themselves", without connection with the outside world). Things have predispositions (dispositions), and are known by them; but dispositions have a procedural nature they represent a tendency to activate or continue certain processes. Without processes we have no access to dispositions, and without dispositions we have no cognitive access to substances. We observe the actions of things through the consequences of their interactions with other things or phenomena, and not least, of course, with ourselves. Outside of these interactions and the effects or reactions produced by things, we can only guess what the substance itself is this is the basis of the famous criticism of the substance of J. Locke: "we mean by the word "substance" nothing more than an indefinite assumption of something unknown (i.e. something about which we do not have any separate, definite, positive idea), which we take for a substrate, or a carrier of ideas known to us" [10, p. 145] and, in addition, "we have no idea what a substance is, but there is only a vague and unclear idea of what it does" [10, p. 224]. From the point of view of the philosophy of the process, things or substances should be understood as a variety of processes, and not as substantial carriers of energy, but rather as centers or bundles of energy.

The identity of a thing is based on the possibility of identification, but identification has the character of interaction something is identified as something unified by some interacting agent; such interaction is itself a process. The properties by which things are identified are the actions performed by these things on us and on each other. The very identity of a thing lies in its place in a complex world system of interactions; things are united through the consistent nature of their actions in relation to other things. Thus, the process category provides the most adequate tool for understanding the world. In a stronger version of the process philosophy, this conceptual applicability of the process category is due to the fact that in the order of the existence of the world, the process is the most comprehensive, typical and central characteristic of reality itself.

It should be noted that the philosophy of the process approaches idealism with respect to substances and realism with respect to processes. Substances bear the stamp of cultural and social construction and depend on the point of view and perspective, while a number of processes have unity, identity and a certain structure regardless of human consciousness or culture, although they can be perceived in human experience.

For example, from the point of view of the philosophy of the process, the naively realistic phrase that trees really exist in the world can be translated as follows: "Among the processes of the "real world" there are (and therefore there are) processes that in no way depend on the existence of consciousness, and relative to which we can get an approximate (although gradually more and more adequate) picture through natural sciences. In appropriate circumstances, these processes generate the answer "here is a tree" in a properly prepared consciousness" [2, p. 59]. However, if we talk about the essential characteristics of a single substance of a tree, then we should recognize that these properties depend on the perspective they will differ in the interaction of a tree with a human, ant or giraffe. In this context, the concept of "affordance" of J. Gibson's psychology is appropriate: "Various substances of the surrounding world provide different opportunities for nutrition and for production. Different objects of the surrounding world provide different opportunities for manipulation. Other animals provide, among other things, rich opportunities for complex interactions: sexual, predatory, parental, combat, gaming, cooperative, and also related to the communication process. For a person, what another person promises is a whole area of social significance. We pay close attention to the optical and acoustic information that sets what the other person is, what he is prone to, what he threatens us with and what he does" [11, p. 137]. Possibilities or "affordances" do not exist "inside" a thing or an organism, but in their interaction, in relation to them. Different interactions generate different perspectives and points of view on the "essence" of the phenomenon.

In connection with the problem of "essence" as a product of interaction, we note that the philosophy of the process also contributes to the problem of the existence of universals [2, pp. 69-76]. Recall that universals can be divided into two categories "properties" (round, blue) and "types" (animal, metal). The first are related to the effects of things on consciously perceiving agents, and the second is related to the effects and interactions of objects with each other. The question of universals (in particular, in relation to species) is the question of what unites different instances of a species and makes them representatives of the same species. From the point of view of the philosophy of the process, things are united into types not by virtue of the common internal properties shared by them, but by virtue of the regularities of the images of action. We are not talking about a common way of being, but about a common way of acting, modus operandi. There are process types, because processes have a pattern structure and periodicity, by virtue of which they are repeatable. Universals are not secondorder properties that things (or first-order properties) possess together and that combine them into species - so, "blue" would be a common property for a blue sky, a blue car and blue eyes, or for "azure", "lavender" and "ultramarine".

The mental process of perceiving or imagining a certain shade of blue is a way of perceiving in a certain way; the universality here is based not on the abstract property of "redness", but on a typical process involved in perceiving something in a "blue way" it is the adverbial characteristic of the process that is important here: to see something "blue" or or "in blue quality". Thus, properties do not characterize things, but processes, and are expressed not by adjectives, but by adverbs. Note that, unlike adjectives, adverbs resist substantiation: from "a beautiful day" you can deduce "beautiful" or "beautiful in itself", but this cannot be done from the expression "look beautiful". "Red" or "beautiful" is no longer a mysterious object, but a property of processes that connects them together. The representation of the same universal by different people is based on the ability to act in the same typical, universal way once again, we emphasize that generality refers specifically to actions, not to things, it is the generality of the "algorithm" of actions, their pattern. Such universals as "aromas" or "fears" are common, similar structural properties of a number of mental processes. Physical universals (the property of being acid or electrical conductivity) are rooted in the processes of interaction between phenomena and are determined by the properties of these processes. They are determined by the mode of action; universals are structural characteristics of processes. Even a poem or a symphony are programs for the implementation of certain processes.

Universals are associated with the programmatic nature of processes and their repeatability; processes belong to certain structural varieties and have a specific composition. The concretization of an abstract process for example, a downpour - requires placing it in a certain space and time (a downpour over Paris). However, such a separate case of a process is itself a concrete universal any really ongoing process is both concrete (contextually dependent) and universal (implementing a certain type of process). The typical nature of the processes is explained by the generality of the program structure for example, in rain it differs from snow. Thus, universals are structural properties of processes.

When talking about a program, Rescher means the presence of certain rules, structure or repeatability in the process, and not at all about the determinism, setness and "programmed" processes. On the contrary, the most important category in the philosophy of the process is the category of novelty and emergence. Processes contain some "patterns", but these are not preset patterns.

And yet the concept of "program", in our opinion, is problematic, since it assumes a purely internal certainty of the phenomenon (for example, a "genetic program"), whereas processes often form their pattern not from within, but in interaction with other processes that make up their dynamic context. The concept of a program has connotations that are undesirable in the context of process philosophy, since it is very difficult to reconcile the programmatic nature of a phenomenon with its creative ability to create new things and in fact, according to Charles Hartshorn, a major representative of process philosophy, "creativity is an integral, essential aspect of the idea of becoming and process" [12, p. 165]. Creativity is inherent in nature itself, and the processes occurring in it generate new processes (for example, the origin of biological processes from physico-chemical ones). Nature creates new species that include not only individuals, but also universals. At the same time, new species are not "fixed" once and for all, they are in the process of dynamics and development; the universe is a procedural variety, not a set of unchanging entities.

Gradualism and field ontology

The philosophy of the process departs from the essentialist concept of things having essences and concentrates on the time period of their existence. During the existence of a certain entity, there may be shifts, jumps, moments of transition that mark significant changes. So, on the day of his eighteenth birthday, a citizen acquires the right to vote, which he did not have the day before. However, even a certain threshold - for example, the melting temperature of ice - assumes a gradual melting process, and at some moments the ice is in an "indefinite" state. It is the threshold states that make it possible to link together the process "before" and the process "after", explaining how a person before and after the eighteenth birthday is a single process. Transformation processes have both welldefined and "fuzzy" stages; however, our language prefers clearly defined stages - for example, we are talking separately about acorn and oak. Fuzzy stages (no longer an acorn, but not yet an oak) remain marginal, since they cannot be unambiguously described. However, in reality itself there is no opposition between "definite" and "fuzzy"; this opposition depends on the angle of view from which we contemplate the world. Rain Raud suggests considering threshold states as aspects of gradients [6, pp. 63-65]: for example, if we take the opposition between the living and the inanimate, then we should assume a certain gradual continuum for example, neither stone nor milk are alive, but milk is still closer to life than stone. Neither the tree nor the amoeba have consciousness, but the tree is closer to this state than the amoeba; bees do not have language, but they are closer to language than flies.

Gradation can assume clear and quite definable extremes; it allows certainty in the area of thresholds of significant transformation, but at the same time, it contains "gray zones", areas of uncertainty, fuzzy states and phases of formation; moreover, this area of ambiguity can occupy the most significant part of the duration of the phenomenon's existence. Gradualism shows the continuity between human society and culture with other forms of life and even with natural phenomena; this not only does not deprive humanity of its specificity, but, on the contrary, is a condition for the possibility of describing this specificity. The importance of a phenomenon, from the point of view of gradualism, turns out to be a graduated quantity phenomena can have different degrees of importance, not reduced to Boolean values (0 or 1); similarly, statements can have different degrees of proximity to reality, and not just be true or false.

The philosophy of the process criticizes the extraction of a thing from the context of the surrounding reality and its transformation into an abstract entity, contemplated by our mind in a conceptual reality devoid of context. It is in this way that the objects of classical substantial philosophy are formed. They are endowed with identity, which, from a procedural point of view, is based rather on substitutability in a particular situation and on a significant overlap [6, p. 69], rather than identity. For example, employees in a bank can replace each other when serving a visitor, but not on a date. From the client's point of view, there is a significant overlap between different employees, but this overlap is absent from the point of view of partners or friends. An individual entity can be replaced in a number of contexts by another entity with which it has a significant overlap, but there is no such entity that would be interchangeable in absolutely all possible contexts.

The most important category of the philosophy of the process is the category of relationship. According to Raud, relations should be considered in the context of the concept of a membrane [6, p. 71]. Another process philosopher, Mark Bickhard, also notes that "generally speaking, individual processes can have various kinds of boundaries ... and if they have boundaries, then the latter are a product of the dynamics of the process, and not a metaphysical necessity" [13, p. 8] and in this sense, the boundaries of the processes really resemble a cell membrane. During the evolution of the living world, the membrane was born in order to separate two areas ("external" and "internal") from each other, which made possible the appearance of cells and cellular life forms. The membrane creates conditions for the internal process in the cell; it can pass some substances and delay others. Some membranes are thicker and more impenetrable than others and here again we are dealing with gradation. What penetrates through the membrane becomes part of the composition of the cell. From the point of view of biosemiotics, this fact creates the conditions for the origin of meaning: the distinction between internal and external, between what can be admitted and what cannot, determines the primary act of encoding and decoding, as well as the primary distinction between "self" and "other"

Properties are described in our languages (mainly Indo-European) as qualities independent of relationships, but in reality they take place only in relationships. Correlation is a fundamental condition for the existence of things; this is partly confirmed by quantum field physics, which denies the existence of particles represented as self-identical and continuous material objects of microscopic size. Particles are only emergent forms of organization that exhibit particle-like behavior. According to Richard Campbell, the philosopher of the process, "... modern physics shows that phenomena at the quantum level can no longer be considered as micro-entities, microscopic 'things'. And although the word "particle" is still used in comments on modern physics, it is used only in the broadest sense when describing quantumlevel phenomena, since the latter are no longer thought of as ultimate entities, microscopic corpuscles" [14, p. 5]. The fundamental level of existence should not necessarily be reduced to minimal substantial units - particles, in the categories of substantialist atomism. Perhaps the basic level of existence is set by the quantum field; the elements of being are not minimal objects (particles), but events, transitions between fields, meetings moreover, the "participants" of these meetings do not have a separate existence outside the event of the meeting; Rain Raud argues that the world is quantum events, which, from the point of view of philosophy the process can be described as intersections between the streams of being (6, p. 73). The dynamism of the flow of reality means the continuous re-creation, reorganization of the minimal instances of being, whose identity has a short-term character. In a certain sense, the minimum instance of being is a charge of energy at a given time. From a philosophical point of view, these minimal instances are neither isolated individuals nor entities completely immersed in the context; they contain potential connections with others, a minimal set of possible futures that guide their connection and relationship with other minimal instances with a corresponding complementary set of potential connections or valences. According to Raud, valence can be not only positive, but also negative, that is, it includes the ability to avoid connections with some other instances. Valence allows gradation some bonds are more preferable than others. It is in this way that things, configurations, patterns with emergent causal abilities are formed - starting from fire, and ending with the Dutch East Indian society. However, these things or configurations are a kind of network nodes merging with other entities in the gray zone at their borders.

Entities are formed by relationships, and the surplus or remainder that is characteristic of things outside of relationships should be understood not statically, but dynamically as a field. The field is a space of constitutive stresses, both negative and positive, between individual elements or positions that converge together, increasing the likelihood of emergence of emergent abilities [6, p. 79]. The field is not a thing, it is a system of actions, effects, and no single element of it can be isolated and represented as self-identical and constant in time. Raud applies the term "field" to a whole range of phenomena from the organization of inorganic matter to individual consciousness and social processes. The field is a space of constitutive tensions, an organizational pattern of relations; it presupposes some uncertainty, "chaos striving for self-organization and order continuously dismantling itself." Structuring principles arise within the field itself; the field is characterized by continuous dynamism and represents an instantaneous slice of some process, and not a self-identical entity. The elements of the field move, and the movement of the element changes the equilibrium of stresses; each element can be described as a lower-level field, determined by its position in a higher-level field, as well as its history and internal stresses. With the help of the field, it is possible to describe negotiations between world powers in a tense situation, the inner life of people and even the self of a person. The field is nonequilibrium, it is open in relation to what it is not, and remains identical to itself only for moments. It is a slice of a certain bundle of processes (or each of these processes) of heterogeneous origin, but significantly overlapping and generating effects that affect each other for a certain time.

Everything that we call a thing is a kind of set, organized through a pattern, but never reaching permanent stability. The field has both a desire for equilibrium and a tendency to imbalance for example, a mountain range formed by tectonic shifts, temperature differences and the erosive influence of life forms, from the point of view of the timeline of an individual human life, is stable, and yet is in the process of continuous gradual change. An example of field stresses can be human consciousness or society.

The field, as already mentioned, is a temporary slice of the process. To define the process, Raud resorts to the above-mentioned concept of a membrane. A process is "an entity recognized as relatively independent and representing an area surrounded by an imaginary membrane boundary, which gives some internal character to the sub-processes occurring inside it, as well as the ability to initiate or limit its relations with the external environment and, thereby, participate in cause-and-effect chains" [6, p. 84]. So, the production process at the factory is a single process, even if some parts are produced at other factories. The forest as a process is a set of interconnected subprocesses that guarantee a joint symbiotic continuity that is not disturbed by temporary intrusions from the outside (not counting logging). Some events or other processes passing through the membrane boundaries of this process can radically change its course over time (for example, viruses entering the body). Until then, there is a greater degree of significant overlap or overlap between the components within the boundaries of the process than with other processes outside it.

An important difference between the so-called process and the substance is that the substance is endowed with rigid boundaries, while the processes have boundaries with varying degrees of permeability and thus have a certain degree of openness with respect to other processes. Thus, a stone has much more rigid and impenetrable boundaries than an amoeba at least from the point of view of the human time regime; compared to an amoeba, a stone is slow and monotonous. The boundaries of the stone are explained through its molecular structure, which is reduced to constitutive stresses binding molecules to each other in the form of a stable and relatively static field.

The time regimes depend on the internal characteristics of the processes this will be discussed more specifically in the next section of the article devoted to biological processes. The processes occurring in the area outlined by the boundaries proceed at different rates; moreover, the process rate is defined as the relative ability to process the input of other processes within its membrane and produce an output relevant and accessible to the latter in terms of speed. The internal reality of the process is characterized by the configuration of various time modes that are interconnected. "The life cycles of the microflora in my insides or viruses that can put me down, of course, differ from the time regimes of my university or time restrictions in traffic, but together they generate a kind of field of temporalities in which different time regimes are arranged into a single whole, supported by constitutive stresses similar to those that operate in any other field" [6, p. 95].

The equilibrium or balance between these stresses can lead to a single time regime that ensures coordination between all the processes under consideration; the internal reality of the process is maintained by synchrony between its subprocesses, which are linked by a relationship of interdependence, similar to the relationship between the life cycles of flowers and bees. However, stresses can also lead to overheating and rupture.

Raud applies his procedural field theory to the concept of consciousness: "consciousness can be described as a field of tensions between different types of mental vectors that is, perceptions, desires, instincts, memories (mutually exclusive), values, intuition, suspicions, imagination and intuition, which constantly collide with each other, and each of these vectors has its own "logic" and the ability to take the place of the source of justification of behavior, often, but not always in a rational way - following incompatible variants of rationality, or stemming from unexpected environmental influences. Some of these vectors occupy a central position, others are peripheral, but the equilibrium can change at any moment. Cooperation or unification of these vectors is possible only in short periods of time, if at all, and usually requires considerable effort" [6, p. 118].

In our opinion, such a conceptualization of consciousness and selfhood does not fully correspond to "things themselves", our actual experience; for example, there may be some leitmotives in consciousness that are not a shortterm effect of the field - for example, a feeling of homesickness or the experience of a dream that can be cherished for a lifetime; in other words, in the field of consciousness there may be there are relatively invariant processes that will set the context for more momentary or short-term forms of dynamics. We still consider such a trait as constancy to be commendable however, it is difficult to fully clarify this trait with the help of the theory of consciousness as an unstable field of tension between momentary trends.

In this section, we briefly mentioned the relevance of process philosophy in relation to quantum field theory and to the philosophy of consciousness. We will not touch on all the possibilities of applying the philosophy of the process so, the applicability of the ontology of the process to chemistry as a science of transformations is obvious; as for synergetics, it is itself the implementation of a kind of philosophy of the process. However, the area where the ontology of the process can lead, as it seems, to the most significant shifts belongs to the field of biology.

Process Philosophy in Biology

According to A. N. Whitehead, "the progress of biology and psychology was held back by the uncritical assumption of half-truths. If science does not want to turn into a conglomerate of ad hoc hypotheses, then it must become more philosophical and embark on the path of comprehensive criticism of its foundations" [15, p. 18]. This diagnosis and this wish of the great thinker remains relevant to biology to this day. If you look "at the things themselves", then the world of living beings will appear to consist of processes and relationships, and not "things", it will appear entirely dynamic. Biology studies processes that have different timescales or time frames. Thus, processes such as digestive, respiratory, muscle movement, etc. - physiological processes - take a relatively short time compared to the life cycle; development processes are slower, inheritance processes are even slower, and, finally, the processes of evolution (7, p. 10).

A striking example of the applicability of the philosophy of process to biology is the process of metabolism; for survival, organisms must constantly exchange energy and matter with the environment, and for this they must remain in activity in order to be in a non-equilibrium thermodynamic state. The exchange of matter and energy is faster the lower the described level of the hierarchy of biological processes. The state of stasis is practically not achieved; in particular, in the case of a multicellular organism, stability results from the continuous regeneration of tissues, which are supported by constant cell renewal, and the latter retain stasis with the help of incessant replenishment of their molecular composition. Each cell or tissue is a dynamic state in which stability belongs only to the form, while the material composition is in a metabolic process, a flow. However, all metabolic processes have their own time regime (7, p. 17); stomach epithelial cells live for about five days, epidermal cells are renewed every two weeks, red blood cells are replenished within four months, the liver regenerates in a year, and the skeleton is renewed in ten years none of the parts of the body is equal in age to the body itself. Thus, organisms are in a continuous flow of matter and energy.

However, not only metabolism has a procedural character; the entire life cycle of an organism, its ontogenesis from conception to death is a process; an organism cannot be separated from its development history. So, the frog egg is an integral part of the time trajectory of ontogenesis, which, in fact, is a frog. The forward movement from the tadpole to the frog is a smooth and gradual process.

Another phenomenon that requires a procedural rather than a substantialist approach is the phenomenon of biological interdependence. In fact, substance, by definition, has relatively clear boundaries and a certain autonomy, so that the dependence of substance on the external environment should be accidental, contingent (not defining for substance). Organisms do not exist as isolated and independent entities, but are part of a closely interconnected community; the environment is partly formed by a network of interactions between organisms. An example of interspecific relations called symbiotic is characteristic [7, p. 103]. They can be mutual, commensal (beneficial for one form of life and neutral for another) or parasitic. Large organisms are holobionts or multi-species collectives, including bacteria, viruses, protozoa, fungi, nematodes, etc. Some symbionts play a fundamental role in the survival of their host; many microbes live in biofilms that have their own life cycle. In these cases, the relation is not something external to the "objects", as substantialism wants it to be. Organisms exist due to the complex networks of relationships that they maintain with each other; many properties and abilities of organisms are born in these relationships, and not within the corresponding "substances". In other words, organisms should be understood as processes, not as things that is, they should be understood as fundamentally correlated entities that affect the environment and are affected by the latter and deeply rooted in it. Biofilms, holobionts and superorganisms are not a conglomerate of autonomous and independent units; ecological relationships are better understood as an interweaving of processes indeed, it seems difficult to clearly define the boundaries of biological individuals who are so closely correlated. In the light of the gradualism presented above, we can assume a certain range of gradations of this correlation and interconnectedness, between free forms of symbiosis and close endosymbiosis. It can be difficult to isolate discrete individuals from the flow of interrelated life processes as, for example, in the case of the bacterium Buchnera Aphidicola, which provides vital digestive processes in aphids, and it itself cannot survive outside the aphid's body. Whether the trillions of microorganisms forming the human microbiome are part of the human body or a collection of cooperating organisms, the answer to this question will depend on the practical goals of the researcher. This means that an essentialist classification in the light of essential qualities is impossible, and this is another argument in favor of the philosophy of the process.

The biological world is organized not as a structural organization of substances or things, but as a dynamic organization of processes with different time regimes. These processes provide a number of favorable conditions for other processes in the hierarchy both at lower and higher levels of this hierarchy. Reductionism, which asserts that the properties and behavior of a higher level (for example, the organism as a whole) are a deductive consequence of the properties and behavior of the basic components; such a statement is based on substantialism and the idea of independent essential properties of parts, the possibility of considering things separately from the context. However, a complex network of interactions between different levels of the biological hierarchy means that it is impossible to accurately determine the nature of a certain part by listing its internal properties. The properties of a process are largely explained by its relations with other processes, and it is impossible to explain it outside of these relations. In addition, from the point of view of the philosophy of the process, causal effects can go from parts to the whole, and from the whole to the parts, so reductionism in biology is untenable.

In genetics, substantialism gives certain substances genes properties, in particular the ability to cause phenotypic consequences; genes are understood atomistically as discrete entities. However, the development of some traits of the organism is explained by properties distributed throughout the genome (and not determined by individual genes), and the genome itself can be considered as a process. Thus, "genetics, the science of hypothetical entities that are believed to be responsible for inheritance, can be caricatured as a science developed in accordance with reductionist epistemology... genetics has led us to an extremely detailed picture of the genome. However, among the remarkable properties of the genome is its complete inconsistency with this epistemology" [16, p. 336]. Recall that reductionism is a version of substantialism that asserts the fundamental role of the smallest substantial units (in this case, molecules); procedural thought defends causeandeffect relationships from the whole to the parts.

In addition, the concept of evolution should be revised in the light of the process; thus, species should not be considered as universal individuals with a certain nature or essence, but as separate processes; here J. Simondon's thought about the priority of the process of individuation over the individual as a result is appropriate [17, p. 22]; in fact, according to Simondon, individuation "it is grasped ... before or during the genesis of an individual; individuation is an event or operation in the bosom of a richer reality than the individual who comes from it" [18, p. 64]. Evolution can be viewed as such a process of individuation, and species as moments or phases of this process. A species is a transient "individual", which is only a moment of becoming in the process of change.

Biological classification is largely based not on essentialism and not on the concept of essence and internal essential properties, but on relationships. The essentialist interpretation of the species, according to which the species is defined through the immanent characteristics of its members (genetic, morphological), is heuristically inadequate. In fact, a species is defined through relationships as "a reproductive community of populations (isolated from others from a reproductive point of view) occupying a certain niche in nature" [19, pp. 31-60]. Whether an individual belongs to a given species is determined not by the internal properties of a given individual, but by his relationships with other individuals and with the environment (through the concept of a niche). In particular, two similar organisms can belong to different species, provided their reproductive isolation from each other and differences in their phylogeny - that is, when classifying, we take into account not only synchronic, but also diachronic, historical relationships. In addition, the classification of the species themselves also relies on phylogenetic history. Consequently, biological phenomena are defined and classified partly in the light of the relationships in which they are located. Hence, it is impossible to fully characterize or classify a phenomenon based only on its purely internal properties, as essentialism wants.

The philosophy of the process makes it possible to criticize mechanicism in biology, in addition, it shows the unfaithfulness of the position that gives structure priority over function (because changes in function entail structural changes). Substantialist prejudices prefer the stability of the structure to the dynamism of the function, but the relationship between structure and function is not linear, it has a circular and mutual property. According to Bertalanfi, "the old juxtaposition of 'structure' and 'function' should be explained by the relative speed of processes within the body. Structures are stretched slow processes, and functions are transient, fast processes" [20, p. 34]; structure and function are alternative forms of abstraction extracted from the continuous flow of fundamental processes.

Thus, procedural thought in the field of genetics, in the field of structure and function, as well as in the context of the theory of evolution and classification of biological species promises to make significant changes in the practice of biology; in fact, a number of these changes are already being implemented in the biological theory of development systems.


The problematic nature of essentialism lies in the dogmatic belief that our linguistic description of reality is homologous to the very structure of reality; in this context, only one correct description of reality is possible. The philosophy of the process stands for pluralism of descriptions of reality, but against relativism: not all descriptions are equally adequate. There is a gradation of descriptions of reality, which may have a different degree of proximity to reality. There are no once-for-all given essential properties of a thing or phenomenon; they depend on the context, on practical interest or on the "affordances" connecting the phenomenon and the one who correlates with it in perception, action, etc. Even the biological classification of species is not absolute here. Moreover, in biology one can find many examples that support the procedural description of reality, ranging from metabolism to symbiosis. CAssentialism is able to describe only clearly delineated stages of phenomena or objects and ignores (sometimes longer and more significant) stages of formation and uncertainty for example, when describing the living world, we focus on adults. Reality cannot be described completely in the light of Boolean values there are zones of uncertainty in it, and there are many shades of gray between the extremes of black and white. Again, this does not mean relativism at all, but it implies various gradations of objectivity. The gradualism of the philosophy of process allows us to reconnect those aspects of reality that have undergone conceptual separation nature and culture, society and the individual, cause and motive, matter and spirit, consciousness and the world.

Substantialism excessively restricts the ontological palette of reality, basing the description of the world on individual objects and excluding from consideration a number of phenomena (erosion, precipitation, photosynthesis, weddings, etc.). Moreover, individual objects themselves can be described in dynamic categories as patterns of temporal stability of various processes with certain time regimes. The most important mistake of substantialism and essentialism is that they do not take into account time as a constitutive factor of reality. This philosophical error can lead to misconceptions in the interpretation of scientific achievements: for example, the brain can be interpreted as a substance (hence the theory of the brain as a kind of computer center of the organism or the idea of the identity of the brain and consciousness). If we understand the brain as a process, and not as a substance, then consciousness can be understood as an emergent property of the interaction of brain dynamics with the dynamics of the body and the dynamics of the environment, and both the brain and the body and the environment are processes. The phenomenon of emergence of new properties (life, consciousness, mind) is completely inexplicable in the mainstream of substantialism-essentialism.

Essentialism is mistaken in attributing the logic of the object and predicate and the grammar of the subject and predicate to the language of nature itself. Physical nature is more adequately described in the language of differential equations, and living nature is described in the language of dynamic relationships (symbiosis, niche organism, reproductive relationships, etc.). In general, we can say that it is processes that constitute the core of reality it is possible to articulate the world in different ways in the categories of things, entities and aspects, but ultimately the objective basis of any articulation is precisely the processes taking place in the world and their connections.

In general, we can say that the working hypothesis about the globality of the paradigm of processualism and the locality of the paradigm of sub-institutionalism has found sufficient confirmation. Firstly, substantial entities depend on perspective, whereas processes are more objective in nature. Secondly, substantial models abstract from the diachronic dimension or assign it insufficient space; such abstraction is applicable locally for heuristic purposes, but is unacceptable in a more complete description of the world and its regions. Thirdly, as has been shown by the example of biology, substantial models resort to a mechanistic explanation that does not work in more complex and comprehensive models based on interactions and relationships (for example, the ecosystem model). Fourth, even the description of the properties of a substance is possible only by virtue of the processes of interaction with these substances, which guarantees the epistemic primacy of the processes.

Despite the advantages of the philosophy of process over the philosophy of substance, there are certain doubts about the claim of the ontology of process to a non-anthropocentric, objective description of reality (in contrast to the philosophy of substance, which is a purely anthropocentric view of the world). In fact, the process involves at least several stages, which can be considered as earlier or later, previous and subsequent in relation to each other. However, if human (or any other) consciousness is eliminated from the universe, then the reference point will disappear, in relation to which earlier and later moments exist; the past and future in the universe may no longer exist, and in this case it is the eternal "now", the simultaneity of various states and events. Can we then talk about the basic nature of processes in the universe, about their fundamental role, if all directions disappear in the universe at all; can we say that any processes are taking place in this situation at all? And if there can be no processes in eternal simultaneity, then is not the process, in this case, a reality correlative to human consciousness with its temporal, temporal constitution? For the authors of this article, this problem remains a question, the answer to which should be sought in subsequent works.


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The author of the reviewed article examines the concepts of modern Anglo-American philosophy dating back to Whitehead, collectively referred to as the "philosophy of the process". However, this popular heading actually hides some trends in dialectical thinking that are well known to older generations of Russian readers, for example, according to the formulation of F. Engels, who noted that, unlike metaphysics, dialectics imagines the world not as a collection of things, but as a sequence of interrelated processes. The poet should state that there is no conceptual novelty in this subject, if we do not ignore the great dialectics, first of all, Hegel and Marx. However, philosophical thought continues to exist in post-classical culture, and, of course, any significant content of it needs special study. The author, referring to the Anglo-American "philosophy of the process" deserves support in this regard, since (with the exception, of course, of Whitehead himself) it is still not well known in our country. In addition, it should be noted that the author has undoubted erudition in the matter under consideration, presents the content very competently, and from the point of view of the "style" of the presented text there is almost nothing to reproach. However, the author, as a rule, only "expounds" the material, obediently following the aspirations of the studied philosophers, only in the last paragraph doubts are expressed about the fundamentality of the presented views and the possible limits of the "philosophy of the process", we can say that the article lacks an analytical component. However, most of the questions and objections are raised by the title of the article and the introductory remarks to it. Firstly, the name is cumbersome, and secondly, it is needless to say that the "philosophy of substance" also has its "advantages", and in an "honest process" it should be given the floor. What is, after all, a "process as a process"? The same abstraction, if we do not take into account that we observe different processes, and in comparison with some others appear as the "stability" of the processality itself; let us recall, for example, that a (historical) epoch is a "delay", a "stop", but it does not follow that within the boundaries of one epoch there is no there is a development that leads to its "scrapping". In a word, "processality" is just one of the aspects of a really deep philosophical dialectic that takes into account both the breadth of coverage (comprehensive approach), and consistency, and internal inconsistency, etc. But why then does the author avoid talking about "dialectics", and about the "philosophy of the process" as one of its components? Because this concept is not used by American authors themselves? But the metalanguage of the analysis of philosophical doctrines is not obliged to be limited to the resources of the language of the object of consideration. It seems that the author could allow himself (and readers) to take a more free look at the teachings under consideration, while not hiding that "processality" is not the first time that occupies the minds of thinkers. Finally, the author has some confusion in the first lines of the article, and here it is necessary to put things in order. How could Heraclitus, Leibniz and Nietzsche be in the same row? What did the author mean by that? If these are representatives of the "classics" as opposed to the "non-classical" (it would be more correct to say "postclassical") philosophy, then Nietzsche should be excluded from this series. And then how did Hegel not turn up here? And Leibniz is not a "processalist" at all, although (in a certain sense) he is a dialectician, but he presents completely different sides of dialectical thinking. Or did he get into this "rank" because, as you know, N. Resher wrote about him, whose views are discussed in the article? Be that as it may, but clarity should be made in these first lines, they prevent a calm reading of the subsequent text. Let's point to another statement that is puzzling: "a number of assumptions that rely on naturalism, naive realism, reductionism and transcendentalism." Yes, "naturalism", "naive realism" and "reductionism" are terms that either clearly have a negative meaning or can be interpreted in a negative way, but what is the fault of "transcendentalism"? In addition, it is unclear why the "philosopher" is often placed before the names of the authors in the text: if so, then the reader himself is able to draw such a conclusion, noting the depth and originality of the views presented to him, one should not impose this "title" on the reader. Summing up, we can say that the article is devoted to a topic that may be of interest to a wide range of readers, and the author shows erudition and the ability to clearly present the material being considered, and yet the comments made do not allow us to conclude that the article is ready for publication, in any case, both the title and the first paragraphs of the text should be adjusted in accordance with the comments made. I recommend sending the article for revision.

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The relevance of the research is primarily due to the need to understand processualism and substantialism as philosophical paradigms from the perspective of intellectual trends of postmodernism. The subject of the research is the philosophy of process and the philosophy of substance as philosophical paradigms. The hypothesis is that processualism and substantialism relate to each other in a similar way to the relationship between Einstein's physics and Newton's physics. In this regard, the author clarifies that "the philosophy of process is able to provide a global model describing the world, whereas the philosophy of substance provides, often, heuristically valuable and useful, but limited due to its static nature, models of the local level." Research methods: meta-analysis as integration, generalization and philosophical understanding of the results of consideration of the philosophy of process and philosophy of substance. The scientific novelty lies in the justification that processualism and substantialism relate to each other in a similar way to the relationship between Einstein's physics and Newton's physics. The author illustrates this with a number of provisions. In particular, the fact that the processes are more objective in nature, and the substantial entities depend on the perspective. At the same time, substantial models abstract from the diachronic dimension, so such an abstraction is applicable locally for heuristic purposes, but is unacceptable in a more complete description of the world and its regions. Substantial models resort to a mechanistic explanation that does not work in more complex and comprehensive models based on interactions and relationships (for example, the ecosystem model). Because of this, even the description of the properties of a substance is possible only by virtue of the processes of interaction with these substances, which guarantees the epistemic primacy of the processes. The article consists of an introduction, the main part, a conclusion and a list of references, including 20 sources, 17 of which are in English. The main part of the work has a clear logical and semantic structure and is represented by 4 headings: "Essentialism and substantialism", "The necessity of the process category: Nicholas Rescher", "Gradualism and the ontology of the field", "Philosophy of process in Biology". In the first section of the article, considering essentialism and substantialism through the prism of classical and postmodern philosophical works, the author reasonably concludes that the researcher Seibt in his writings offers the most logically based theory of processes, but therefore the most formal. Therefore, in the author's opinion, it is advisable to fill this form with content. Further sections of the work are devoted to solving this problem. In the second section of the article "The need for a process category: Nicholas Rescher", the author conducts a critical analysis of this concept. And as a result, he concludes that the concept of the Rescher program "has connotations that are undesirable in the context of the philosophy of the process, since it is very difficult to reconcile the programmatic nature of the phenomenon with its creative ability to create new ...". The author draws attention to the fact that this contradicts the basics of life, since nature itself is characterized by creativity, it creates new species that include not only individuals, but also universals. At the same time, new species are not "fixed" once and for all, they are in the process of dynamics and development; the universe is a procedural variety, not a set of unchanging entities. The third part of the work "Gradualism and Field Ontology" mentions the relevance of the philosophy of process in relation to the theory of the quantum field and to the philosophy of consciousness. Based on the analysis, the author states: ".. the area where the ontology of the process can lead, as it seems, to the most significant shifts belongs to the field of biology."In the fourth part of the work "Philosophy of process in Biology", the author demonstrates that procedural thought in the field of genetics, in the field of structure and function, as well as in the context of the theory of evolution and classification of biological species promises to make significant changes in the practice of biology; in fact, a number of these changes are already being implemented in the biological theory of development systems. In conclusion, the work is summarized and detailed conclusions are presented, convincingly demonstrating that the hypothesis has been proven, and the research results presented in the article have novelty. So, the article has a logical structure, it is written in a competent scientific language. The material is presented clearly and consistently. The conclusions may be of interest to representatives of the philosophical community, as well as to theologians, political scientists, psychologists, cultural scientists, sociologists, and specialists in the field of interdisciplinary research. Accordingly, this study is promising and of interest to a wide readership.
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