Beyond Metaphysics?: Explorations in Alfred North by Roland Faber, Brian G. Henning, Clinton Combs

By Roland Faber, Brian G. Henning, Clinton Combs

Alfred North Whitehead's interpreters often pay much less realization to his later monographs and essays. method and truth is taken to be the definitive heart of the Whiteheadian universe and the later works, thereby, seem to many basically as purposes or gildings of issues already brought prior. but, is it additionally attainable that the dominance of this attitude has obscured or maybe distorted extra artistic advancements of Whitehead's inspiration? This quantity deals a type of Copernican revolution in Whitehead interpretation, methodologically and conceptually inviting its participants to watch Whitehead's paintings from the point of view of his later works. the purpose of this preferencing is intended to not invalidate past ways to Whitehead's inspiration neither is the inference that the later works are extra authoritative. but, simply because the first space-based photographs of our planet ceaselessly replaced humanity's realizing of its position within the universe, transferring the alleged heart of, or perhaps decentering of the view on, Whitehead's "philosophy of organism" to the later works, we would detect formerly obscured rules or new vistas of suggestion proper not just to our present philosophical panorama, but additionally to the urgent problems with our fragile and endangered global. This quantity invitations its members and readers to think about no matter if one thereby additionally strikes past metaphysics?

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Believe that there is at least one philosophical problem in which all thinking men are interested. It is the problem of cosmology: the problem of understanding the world—including ourselves, and our knowledge, as part of the world. All science is cosmology, I believe, and for me the interest of philosophy, no less than of science, lies solely in the contributions which it has made to it” (Popper 1959, 15; cf. 19). Whitehead’s characterization of cosmology as a philosophical or scientific conception is closely connected with his description of philosophy in general As one of the functions of philosophy he mentions its role as a “critic of cosmologies,” further described as the function to “harmonise, refashion, and justify” different intentions or views concerning the nature of things— views such as science, aesthetics, ethics, and religion (SMW xxi).

16. In the opening chapter of Modes of Thought, the one devoted to “Importance,” Whitehead calls attention to “a permanent difficulty of philosophic discussion” “namely, that words must be stretched beyond their common meanings in the marketplace” (MT 12; cf. PR). 17. The “final unity of animal intelligence,” allegedly exemplified in human beings, is “the organ of reaction to novel situations, and is the organ introducing the requi site novelty of reaction” (MT 25). 18. Perhaps Whitehead’s pansychism might be altered, with the emphasis falling on self expression rather than self enjoyment.

Our experience of things is that they communicate their presence and import to us, though not necessarily in a clearly audible or immediately intelligible manner. The history of cosmological speculation serves the cause of speculative thought, not least of all by making available to us in explicit form the pivotal conceptions around which such theoretical adventures inevitably revolve. 7 In any event, methodological selfconsciousness, as exemplified by Whitehead, encompasses historical selfconsciousness.

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