An Integrational Ontology Toward the Organic Ecology

In Society of Ham Seokheon Research (ed.), Thought and Practice: A Humanistic Illumination of Ham Seokheon Thought. Seoul, S. Korea: Hangilsa. pp. 21-49 (2011)
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Abstract

For a while, life and environment have been regarded as two separate subjects, but recently life and environment are to be seen as different aspects of one single theme. There are able philosophers who maintain the connection of the two but Seokheon Ham is believed to present a more coherent case. To him, integration is not merely a property which is unifying various elements, but it has a deep ontological structure seen in his utterance “there is not a thing in the world which does not have a reason to exist”. He is providing a model of deep integration by equivalently linking life and sense. And he offers apparent arguments of oneness as integration of animates and inanimates, seeds as an example of integration of sense and life, and suffering as a historical integration. But Ham’s arguments will be strengthened by philosophizing the notion of integration. Fortunately, I would suggest that the clue is found in the conception of integration of Zhungyong. I will take the major thrust of the book to be five theses: (1) integration of a thing is the capacity to realize its embedded objective in its interactions with all other things; (2) ‘mind’ denotes the capacity of humans as well as the capacity of all other entities: (3) integration is a capacity not only of humans but also of all other entities; (4) if the evolution demonstrates the history of species as the fittest, then the history expresses the evolution of life forms of intelligence and justice; (5) integration of an entity is a disposition to realize its embedded objective in the context of its interconnections with all others at a particular time and place. The ontology of integration I am submitting may be shown to be an alternative to traditional physicalism. The integrational ontology may be seen as virtuous in that it is coherent with the informational view of the contemporary culture and with the caring need for those who suffer.

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