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articles
1. Process Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Nathaniel F. Barrett The Perspectivity of Feeling: Process Panpsychism and the Explanatory Gap
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For mainstream analytic philosophy of mind, the explanatory gap between first- and third-person accounts of consciousness derives from the inaccessibilityof special, “experiential” properties of conscious minds. Within this framework, panpsychism is simply the claim that these special properties are everywhere. In contrast, process panpsychism understands the explanatory gap in terms of the particularity of feeling. While the particularity of feeling cannot be captured by third-person accounts, for this very reason it is amenable to understanding consciousness as an evolutionary process. Thus it may turn out that the elusiveness of feeling is essential to its functionality.
2. Process Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
George Allan Creating the Future
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The aim of this essay is to explore similarities between Whitehead’s stages of education and two of the “ultimate notions” he discusses in Modes of Thought. I hope this exploration will shed light on what Whitehead means when he opens the Epilogue of that book by saying: “The task of a university is the creation of the future, so far as rational thought, and civilized modes of appreciation, can affect the issue” (171).
3. Process Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Joshua S. Hoeynck “A Dialectic of Contrasts”: Robert Duncan and Denise Levertov’s Ecological Writing
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“A Dialectic of Contrasts” details how the mid-twentieth century American poets Robert Duncan and Denise Levertov employed their understanding of Whitehead’s notion of “contrast” to imagine poems closely linked to ecology and cosmology. Exploring the references to Whitehead’s heterogeneous dialectic of contrasts in the Duncan/Levertov correspondence, the article displays the forcible role Whitehead’s thought played in directing the two poets to a linguistic-organic poetics invested in nonhuman agency.
4. Process Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Olli Pyyhtinen From Metaphysics as Dogma to Metaphysics as Life: Georg Simmel as a Process Philosopher
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This essay addresses the process philosophy of the German fin-de-siècle philosopher and sociologist Georg Simmel. While Simmel’s contribution to sociological process analysis has been widely acknowledged, his more subtle philosophical contributions have largely gone unnoticed. In the essay, Simmel’s philosophical process thinking is discussed by focusing on three themes. The first is what he calls his “relativistic” mode of thinking, a way of considering entities in terms of processes and dynamic relations. The second one is his Lebensphilosophie, lifephilosophy, philosophy that tries to view life as such in its continuous, fluctuating becoming. In the third section, Simmel’s view of philosophy itself as process is discussed. For Simmel, philosophy is not cut up in crystallized notions, systems, or sublime results, but amounts to process. Therefore what philosophy is can be specified only within philosophical practices; philosophy cannot be defined before engaging in the actual practice of doing philosophy.
5. Process Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Lewis S. Ford The Indispensability of Temporal Atomism
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Far from being an unnecessary appendage to Whitehead’s system, temporal atomism is, in my judgment, the basis for pansubjectivity and other fundamental ideas such as becoming, concrescence, and subjectivity.
special focus section: process thought and physics
6. Process Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Pete A. Y. Gunter Collapse of the Quantum Wave Function
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The following introduction offers a broad survey of the history of quantum physics. It then outlines the position of each contributor in this Special Focus Section concerning the collapse of the quantum wave function and defines three important terms (Hilbert space, Schrödinger’s cat, and decoherence) used in discussing this topic.
7. Process Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Henry P. Stapp Quantum Collapse and the Emergence of Actuality from Potentiality
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Orthodox quantum mechanics is built upon psychophysical collapse events that are the close analogs, within contemporary physical theory, of the the Whiteheadian actual occasions, with their mental and physical poles. This article describes the way in which these events enter into quantum theory, and mediate the emergence of actuality from potentiality.
8. Process Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Michael Epperson Quantum Mechanics and Relational Realism: Logical Causality and Wave Function Collapse
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By the relational realist interpretation of wave function collapse, the quantum mechanical actualization of potentia is defined as a decoherence-driven process by which each actualization (in “orthodox” terms, each measurement outcome) is conditioned both by physical and logical relations with the actualities conventionally demarked as “environmental” or external to that particular outcome. But by the relational realist interpretation, the actualization-in-process is understood as internally related to these “enironmental” data per the formalism of quantum decoherence. The concept of “actualization via wave function collapse” is accounted for solely by virtue of these presupposed logical relations—the same logical relations otherwise presupposed by the scientific method itself—and thus requires no “external” physical-dynamical trigger: e.g., the Gaussian hits of GRW, acts of conscious observation, etc. By the relational realist interpretation, it is the physical and logical relations among quantum actualities (quantum “final real things”) that drives the process of decoherence and, via the latter, the logically conditioned actualization of potentia. In this regard, the relational realist interpretation of quantum mechanics is a praxiological interpretation; that is, these physical and logical relations are ontologically active relations, contributing not just to the epistemic coordination of quantum actualizations, but to the process of actualization itself.
9. Process Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
G.B. Bagci Ghirardi-Rimini-Weber Collapse Theory and Whiteheadian Process Philosophy
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There have been many attempts to undertand the connections between quantum theory and Whiteheadian process philosophy. However, due to the ontological considerations, it is very important to specify which interpretation of quantum theory one embraces before inquiring into the details of Whitehead`s philosophy of organism. In this article, I argue that Ghirardi-Rimini-Weber (GRW) collapse interpretation of quantum theory serves as a suitable point of departure for future endeavors. Comparisons with many-worlds interpretation and decoherence approach have also been provided.
10. Process Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
William M. Kallfelz A Response to G.B. Bagci’s “Ghirardi-Rimini-Weber Collapse Theory and Whiteheadian Process Philosophy”
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I examine G.B. Bagci’s arguments for the Ghirardi-Rimini-Weber (GRW) interpretation of non-relativistic quantum mechanics as ideally suited for Whitehead’s philosophy. Much of Bagci’s claims are in response to Michael Epperson, who argues in the same vein in favor of decoherence accounts (Omnès; Zureck). Pace Epperson, I do not think that decoherence is the final arbiter here, and instead I contrast GRW with several other accounts addressing foundational problems of quantum theory (Finkelstein; Green; Peres and Terno; etc.), which also account for relativistic covariance, while GRW does not. I argue that such latter research programs align themselves in a more convincing manner with Whitehead’s scheme, in epistemic as well as metaphysical senses, than GRW.
reviews
11. Process Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Brian G. Henning Ecological Ethics and the Human Soul: Aquinas, Whitehead, and the Metaphysics of Value
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12. Process Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Gorgias Romero Garcia El Dios Liberador en la Biblia [The Liberating God in the Bible]: Ensayos de Teologia Biblica que Aprove chan la Filosofia de Proceso [Biblical Essays Drawing on Process Philosophy]
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13. Process Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Article Abstracts
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14. Process Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 2
Dissertation Abstracts
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articles
15. Process Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Lewis S. Ford Temporal and Nontemporal Becoming
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Whitehead’s initial decision to treat actual occasions as unqualifiedly indivisible rendered the notion of succession in becoming highly problematic. Temporal phases would divide the indivisible. Thus Whitehead had originally recourse to genetic analysis. Many have interpreted this as nontemporal becoming, which is not clearly distinguished from the eternity of eternal objects. Besides, Whitehead reserved the term ‘nontemporal’ for the primordial nature. Finally Whitehead came to see that the indivisibility of occasions meant onlythat they could not be divided into smaller actual occasions (PR 69), which allowed for genetic division.
16. Process Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Rem B. Edwards People and Their Worth: Uniting Process and Axiology
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This article argues that process philosophy and Hartmanian formal axiology are natural allies that can contribute much to each other. Hartmanian axiology can bring much needed order and clarity to process thought about the definitions of “good,” “better,” and “best,” about what things are intrinsically good, and about the nature and value of unique, enduring, individual persons. Process thought can bring to axiology greater clarity about and emphasis on the relational and temporal features of human selfhood. The nature and significance of personal endurance is emphasized throughout.
17. Process Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Edgar A. Towne Toward More Clarity about Coherence in Whitehead’s Metaphysics: A Proposal
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What I call ambiguities of system due to the sheer complexity of Whitehead’s metaphysics and his analysis of process in terms of concrescence and transition threaten its coherence in terms of what we know empirically of the quantum and classical dimensions of nature. Ambiguities of equivocation pertaining to Whitehead’s use of the terms “contemporary” and “objectification,” as the latter is employed in relation to prehension and satisfaction, also threaten its coherence. The article proposes ways to reduce these threats and uncertainty about coherence by clarifying ambiguities and by attending to the way Whitehead’s terms are predicated on the quantum and classical dimensions.
18. Process Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Daniel A. Dombowski Neoclassical Theism and Spiritual Exercises: Pierre Hadot and Nikos Kazantzakis on Askesis
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Relying on Pierre Hadot’s concept of philosophy as spiritual exercise, I examine Nikos Kazantzakis’ magnum opus Askitiki: Salvatores Dei (translated in English as The Saviors of God: Spiritual Exercises). Specifically, I examine the extent to which Kazantzakis offers a version of spiritual exercise appropriate for neoclassical theism, analogous to St. Ignatius’ version of spiritual exercise in the service of classical theism.
19. Process Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
Joseph A. Bracken, S.J. The Objective Reality of the Past: Some Further Reflections
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Some Whiteheadians argue that past actual entities only exist and are available for prehension by later actual entities within the divine consequent nature. Others insist that past actual entities are objectively immortal and available for prehension within the extensive continuum. Based on an interpretation of Whiteheadian societies as structured fields of activity for their constituent actual occasions, this article proposes that the world has an objective reality even apart from the existence of God, and that past actual entities arereflected in the current structure of the cosmic process. Yet the world still needs God as its ultimate source of creativity.
20. Process Studies: Volume > 38 > Issue: 1
John B. Cobb, Jr. Landing the Plane in the World of Finance
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Because so little work in most fields of thought has been done from a Whiteheadian perspective, bringing that perspective to bear often highlights what has been little noticed. This essay seeks to contribute to the understanding of the financial crisis and to propose responses from a Whiteheadian perspective. At the same time it reflects explicitly on the difference that this perspective makesas well as the continuing dependence on the work of those who have approached matters from other perspectives.