By Roland Faber, Brian G. Henning, Clinton Combs
Alfred North Whitehead's interpreters frequently pay much less realization to his later monographs and essays. procedure and fact is taken to be the definitive middle of the Whiteheadian universe and the later works, thereby, seem to many purely as functions or embellishments of topics already brought prior. but, is it additionally attainable that the dominance of this attitude has obscured or maybe distorted additional artistic advancements of Whitehead's concept? This quantity deals a type of Copernican revolution in Whitehead interpretation, methodologically and conceptually inviting its members 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 concept neither is the inference that the later works are extra authoritative. but, simply because the first space-based photos of our planet endlessly replaced humanity's figuring out 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 notice formerly obscured principles or new vistas of concept suitable not just to our present philosophical panorama, but in addition to the urgent problems with our fragile and endangered global. This quantity invitations its individuals and readers to contemplate no matter if one thereby additionally strikes past metaphysics?
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I will try to shed some light on all three of these aspects concentrating, however, mainly on the third—Whitehead’s reflections upon speculative philosophy. These reflections again imply different aspects: How does Whitehead describe the epistemic source, the main project, the nature, and the method of speculative philosophy? And to what extent does the project of renewing speculation coincide with the project of a 28 CHRISTOPH KANN philosophical cosmology? In treating these aspects, I will use the notions of speculative philosophy and of metaphysics in the same manner, since, on the one hand, Whitehead argues for “a sound metaphysics” (PR 84), while, on the other hand, his intentions reach far beyond a metaphysical conception of the traditional type.
Especially in PR and SMW an association with scientific matters and notions is intended, and in FR hypotheses concerning the origin and development of the material universe are implied. But as a speculative system with the aim of universal applicability Whitehead’s project reaches far beyond the principally restricted and abstracting perspectives of the natural sciences. These circumstances make it difficult to describe his notion of cosmology in terms of well-known and established scientific classifications.
The claim that the scheme should provide interpretation is, therefore, subdivided by the criteria of applicability and adequacy. But in what sense can these two criteria be subsumed under or unified by the criterion of necessity? Whitehead gives an implicit answer in the following paragraphs. By saying that “[t]he metaphysical first principles can never fail of exemplification” (PR 4), he describes their applicability: The system needs exemplification in any instance of experience. By saying that “the philosophic scheme should be ‘necessary,’ in the sense of bearing in itself its own warrant of universality throughout all experience” (PR 4), he refers to their adequacy: The system needs exemplification in every instance of experience.
Beyond Metaphysics?: Explorations in Alfred North Whitehead's Late Thought. (Value Inquiry Book) by Roland Faber, Brian G. Henning, Clinton Combs