Welcome to Philosophy of Pattern!

Actually, I can’t welcome you to a “Philosophy of Pattern” because, as far as I can ascertain, their is no developed philosophy of pattern. It is through this site that I hope to stimulate some thought and discussion on such a philosophy.

There are patterns everywhere in everything at every scale: physical patterns, patterns in thought, patterns of events, patterns in colours, weather patterns, including climate patterns; patterns in solids, liquids, and gases; patterns in sound, including birdcalls and music from rock to symphonies; there are patterns in mathematics and in the behaviours of animals, birds and insects; but they are all just examples of patterns.

Are patterns “Real” as Daniel Dennett rather ambiguously seems to think (‘Real Patterns’, The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 88, No. 1, (Jan. 1991) pp 27-51), or are they purely epistemic, a product of our own minds, which, of course, are also patterns?

Putting it another way, are patterns ontic, existing without living things to perceive them, or do we impose patterns on a sort of white noise? I mean by this that we might start from the way in which William James describes a baby’s impression of the world ‘as one great blooming, buzzing confusion’ (The Principles of Psychology (1890) page 462) and developing as we get older.

It seems to me that questioning these matters is the beginning of a Philosophy of Pattern.

There are no answers offered here, just a few suggestions to get the discussion going.

Anyway, have a look and see what you reckon.

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As with all philosophy, this is a journey of inquiry; enjoy the journey! c-space

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Links to Gerry O Nolan's other sites



No Big Bang

Hubble Deep Field


Gerry O Nolan

Gerry O Nolan

Lasseter's Reef