The determination of what is healthy for your body depends on your goal, your horizon, your energies, your impulses, your errors, and above all on the ideals and phantasms of your soul. Thus there are innumerable healths of the body; and the more we allow the unique and incomparable to raise its head again, and the more we abjure the dogma of ‘equality of men,’ the more must the concept of a normal health, along with a normal diet and the normal course of an illness, be abandoned by medical men. Only then would the time have come to reflect on the health and illness of the soul, and to find the peculiar virtue of each man in the health of his soul. In one person, of course, this health could look like its opposite in another person.Nietzsche, The Gay Science, 1974, §120, 177
My daughter gave me a drawing challenge. The first step is to draw the contour of your hand. You can put your hand in any position on the paper and then use a pencil to follow the contour of your hand. The next step is to draw something out of that contour. I accepted the challenge, and decided to do a C with my hand, the C of Creal.
At the heart of various contemporary European policies or research orientations is the idea of contributing to a “human-centered” world and “thinking human first”. For example, the European Parliament resolution of 20 October 2020 on intellectual property rights for the development of artificial intelligence technologies advocates “a human-centred approach to AI that is compliant with ethical principles and human rights” (para E.), thus incidentally closing the door of protections to anything that is not created by a human agent (Dias Pereira 2021).
The idea that ethics has human-centered interactions as its exclusive subject matter has been such a blind spot of Western thinking that the term “anthropocentrism” has gained traction in English only since the 1970s (Norton 2013). In line with the posthuman and new materialist critique (Barad 2007; Barron 1995; Braidotti 2010; Coole & Frost 2010), I believe that the anthropocene could be overcome rather by letting go of our human obsession for our own species and instead adopt a less anthropocentric purpose, such as Think Earth First, Think Life first, or, as I have been advocating: Think Creal First.
By “Creal” is meant the condition of possibility of the Real as ultimate processual flux of possibilizing (de Miranda 2017, 2021a, 2021b, 2021c). This hypothesis of a Creative Real or “whole onflow” (Andrews & Duff, 2020) as creatio continua is not new in philosophy. The idea that creation is an immanent multiversal flux is typical of process philosophies, both Western and Eastern: for example, in Heraclitus (Holm-Hadulla 2013, p. 297), Taoism (Yu 1981), Bergson (1911) or Whitehead for whom “Creativity is the universal of universals characterizing ultimate matter of fact.” (1929, p. 31).
This “onto-generative” or regenerative notion of infrahuman creative becoming (Cheng 2018) suggests that a world ruled by analytic human-centered computers, anthropocentric algorithmic standards, human-focused pervasive norms, digital bureaucracy and other forms of “anthrobotics” (de Miranda, Ramamoorthy and Rovatsos 2016), can be a danger to our non-analytic (“crealectic”) relationship with the Other as ultimate possibility, a noodiverse form of thinking that we share will all beings, without which there might be no philosophical health, and without which psychological and physical health are made problematic (de Miranda 2021a).
Thinking human first is a good intention. And as the saying goes, hell is paved with good intentions. Time is ripe for a new era of deep biodiversity, life affirmation and multifarious creation, beyond human-focused hubris. The Anthropocene turned out to be a deadlock, let’s anticipate the Regenerocene, in which we will cherish the creative power of the multiverse, nurture mutualistic ensembles, share meaning-making with non-human entities, co-create cognitively diversified realities, facilitate healthy resilience and curate eudynamic rebo(u)nds. A eudynamic ensemble or individual is one that deploys and unfolds in such a way that its creative relationship to the possible remains open, meaningful and sacred. It is time to conceive of a growth that heals as it expands.
Andrews, G. J. & Duff, C. (2020). “Whole Onflow”, The Productive Event: An Articulation Through Health. Social Science & Medicine, 265; 113498.
Barad, K. (2007). Meeting the Universe Halfway. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Barron, F. (1995). No rootless flower: An ecology of creativity. Cresskill: Hampton Press.
Bergson, H. (1911) Creative Evolution, New York: Holt & Co.
Braidotti, R. (2010). The Politics of “Life Itself” and New Ways of Dying. In D. Coole & S. Frost (eds.), New Materialisms: Ontolgy, Agency, and Politics. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Cheng, C. Y. (2018). On the Ultimate as the Onto-Generative Origin in the Hengxian, Journal of Chinese Philosophy, 45(3-4), 133–135. https://doiorg.ezproxy.its.uu.se/10.1111/1540-6253.12376
Coole, D. & Frost, S., (eds.) (2010). New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Dias Pereira, A. L. (2021). A Copyright “Human-Centred” Approach to AI? GRUR International, 70 (4), pp. 323–4.
Holm-Hadulla, R. M. (2013). The Dialectic of Creativity: A Synthesis of Neurobiological, Psychological, Cultural and Practical Aspects of the Creative Process, Creativity Research Journal, 25:3, 293-299. https://DOI: 10.1080/10400419.2013.813792
de Miranda, L. (2016), Ramamoorthy, S. & Rovatsos, M. We, Anthrobot: Learning from Human Forms of Interaction and Esprit de Corps to Develop More Diverse Social Robotics, in What Social Robots Can and Should do. Amsterdam: IOS Press.de Miranda, L. (2017). On the Concept of Creal: The Politico-Ethical Horizon of a Creative Absolute, peer-reviewed chapter in The Dark Precursor: Deleuze and Artistic Research, ed. Paulo de Assis & Paolo Giudici. Louvain: Leuven University Press.
de Miranda, L. 2021a. Thinking into the Place of the Other: The Crealectic Approach to Philosophical Health and Care. International Journal of Philosophical Practice, vol 7 (1). https://www.pdcnet.org/wp/
de Miranda, L. (2021b). Five Principles of Philosophical Health: From Hadot to Crealectics. Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture. Vol 5, pp. 70–89.
de Miranda, L. 2021c. Crealectic Intelligence. In Palgrave Encyclopedia of the Possible (edited by Glaveanu, Vlad). Cham: Springer.
Norton, B. G. (2013). Anthropocentrism. In International Encyclopedia of Ethics, H. Lafollette (Ed.). https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444367072.wbiee075
Stiegler, B. & Ross, D. (2018). The Neganthropocene. London: Open Humanities Press.
Whitehead, A. N. (1929). Process and Reality. New York: MacMillan.
Yu, D. C. (1981) The Creation Myth and Its Symbolism in Classical Taoism, Philosophy East and West, 31(4), 479–500. https://doi-org.ezproxy.its.uu.se/10.2307/1398794
A prescient excerpt from an article by Guy Burneko in the journal World Futures (2005).
“Whether in the terms of the ecology of natural systems or those of the ecology of mind and nature, be it in the cosmological mathematics of wholeness and mutual implication or the mythopoeic tropes of an undivided cosmos coming to intensifying (self)awareness in our creative scientific and aesthetic sensibilities, then and now, East and West, the world widely accords that as creation is one and whole, creativity is ever here and now, in the first person of the cosmic all-together. To be creative, in this interpretation, is in diversified harmony to participate, impart, receive, and meaningfully enrich the natural processes and patterns of cosmogenesis without imposing fragmented ego-demands.
Creation speaks in the first person, saying “I am here and now” in all settings, although the personal pronoun “I” is usually identified more with “you” or “me” as a “way of speaking” of creation than as a perfect name for its origin, locale, or action. We locate creation in our separate selves and in our own or in natural acts. Creation, however, events, names, nouns and pronouns itself as I, you, Greta, cyanobacteria, or Etna because that is convenient for us—who think of ourselves as individual Gretas, or as beings picking up and putting down creativity in the midst of other goings-on—in our keeping track of creation: as if it were one thing and we and the affairs of the world others. But the track we are keeping is of an everywhere and ever continuing creation (that is both ourselves and nature) no more broken up into you and me and the mountains and seas than it is sometimes here and sometimes not here, or than it is an external, objective “it.””