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Process Studies

Volume 49, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2020

Franklin I. Gamwell
Pages 5-35

An Incoherence in Process and Reality

The incoherence is between Whitehead’s definition of “speculative philosophy” in the first section of Process and Reality's opening chapter which defines metaphysics as transcendental and important moments in later chapters of the book, where he asserts that metaphysical formulations are generalizations of empirical or contingent features. In explicating this inconsistency, the article attends to Whitehead’s definition of metaphysical in distinction from cosmological features, his understandings of the “aeroplane” metaphor, the ontological principle, and especially the initial aim. The article argues that Whitehead’s account of these, and especially the initial aim, should be deleted from neoclassical metaphysics.

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