Exploring the Metaphysics of A. N. Whitehead: Process, Actual Occasions, and the Divine
victorg, Tuesday 31 October 2023 - 00:00:00 //

Exploring the Metaphysics of A. N. Whitehead: Process, Actual Occasions, and the Divine
International Online Conference: Bucharest, Romania, October 31, 2023 - November 1, 2023
Organizer: Institute of Philosophy and Psychology "Constantin Rădulescu-Motru" of the Romanian Academy, Department of Western Philosophy.

pdf_ico.png Conference Program

Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947), a highly influential British philosopher, mathematician, and logician of the 20th century, made remarkable contributions to various fields of study, including metaphysics, mathematics, logic, and education. Throughout his career, he held prestigious positions, including professorships at both Cambridge University and Harvard University. His thought-provoking ideas continue to inspire and influence philosophers, scientists, and scholars to this day.

A.N. Whitehead drew inspiration from a range of influential philosophers who preceded him, such as Plato, Kant, Hegel, Peirce, James, Bergson, and his collaborator Russell. These thinkers shaped Whitehead's philosophical framework and influenced his ideas on metaphysics, subjectivity, relationality, pragmatism, and the nature of time. Their contributions laid the foundation for Whitehead's unique metaphysics of process, enriching philosophical discourse and inspiring further exploration.

Whitehead's early education in mathematics laid the foundation for his later philosophical work. In collaboration with Bertrand Russell, Whitehead authored the seminal work "Principia Mathematica," which sought to provide a rigorous foundation for mathematics through logic.

However, it was Whitehead's later philosophical development that led him to develop his unique metaphysical framework known as the "metaphysics of process." This framework aimed to reconcile the seemingly disparate realms of philosophy and science by emphasizing the importance of process and change in understanding reality.
In Whitehead's metaphysics of process, he posited that reality is fundamentally composed of dynamic and interconnected processes, rather than static and isolated objects. He argued that the world is characterized by continual becoming and that all entities, whether physical or abstract, are in a constant state of flux and transformation.

His view challenges the traditional notion of substance ontology and emphasizes the primacy of becoming over being. Whitehead suggests that reality is composed of entities called "actual occasions."
Whitehead's metaphysics also incorporates a novel understanding of the divine. God, as conceived by Whitehead, is not a distant, all-controlling deity but rather an integral participant in the ongoing process of reality. This God is the primordial source of creativity, providing the initial aim or lure to every actual occasion. He invites the world into greater harmonization and the realization of potentiality.

Whitehead's metaphysics provides a comprehensive framework that acknowledges the interconnectedness of all entities, embracing both the physical and experiential dimensions of reality. The emphasis on the creative capacity of actual occasions offers a liberating vision of human agency. It empowers individuals as co-creators of their experiences and active contributors to the ongoing process of reality.

The conference will delve into several pertinent topics related to Whitehead's philosophy while also exploring the profound influence his ideas have had on Western culture. These topics encompass, among others, an exploration of the core concepts of Whitehead's metaphysics of process, a critical examination of his rejection of static entities and critique of substance, an investigation into the role of subjectivity within Whitehead's metaphysics, an examination of the connections and parallels between Whitehead's philosophy and quantum physics, and an exploration of the dialogue between Whitehead's philosophy and other significant philosophical traditions.

Please submit your abstracts for blind review to whiteheadsphilosophy.conference@gmail.com by August 31, 2023. Along with your abstract, please include a separate document containing a cover letter that includes the following information: the title of your presentation, your name, academic affiliation, a brief description of your research field, and a list of your main publications. Notification of acceptance will be sent no later than September 30, 2023. The conference will be conducted in English and organized by Claudiu Baciu and Marius Augustin Drăghici from the Department of Western Philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy and Psychology, Romanian Academy, Bucharest. The conference will be held online from October 31, 2023, to November 1, 2023.