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Scott J. Simon / p. 5

Whitehead was born on Isle of Fanet, later moved to England, and ended up in Cambridge.

He began as a mathematician interested in physics at Cambridge. In 1925 he finally left

Cambridge for Harvard. Science and Modern World (1925) is his first statement of his

metaphysics; Process and Reality (1928) is considered the Whiteheadian Bible that includes his

most mature (and technical) writing on his scientifically based metaphysical views. Whitehead

considered reality to be God, or eternal objects in a perpetual stated of becoming (or

transformation). Thus Plato’s Timeus can be recognized in Whitehead’s metaphysical

philosophy as well as relativity and quantum physics. The combination forms a “process

philosophy” uniquely his own. In addition, Whitehead claims atoms are organisms and nothing is

inorganic: everything is alive (animism).

Whitehead understood relativity physics as interrelational; this he contrasted with Newton’s

universe, which was made up of external relationships: those in which the relations do not affect

the character of the terms. In contrast, relativity physics is made up of internal relationships, and

relations do affect the character of the terms (changed by relations). Whitehead also included the

space-time continuum and entities given by quantum physics; each entity views the universe

from its own perspective. This mirrors Bergson’s doctrine of relations to a certain degree.

Each Whiteheadian being is a collection of acts; a series of pulses. The universe of events is

made up of prehension; concressence; and superjects: to prehend is to be aware, concrescence is

the coming together of many attributes into one object, an object becomes a superject when it

transcend their own boundaries. This ternary progression is similar to James’ view that we are

always making ourselves. And like Plato, Whitehead assumes a world that is intelligible and

valuable from bottom to top. But, Whitehead’s metaphysics inverts Platonism: eternal forms are

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