Light dinner reading

On the most basic level, singularity refers to the fact that everything exhibits characteristics that do not fit its already-known category. A little detail, an almost imperceptible tic, an errant disposition. These anomalies inhere in the thing, which would be other than it is without them: each thing, a species of one. Since a thing’s singularizing traits inhere in it, while evading its nominal category, they are not called to order by any general procedure based on that category. They persist, and insist on themselves. They resist, with a residual energy of potential variation. Their way of insisting upon themselves might become amplified, suddenly taking on new energy. Even with minimal energy, they may imperceptibly begin to take the lead, to draw the thing after themselves, instead of being dragged along by it. Think of the way a tic or previously unacted-upon dispositions can turn into a habit, and how a habit can turn around and dominate everyday life. Or the way something that presents itself as a simple whim, a trifling captivation, might cascade into major changes in a life’s direction. These most mundane of little anomalies are in fact the stock and trade of metaphysics, if metaphysics is to honor process. For what is the concept of a thing without the aspects of it that may potentially lead it, and especially lead it elsewhere, perhaps over a threshold at which it becomes other than it was? The concept has to be pliable enough to wrap itself around the singularizing traits redolent with potential and becoming. It has to be more flexibly abstract than any general idea, by nature sclerotic, can ever hope to be.



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