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Whitehead’S Theory of Experience
 9780231899536

Table of contents :
Acknowledgments
Contents
List of Abbreviations
I. "Creativity" and "Life"
II. Whitehead's Initial Position
III. Experience in the Process Analysis
IV. The Narrow View in the Later Works
V. Some Concluding Interpretations
Bibliography
Index

Citation preview

Whitehead's Theory of Experience

Whitehead's Theory of Experience E W I N G P. ASSISTANT

SHAHAN

PROFESSOR

VANDERBILT

OF

ECONOMICS

UNIVERSITY

King's Crown Press Columbia University, New York 1950

COPYRIGHT

1950

BY

EWINQ

P.

SHAHAN

King's Crown Press is an imprint established by Columbia University Press for the purpose of making certain scholarly material available at minimum cost. Toward that end, the publishers have used standardized formats incorporating every reasonable economy that does not interfere with legibility. The author has assumed complete responsibility for editorial style and for proofreading.

PUBLISHED

IN

B Y GEOFFREY

GREAT B R I T A I N ,

CANADA, AND

C U M B E R L E O E , OXFORD U N I V E R S I T Y

LONDON, TORONTO, AND MANUFACTURED

IN

THE

INDIA FHE83

BOMBAY

U N I T E D S T A T E S OF

AMERICA

To H. B. S. and W. E. S.

Acknowledgments This study was initiated under the direction of Professor J . H. Randall, J r . , of Columbia University. I am grateful for his guidance and encouragement and for the inspiration and knowledge gained through association with him while in residence at Columbia. I wish also to express my indebtedness to Professor Herbert W. Schneider for his careful review of the manuscript and his many valuable suggestions, and to Professor Ernest Nagel for his helpful oral comments. Finally, I wish to acknowledge with gratitude the generous help and useful criticisms given by my wife. The following publishers have kindly consented to my quoting from works issued under their imprint: The Macmillan Co., for Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World (copyright, 1925), Symbolism, Its Meaning and Effect (copyright, 1927), Process and Reality (copyright, 1929), Adventures of Ideas (copyright, 1933), and Modes of Thought (copyright, 1938) ; Cambridge University Press, for Alfred North Whitehead, An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Natural Knowledge (2d ed., copyright, 1925), The Concept of Nature (copyright, 1920), and The Principle of Relativity (copyright, 1922) ; University of Chicago Press, for Alfred North Whitehead, Nature and Life (copyright, 1934); The Library of Living Philosophers, Inc., for P. A. Schilpp (ed.), The Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead (copyright, 1941); the Journal of Philosophy, for J . E. Turner, "Whitehead's Scientific Realism" (Vol. X I X ) , for A. E. Murphy, review of Whitehead's Symbolism, Its Meaning and Effect (Vol. XXVI), for Victor Lowe, "William James and Whitehead's Doctrine of Prehensions" (Vol. XXXVIII) and "Empirical Method in Metaphysics" (Vol.

via

A

cknoieledgments

X L I V ) , for John Dewey, "The Objectivism-Subjectivism of Modern Philosophy" (Vol. X X X V I I I ) , for Mason W. Gross, review of John W. Blyth's Whitehead's Theory of Knowledge (Vol. X X X I X ) and review of P. A. Schilpp's (ed.) The Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead (Vol. X L ) ; the Philosophical Review, for A. E. Murphy, "Objective Relativism in Dewey and Whitehead" (Vol. X X X V I ) , for Charles Hartshorne, "On Some Criticisms of Whitehead's Philosophy" (Vol. X L I V ) , and for Alfred North Whitehead, "Remarks" (Vol. XLVI) ; and the Journal of General Psychology, for A. H. Johnson, "The Psychology of Alfred North Whitehead" (Vol. X X X I I ) . E . P. S. Nashville, Tenn. January, 1950

Contents List of Abbreviations I. "Creativity" and "Life" II. Whitehead's Initial Position

x 1 11

III. Experience in the Process Analysis

37

IV. The Narrow View in the Later Works

71

V. Some Concluding Interpretations

110

Bibliography

131

Index

137

List of Abbreviations T h e titles of Whitehead's books have been abbreviated in the citations and footnotes as follows: PNK CN PRel SMW RM Sym PR FR AI NL MT

An Enquiry concerning the Principles Knowledge The Concept of Nature The Principle of Relativity Science and the Modern World Religion in the Making Symbolism, Its Meaning and Effect Process and Reality The Function of Reason Adventures of Ideas Nature and Life Modes of Thought

of

Natural

I

"Creativity" and "Life" In the writer's conception, Whitehead's philosophy of organism was constructed on the basis of his two fundamental ideas of creativity and life. Creativity represents his rendition of ultimate fact, while life is his basic hypothesis in terms of which he understands the specific occurrences of nature. These two concepts are closely related, require each other, and to a certain extent overlap. This book, dealing with the development of Whitehead's conception of experience, is more concerned with life than with creativity. In Process and Reality and other later works, "life" and "experience" are virtually equivalent. Since life involves the "self-enjoyment" of a process of becoming, it is to be understood in terms of the experience of an "actual entity." "The final facts are, all alike, actual entities; and these actual entities are drops of experience, complex and interdependent [PR, 28]." "Process is the becoming of experience [PR, 252]." Because of this close relationship, Chapter III, particularly, of this book, could be considered a discussion of life. I have used the word "experience," rather than "life," in my title because I intend to trace the development of Whitehead's doctrine of experience, including the stage where it appears as something altogether related to human beings, and not as the basis of the general principle of life. The purpose of this book is to show that Whitehead has two different conceptions of experience, which he has not satisfactorily combined, and to suggest the implications of this in the understanding of his thought. The first conception is exhibited initially in the "early" works (defined here as consisting of An

2

"Creativity" and "Life"

Enquiry concerning the Principles of Natural Knowledge, The Concept of Nature, and The Principle of Relativity) and will be referred to as the "limited" or "narrow" view of experience. This limited view appears in the early works as a p a r t of the discussion of a philosophy of natural science, and it persists in the " l a t e r " works (defined here as those beginning with and including Science and the Modern World) in connection with certain specific analytical discussions of human beings. The other view of experience, which I shall call the "broad" or "general" view, appears only in the later works and is the principle in terms of which life is to be understood. Despite his use of the limited view in analyzing human beings, it is Whitehead's intention that the broad view cover all types of entities, including human beings. The philosophy of nature developed by Whitehead in his early works will be called here his "extension" analysis, while the metaphysics of the later works will be called his "process" analysis. I shall try to show that the continued use of the limited view in the later works caused certain aberrations or awkward elements in the process analysis itself, particularly when that analysis is applied to human beings. I shall also try to show that the extension analysis and the process analysis have not been satisfactorily combined, and that the persistence of the limited view of experience is, at least in part, responsible for this. Chapter I I will be concerned with establishing the character of the limited view of experience which is present in the early works and, also, with a brief description of the extension analysis as contrasted with the later process analysis. We shall find that the limited view involves an undue emphasis on the objective side of experience—that experience is largely governed by what is "there" or "given" to be experienced. We shall also find that the limited view involves a disproportionate emphasis on space and time as structural elements "given" in nature. Chapter I I I will be concerned with a description of the general view of experience as developed in the later works. This view of experience fully comprises the subjective element—it includes, without question, the private aims and objectives of the experiencing subject. Ob-

"Creativity" and "Life"

S

jective considerations, while present and i m p o r t a n t , are not in a n y sense controlling. In Chapter IV, the character of human experience in the later works will be discussed, and questions will be raised as t o some of the specific concepts of this doctrine of human experience. Finally, in Chapter V, there will be concluding suggestions as to the effect which the persistence of the limited view of experience may have had on certain aspects of the process analysis itself. 1 Before undertaking a discussion of Whitehead's theories of experience, it is pertinent to consider his general notions of creativity and life. These a r e fundamental to his later views. H e refers to his basic concept of the creativity as the " C a t e g o r y of the Ultimate." I n this phrase, the word "ultimate" signifies t h a t the creativity is the most basic general character of nature. If all the characteristics of n a t u r e were abstracted one by one, there would result a final residual element from which no f u r t h e r abstraction could be accomplished. This f a c t o r — t h e creativity —is exhibited as an unvarying elemental feature of every n a t u r a l occurrence. T h e creativity is irrational in t h a t there is no explanation f o r it. I t is simply there—the ultimate b r u t e f a c t present as the p r i m a r y ingredient of everything t h a t happens in the world. I t is f r u i t f u l to compare the creativity with the elemental f a c t o r in the Newtonian cosmology. A central purpose in Whitehead's philosophy is to overcome what he regards as the defects of this position, and the creativity represents the first step. In i Robert D. Mack, in chap, iii of his work The Appeal to Immediate Experience (New York: King's Crown Press, 1945), has discussed Whitehead's two views of experience, showing, in a different type of analysis than mine, the separate functions which they serve in Whitehead's thought. In his early view, according to Mack, Whitehead looks for the "given" elements in experience in terms of which nature should be understood. In his later view he analyzes immediate experience in a more functional sense as a means of criticizing the abstractions of existing thought, and as a source of hypotheses for a new understanding of nature. In the course of his discussion, as will be noted later, Dr. Mack has commented on several matters which are central and more fully discussed in my own analysis. This is particularly true with respect to Whitehead's early view.

4 "Creativity" and "Life" the Newtonian conception, "matter" (distributed in an absolute spatio-temporal framework) is ultimate, and matter is understood to be inert, self-sufficient, and intrinsically extensive in space but not in time. To Whitehead, the ultimate characteristic of nature represents exactly the inversion of these three ideas. In his conception, there is no such thing as inert matter; there is, rather, activity everywhere. Further, all individual activities involve each other—there is no limited portion of nature which can be understood in and of itself. A reference is always required at. least to the other activities which lie in the causal past of the activity in question. This is true with respect to intrinsic characteristics, as well as "accidental characteristics." Finally, in Whitehead's thought, temporal extension is perhaps even more basic and important than spatial extension. In any case, there is nothing in nature which exhibits spatial extension devoid of temporal extension. There are three facets or aspects of the creativity. Together, they invert the Newtonian position and also introduce additional ideas. " 'Creativity,' 'many,' 'one' are the ultimate notions involved in the meaning of the synonymous terms 'thing,' 'being,' 'entity.' These three notions complete the Category of the Ultimate and are presupposed in all the more special categories [ P R , 31 ] . " The first of these three notions—"creativity" 2 —conveys the idea of "process" or "becomingness." This represents the inversion of inertness and also of the possibility of spatial extension devoid of temporal extension. Nature is essentially an unfolding or a continuous creation. There is no general teleology in the creativity, however. Whitehead's idea of creativeness represents a mere taking note of the fact that something is always being created everywhere, and everything created is to be understood as, in some sense, new. Creativity cannot be reduced to the mere passage of time. The second facet of creativity, indicated by the word "many," 2 Whitehead more frequently uses this word in referring to all three of the notions taken together.

"Creativity" and "Life"

6

is simply a statement to the effect that, in this creativity, more than one thing becomes. The universe cannot be considered as one enormous entity. In an important sense it exhibits a character of "disjunctive diversity." The world is made up of many separate things. The third facet, however, the most general aspect of the idea of "concrescence," provides for a "oneness" within the diversity. Each present occurrence accomplishes a unification of its entire causal past. There is no one final focus or unification of the whole of nature because the present world always exhibits a number of occurrences associated as a mere disjunctive diversity. Since continuous concrescence, or unification, is the outcome of process, internal relations are basic in nature. Because of internal relations, process enters intrinsically into every occurrence and is not merely an extrinsic characteristic. This last facet of the creativity, or Category of the Ultimate, is the link between it and life. I t is in terms of life that we understand each of these focal concrescences. In this area, Whitehead's Category of the Ultimate loses some of its character as an incontestable rendition of ultimate fact and becomes, to a degree, an interpretative hypothesis. Internal relations represent the inversion of the Newtonian doctrine of self-sufficiency. It is only in his notion that there is disjunctive diversity among the entities of the present world that Whitehead's theory of creativity bears any resemblance to the Newtonian position. The ideas of "oneness" and "disjunctive diversity" together compose the "extensive continuum" 3 —a concept which, considered apart from the remainder of the creativity, is discussed at length in Process and Reality. The extensive continuum represents structureless space and time, or better, pure extensiveness. It is a part of the ultimate character of the world that its individual occurrences overlap or extend into each other (the final generalization of internal relations), and that there is room for more than one internally related structure (the final generalizaa This is an interpretative remark. The character of the extensive continuum as a part of the creativity hypothesis will be further discussed in Chapter V.

6

"Creativity"

and "Life"

tion of disjunctive diversity). In the writer's interpretation, this is all that is involved in the extensive continuum. I t is not a geometrical or mathematical concept. If we accept the formless, characterless, neutral creativity as ultimate and thereafter begin to formulate principles of explanation, there are two main problems which immediately appear. The first is the discovery of the principle which differentiates one thing in the world from another. This is the problem of distinguishing between the individual occurrences which appear in nature. Secondly, it is necessary to account for the particular manner in which occasions do emerge in the creativity. The present moment exhibits this, and not t h a t ; the next moment may continue this state, or it may exhibit something else. The actual patterns of activity which do appear in the world must be explained. The hypothesis of life is intended to provide the answer to both of these problems. 4 In the little pamphlet entitled Nature and Life Whitehead has made it unusually clear what he means by this concept. Here, life is described in terms of "self-enjoyment," "creative activity," and "aim." These constitute an allinclusive statement of what is covered by this concept. The three are not distinct notions; they shade into each other and are each dependent on the others. By self-enjoyment, Whitehead means the self-enjoyment of the process of becoming which is fundamental in the world. He has made it clear, of course, that he does not mean conscious enjoyment. In interpreting this idea, the emphasis should be on the word "self" and not on the word "enjoyment." I t is the unitary or principle-of-identity possibility inherent in life that Whitehead is drawing upon here. Self-enjoyment is most relevant to the problem of differentiation mentioned above. A living thing is first of all an "organism"—a unit in the world differentiated from other units by a peculiar completeness of self-organization. There is empirical evidence of the importance of organic unity * For a readable, sympathetic exposition of Whitehead's concept of life see Mason W. Gross, "Whitehead's Philosophy of Adventure," The American Scholar, IX (1940), 367 ff.

"Creativity"

and "Life"

7

a t two extreme points in the world—at the level of biological organisms and a t the level of atoms and molecules. At both of these extremes, a "unit" can easily be detected in the exhibition of an organic pattern whose components cannot be understood a p a r t from the whole. In his notion of self-enjoyment, Whitehead is extending this principle throughout the world. What is selfenjoyed is the process of becoming itself—the concrescence of the many into one which is referred to in the creativity concept. "Creative activity" is relevant both to the problem of differentiation and the problem of explaining the patterns which do appear in the world. This concept does not merely refer back to the creativity. There will be activity if there is a creativity. The emphasis here should be on the word "creative," and the connotation is "self-creative." Each individual fact which emerges creates itself—it is "causa sui." Every real thing is self-directive with respect to the emergent pattern which it realizes. In understanding the organic patterns which appear, we refer first of all to the self-directing energizing activity of the patterns themselves. Again, this idea is clear, and there is empirical evidence for it among all organic patterns of which we are aware in the world. We must look to the internal self-organized forces of an atom, a solar system, or an animal in order to understand the unified scheme which continues to be exemplified. "Aim" is more relevant to the problem of finding a reason for the things of the world than to the problem of differentiation. This is the most radical of the ideas involved in life. If there is self-enjoyment and creative activity, there must be aim, and the aim is attributable to those units which are recognized in terms of their self-enjoyment. The teleology of each region is a necessary element in the understanding of nature. Aim is not conscious and obviously does not involve what is usually referred to as "thought." In the inanimate world, there is no projecture a p a r t from realization—aiming and becoming are inseparable. Neither is aim at some far-distant goal, although, of course, this could be involved. Aim is at a particular mode of becoming here and

8

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now, or, to say the same thing, a t a manner of self-enjoyment in the present. Aim is a radical idea because it postulates everywhere some degree of freedom from the environment, even in the inanimate world. W e may find some new course of things exhibited anywhere which is inexplicable except in terms of the freely chosen aim of some entity. As Whitehead recognizes, there does not a p p e a r to be readily available empirical evidence for this idea except among biological organisms. Among the most important consequences of this hypothesis of life is the reintroduction of the idea of "final causation" and the a t t r i b u t i n g of this f a c t o r to certain organic unities. Eacli item in the world lies between what has been and what might be. T h e world of the p a s t cxercises its influence on the present and underlies t h a t which can now become. A reference to the effect of this world upon entities existing now is a reference to "efficient causation," and to Whitehead this is an insufficient principle of explanation. The world as it will be, on which Whitehead places a full measure of emphasis, is the world of potentiality, with nothing settled and nothing closed. W e are here in the realm of final causation, in which purpose is the guiding principle. In between the p a s t and the f u t u r e lies the process of becoming which Whitehead understands in terms of the concept of life. Only through life can we understand the synthesis of what has been with what might be, and can we find the units whose organizing energy results in the p a t t e r n s of the world. T h e present process, with its individual units of becoming, bridges the p a s t and the future. Whitehead feels t h a t he has reintroduced the possibility of asking why? to speculative thought. N a t u r e is not dead, as the Newtonian cosmology supposed; n a t u r e is basically activity. "Activity for what, producing what, activity involving what [ N L , 2 2 ] ?" I t is these questions t h a t the concepts of self-enjoyinent, creative activity, and aim are intended to answer. We have to find certain definite units and certain realizations of purpose within the flux. Otherwise, it is a meaningless show of mere activity.

"Creativity"

and "Life"

9

In this hypothesis, Whitehead is not suggesting an expansion of the idea of life, exactly as it is understood with respect t o human beings, in order to make it operative throughout nature. He is suggesting t h a t there is no difference in kind between animate and inanimate life, but he recognizes many differences in degree. H e is stressing the organic unity and organic selfdirection aspects of life, and of both of these there is ample evidence in the inorganic world as well as in the organic. T h e r e is not so much empirical evidence for aim, a t least in so f a r as aim actually causes unforeseen and unexpected changes attributable only to the present actual entity, but a f t e r all there is no conclusive evidence against it. I t is Whitehead's intention t h a t , as compared with the Newtonian cosmology, his philosophy of life and adventure will widen the horizon of our understanding and increase our ability to explain. The addition of the hypothesis of life in the later works, and the t r a n s f e r from a limited s t r u c t u r a l idea of extension to the more general creativity concept, constitute the m a j o r differences between Whitehead's extension analysis and his process analysis. I t will be shown in Chapter I I t h a t , with respect to his systematic analysis of human beings in the later works, Whitehead has failed to make the full transition. I n the very area where the life concept should have its greatest meaning, he has failed to make a full application of it. This is not to say t h a t a full application cannot be made. In some of his more p o p u l a r works—particularly Adventures of Idea», The Function of Reason, Religion in the Making, and Modes of Thought—there is a stimulating and f r u i t f u l application of the concepts of the process analysis and the broad view of experience to many imp o r t a n t human problems. There are included here (with exceptions in certain p a r t s of Adventures of Ideas and Modes of Thought) no technical problems of experience; rather, Whitehead discusses certain problems of man with the broad view of experience and the process analysis in the back of his mind. I t is largely in specific analytical passages t h a t he exhibits his

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and

"Life"

limited view in t h e l a t e r works. A s a set o f basic p r i n c i p l e s , the p h i l o s o p h y o f o r g a n i s m c a n be a p p l i e d t o h u m a n beings with g r e a t success and stimulating results as W h i t e h e a d

frequently

i l l u s t r a t e s in his g e n e r a l discussions. 1 1 5 A. H. Johnson, taking a sympathetic attitude, has done more than anyone to reveal and defend this aspect of Whitehead's thought. See "The Social Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead," Journal of Philosophy, X L (1943), 261; "Whitehead and the Making of Tomorrow," Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, V (1945), 398; "Whitehead's Philosophy of History," Journal of the History of Ideas, V I I (1946), 234; "The Wit and Wisdom of Whitehead," Philosophy of Science, X I I I (1946), 223; The Wit and Wisdom of Whitehead (New York: Beacon Press, 194T). The last two are collections of excerpts from Whitehead and are not exclusively related to his social philosophy.

II

Whitehead's Initial Position In the Preface to The Concept of Nature, Whitehead has given a clear statement of his purpose in the three early works. "The object of the present volume and of its predecessor is to lay the basis of a natural philosophy which is the necessary presupposition of a reorganized speculative physics [CN, vii-viii]." The "natural philosophy" which develops is the extension anatysis of the early works. I t is intended to exhibit a new set of principles or concepts in terms of which the results of modern mathematical physics can be reinterpreted. Whitehead's approach to this problem consists of a reexamination of nature itself. T o the question, " W h a t is nature?" he answers simply, "Nature is that which we observe in perception through the senses [CN, 3 ] . " He intends that nature itself as thus defined will provide the categories of the philosophy of science which he is seeking. In his conception, the principles in terms of which nature is to be understood are themselves to be found in nature. I t should be recognized at the outset that a philosophy of experience is only implicitly revealed in the early works. Whitehead intends to exclude any explicit discussion of experience in his rejection of "metaphysical reasoning." H e wishes to confine himself to "nature," and nature alone. Metaphysical generalization, in Whitehead's conception, involves a synthesis of the knower and the known in one all-embracing point of view in which both are examples of one set of ultimate principles. The early works are explicitly concerned only with the "known." Because of this it will be appropriate to begin the discussion here with a survey of the extension analysis. "Events"

12

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Initial

Position

and "objects," particularly the former, are the central concepts of this analysis. The traditional answer to the question, as to the character of t h a t which we experience in sense-awareness, has been given in terms of "percepts." These are instantaneous images of the "universal" characteristics of nature. In beginning with an investigation of the disclosures of sense-awareness, Whitehead has taken the traditional a p p r o a c h ; but he has effected a considerable modification in the traditional idea as to the character of what is experienced. He is impressed most of all with the f a c t o r of "change" in nature—sense-awareness gives rise to a knowledge of a series of "occurrences." I t is this factor, perceived in nature, which Whitehead has formulated into his concept of the event. The event is the most fundamental and important of his early ideas. I t lies back of the doctrine of extension and does away altogether with the instantaneous character of the percept. T o Whitehead, there is no such thing as nature at an instant, and there is no such thing as human experience a t an instant. Instants are "abstractions." W h a t is fundamentally perceived is an active region of nature—an event. An event may be defined as any spatio-temporal portion of nature. In addition to change or occurrence, there is another element in nature which gives rise to the concept of the object. This is the f a c t o r of "permanence." Whatever is "recognized as self-identical amid different circumstances [ P N K , 6 2 - 6 3 ] " is an object. I t should be noted t h a t the distinction between the event and the object rests ultimately on the two different ways in which perception is stimulated. Whitehead chooses the term "apprehension" to cover the perception of events, and the term "recognition" when referring to the perception of objects. These words convey the fundamental distinction between change and permanence. There are important derivative differences between events and objects, some of which serve as the basis for noteworthy distinctions in the later works. In the first place, an event is

Whitehead'8 Initial Position

13

possessed of a g r e a t e r actuality than an object—it will not bear abstraction from n a t u r e . An event by very definition is some p a r t i c u l a r spatio-temporal portion of nature. An object, on the other hand, can be abstracted. When we think of the possibility of an event being located somewhere else, we are thinking of it in its c h a r a c t e r as an object. An object can app e a r in a n y number of different events without disturbing its essential c h a r a c t e r . T h u s objects have the character of "universals" while events are " p a r t i c u l a r s . " T h e r e a r e three other somewhat less important characteristics or consequences of events. First, the boundaries between events are purely a r b i t r a r y . I t is only because events are characterized by objects t h a t we are able to mark off a p a r t i c u l a r event a t all. T h e extensive scheme of n a t u r e is basically continuous, and events embody this character. All events extend over other events and are p a r t s of other events. Secondly, i t is in the early works t h a t the idea of "internal relations" first makes its appearance. An event is to be thought of as internally related to the rest of n a t u r e . An externally related event could be thought of in abstraction from its p a r t i c u l a r location— it would then be an object. 1 If an event were not internally related, it could not be said t h a t it is j u s t what it is, when it is, and where it is, and nothing else. Finally, although events are units of change, no event itself ever changes. Change can be analyzed in terms of the passage, or conjunction, of events which have a limited temporal extent. Since events and objects are all t h a t there is in nature, in the extension analysis, a summary characterization of this point of view can be accomplished in terms of these two concepts. I t is clear t h a t objects play the traditional role of percepts or universals. I n this concept as such Whitehead has added nothing to the problem of interpreting and explaining nature. T h e difficulties which arise from an a t t e m p t to explore nature t h r o u g h the use of instantaneous percepts have been thoroughly examined and have been clearly stated by Whitei See PNK, 64.

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Position

head himself. I t is the event which constitutes the contribution of the extension analysis. Consequently, it is the properties which an event possesses above and beyond the objects which it exhibits which are of fundamental importance. Whitehead has observed t h a t an event represents a p a r t of the becomingness of n a t u r e colored with all the "hues of its content." 2 T h e question a t issue here is these very hues of content. I t will be found t h a t , in the extension analysis, this f a c t o r means nothing more than spatio-temporal position. This is the only analytical element contributed by an event, and it is the only f a c t o r which differentiates a p a r t i c u l a r (event) from a universal (obj e c t ) in the extension analysis. In Whitehead's early point of view, and this will be f u r t h e r discussed later, all significant analysis takes place in terms of the spatio-temporal relationships between objects and events. This is the basic character of the extension analysis as a tool to be used in interpreting and explaining n a t u r e . Whitehead has consistently defined an event as exhibiting exclusively c h a r a c t e r , place, and time. This is evidenced in the following p a s s a g e s : I n order t o specify an observed event, the place, the time, and character of the event are necessary. In specifying the place and the time you are reallv s t a t i n g the relation of the assigned event to the general s t r u c t u r e of other observed events [CN, 1 6 5 ] . N a t u r e is known to us in our experience as a complex of passing events. In this complex we discern definite mutual relations between component events, which we may call their relative positions, and these positions we express p a r t l y in terms of space and p a r t l y in terms of time. Also in addition to its mere relative position t o other events, each p a r t i c u l a r event has its own peculiar character f CN, 166], B y " c h a r a c t e r " Whitehead makes it plain t h a t he means " o b j e c t . " T h i s a t t i t u d e is expressed throughout the early ? PRol, 21.

Whitehead's

Initial

Position

15

3

works. If the character of an event refers to nothing beyond an object or grouping of objects, and if an event embodies nothing but character, place, and time, it is clear t h a t it is place and time, or situation, which constitutes the real difference between a particular and a universal in the extension analysis, and which consequently represents the real contribution of the event concept. The uniqueness of an event is constituted by its occupancy of a certain internally related spatiotemporal position with respect to all other events. I t is this factor which places an event "in n a t u r e . " Remove this f a c t o r of position and you have an object. 4 In these remarks no attempt is being made to evaluate the extension analysis or even to describe it with any degree of completeness. The writer is merely concerned with characterizing certain fundamental phases of it, and ultimately in showing its relation to the limited view of experience. Whitehead's own purposes have to do with clarifying certain issues of present-day physics. These are particularly associated with problems of meaning. He feels, f o r example, t h a t he has made space and time spring from the same source—namely, extension—and t h a t he has given them, in an important sense, the same fundamental properties. Through his method of extensive abstraction, he has developed a complete theory of spatiotemporal concepts; and, as a result of his general analysis of the " d a t a " of science, he has taken a position with respect to some of the controversies associated with the theory of relativity. The attitude toward human experience which is exhibited in the early works is revealed, first of all, in the elaboration of the remark t h a t nature "is t h a t which we observe in percepa For example, see CN, 143-144, 169. * This point of view is clearly expressed in PNK, 62-65. In the later works, of course, a particular is differentiated from a universal by the factor of life. Remove life from an "actual entity," and you have an "eternal object." There are passages in the early works which anticipate the later concept of life. It is interesting to note, however, that there is a tendency to attribute this factor to objects, rather than to events. See PNK, 93,

16

Whitehead's Initial Position

tion through the senses," and in the coupling of this with the attempt to find the principles, in terms of which we are to understand nature, in nature itself as thus defined.5 Whitehead has made it clear in his early works that he wishes to discuss nature exclusively; and he has gone to some trouble to explain that, in discussing nature, he is anxious to omit anything beyond a certain stipulated minimum of references to the observer. He is particularly desirous of excluding "thought" from nature. Thus, we can discuss nature "homogeneously" or "heterogeneously." In the latter case, we are discussing the fact that nature is being thought about. In the former, we are not—we are discussing nature itself. This is what Whitehead wishes to do exclusively. He is not denying that "senseawareness" is involved in a knowledge of nature, but he is denying any implications of this beyond the bare fact that what we know of nature we know through sense-awareness. Senseawareness is considered to be whatever part of sense-perception there is that does not include thought. Sense-awareness, then, is so unobtrusive in the knowledge of nature as to be completely neutral in its effect upon that knowledge. F o r this reason the natural sciences, and likewise the philosophy of natural science, 5 The elements of Whitehead's epistemology discussed in this chapter have been commented on from the time of the first appearance of his early works. See T. de Laguna, review of An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Natural Knowledge, in the Philosophical Review, X X I X (1920), 269; E. B. McGilvary, review of The Concept of Nature, in ibid., X X X (1921), 500; D. S. Robinson, "Dr. Whitehead's Theory of Events," ibid., p. 41; L. S. Stebbing, "Universals and Prof. Whitehead's Theory of Universals," Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, X X V , 329. More recent discussions include the essay by F . S. C. Northrop in P. A. Schilpp (ed.), The Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead (Evanston: The Library of Living Philosophers, Inc., 1941), Part II, chap, iii, and Dr. Mack's work, The Appeal to Immediate Experience. There is still disagreement as to the interpretation and implications of these factors in Whitehead's early thought, however. This, plus the attempt to relate the epistemology to the extension analysis and to the later development of the process analysis, is the reason for the extended discussion which follows in this chapter. The purposes of Miller and Gentry in their book, The Philosophy of A. N. Whitehead (Minneapolis: Burgess Publishing Co., 1938), are comparable to mine; but their analysis does not follow the same course, and their conclusions are different. Further references will be made to their work,

Whitehead's

Initial

Position

17

need not be concerned with sense-awareness or sense-perception. A philosophy of n a t u r a l science may be wholly concerned with nature. I t is this type of reasoning which lies back of Whitehead's pronouncement t h a t " n a t u r e is closed to mind." 6 I t is clear a t once, however, t h a t this doctrine represents an epistemological position. The exact character of it can best be explained in terms of those references to the observer which Whitehead does require in formulating his philosophy of natural science. Three references are necessary: ( 1 ) The observer is himself understood to be an active event, possessed of temporal extension and immersed in the general scheme of events. (2) The observer's spatio-temporal position is of importance. (3) The observer is understood to be engaged in an active process of "diversification" or " a b s t r a c t i o n " from the environment. The importance of these is not so much t h a t they are required, but t h a t they are the only factors with reference to the observer which Whitehead does require in his philosophy of the natural sciences. T o take the last of these first, Whitehead's observer does select from nature those things to which he gives attention and which become a p a r t of his knowledge. This selective activity is referred to by the term "diversification," 7 which means "abstraction." Different types of entities are diversified, but fundamentally, in Whitehead's analysis, they may be classified as either events or objects. As elements in experience they are abstract in the sense t h a t they are less than the whole of nature. The whole of nature in all its completeness is presented for perception, but perception necessarily involves some selection from this. In f u r t h e r clarification of this attitude, Whitehead distinguishes between " f a c t , " " f a c t o r , " and "entity." T o sum u p : the termini for thought are entities, primarily with bare individuality, secondarily with properties and relations ascribed to them in the procedure of t h o u g h t ; the termini for sense-awareness are factors in the f a c t of nature, « Refer to CN, 4-5.

7 See PNK, 59.

18

Whitehead's

Initial

Position

primarily relata and only secondarily discriminated as distinct individualities. No characteristic of nature which is immediately posited for knowledge by sense-awareness can be explained. . . . Thus there are three components in our knowledge of nature, namely, fact, factors, and entities. F a c t is the undifferentiated terminus of sense-awareness; factors are termini of sense-awareness, differentiated as elements of f a c t ; entities are factors in their function as the termini of thought. The entities thus spoken of are natural entities. Thought is wider than nature, so that there are entities for thought which are not natural entities [CN, 1 2 - 1 3 ] . Here "differentiation" means the same thing as "diversification." The above passage not only indicates the character of diversification, but what is more important for the question at issue, it reveals that, in so f a r as our knowledge of nature is concerned, we think only about such entities as are directly perceived in nature and which we diversify or differentiatewithin the whole. The fact that the observer is required to be an event implicated in a general scheme of events is one of the fundamental points of the early works and is consistently adhered to. s It follows from this attitude that what is perceived is itself a "duration," and also that perception takes place from within nature and is not "an awareness contemplating all nature imp a r t i a l l y from without." The act of perception and what is perceived both extend through a period of time, and the percipient event is distinctly a p a r t of nature. Whitehead's third reference to the observer, a positional reference, will be dealt with later. The other two, as discussed so f a r , solve certain epistemological problems and raise certain others. Whitehead considers it to be one of the outstanding successes of the system of his early works that he has overcome certain well-known defects of traditional "British empiricism " » For example, see PNK, 12-13 and 68.

Whitehead'8 Initial

Position

19

T h e r e is to be noted, first, his complete epistemological realism, a by-product of the universal application of his doctrine of extension. N a t u r e extends into the percipient; and there is no question, in the duration in which both n a t u r e and the observer are included, of a s h a r p break which distinguishes one from the other. F u r t h e r , there is an active relationship between the world and the percipient which results in the world being impressed upon the percipient. Knowledge is not "passive contemplation," it issues f r o m the "reciprocal insistence" between the percipient event and the rest of nature. " N a t u r a l knowledge is merely the other side of action [ P N K , 1 4 ] . " 9 In this a t t i t u d e there can be no question of the reality of knowledge, and Whitehead does not face this problem which has plagued the empiricist school. In addition, he is not confused by those f a c t o r s in experience which he calls "psychic additions." T h e existence of these he emphatically rejects. Once one has recognized p r i m a r y and secondary qualities and has classified the secondary qualities, such as colors and sounds, as unreal (in the sense t h a t they are to be found only in human experience), one has opened the door to the rejection of everything in human experience as unreal. F o r Whitehead, "everything perceived is in nature. W e may not pick and choose [CN, 2 9 ] . " There is an exclusive concern, in the early works, with what the mind knows of n a t u r e and a rejection of anything which the mind does to nature. Finally, Whitehead is not plagued by the dilemma of the certainty of knowledge. T h i s empiricist difficulty, of course, results from the postulation of percepts as instantaneous. S t a r t i n g with this postulate, it is difficult to find any essential reason f o r the f a c t t h a t one observed f a c t in n a t u r e follows a f t e r another observed f a c t . Whitehead's emphasis upon extension also solves this problem. Since there is no such thing as perception a t an instant, the reasons for the emergence of one situation from another can be found within nature itself. H u » This whole passage Is worth reading in this connection.

20

Whitehead's

Initial

Position

man beings directly perceive temporal and spatial relationships. 1 0 The perception of temporal passage is absent in the traditional empiricist scheme. In Whitehead's doctrine of diversification, however, we find certain close similarities to the British empiricist attitude. We begin, in our quest for knowledge and in our understanding of knowledge, with the undifferentiated terminus of sense-awareness which Whitehead refers to by the word " f a c t . " Within this f a c t we diversify various " f a c t o r s , " the basic types of which are events and objects. These factors, held in thought, are "entities" or abstract factors. Entities are there in n a t u r e ; they are abstracted from it. There is no thought process involved in an entity which makes it in any way different from a f a c t o r — i t is merely something less than the total fact. This view involves the complete exclusion of those elements in knowledge which are identified by the words "hypothesis" and "theory." The elements of n a t u r a l knowledge are there to be found in n a t u r e ; they are "given." 1 1 Here "given" does not mean t h a t the observer is passive—in Whitehead's conception, he is active in constructing his fabric of knowledge; he is actively related to the whole of n a t u r e ; and he is engaged in diversification or the extraction of knowledge from nature. I t is the content of knowledge which is "given." I n his early works Whitehead treats human experience wholly in objective terms. I t is only elements to be found there in nature which are imp o r t a n t in knowledge; and any functions of interpretation, evaluation, or theorizing, to be understood in subjective terms, are excluded. This is what is basic in the narrow view of experience, which is perceptional in character. Epistemologically speaking, Whitehead's early view is "empiricist" rather than "rationalist" with respect to this p a r t i c u l a r matter. This is not to deny his construction of a rationalistic scheme in Process and Reality and his emphasis throughout the later works on 10 See P N K , 7-8. 11 Mack ( T h e Appeal to Immediate Experience) has correctly analyzed the way in which experience is "given" in Whitehead's early works.

Whitehead's

Initial

Position

21

imagination and other such factors. This characterization is being applied here only to the early works. There are no passages in the early works specifically disclaiming hypotheses and theories. On the other hand, there is no provision for them; and statements concerning the extent to which the elements of natural knowledge are to be found in nature are so positive as, in effect, to exclude them. 12 If this excessive objectivity is characteristic of Whitehead in his early works, there should be important consequences of it. In the first place, he would have to include the "meaning" or "significance" of nature to the observer among those factors which are given. In the second place, his discussion of elements in knowledge which are obviously intellectual concepts and 12 It is not the doctrine of objectivity as an ideal of the physical sciences which is under discussion here, but Whitehead's way of handling it. As J . E. Turner pointed out long ago ( " A . N. Whitehead's Scientific Realism," Journal of Philotophy, X I X [1922], 146), the notion that "nature is closed to mind" is a perfectly valid ideal In connection with scientific inquiry. T u r n e r f u r t h e r remarks, however, that sense-awareness must be supplemented by "conception, inference, and calculation [p. 151]." It is legitimate, he says, to discuss the relations of things known in abstraction from the fact t h a t they are known, but knowledge must not be wholly identified with sense-awareness. As I shall indicate in Chapters I I I and I V , however, I doubt that it is possible to discuss things known, in abstraction from the fact that they are known, in terms of Whitehead's broad view of experience. W. E. Hocking (p. 393, Schilpp volume) defends Whitehead's doctrine that nature is closed to mind and expresses his belief that it is perfectly consistent with the later works. It seems to me that Hocking is referring largely to the ideal, and not to Whitehead's specific development of his early and later views of experience. Prof. Murphy has remarked that Whitehead's "marked preference for sense objects" is "obviously a hang-over from old-fashioned presentationism" (A. E. Murphy, "Objective Relativism in Dewey and Whitehead," Philotophical Review, X X X V I [1927], 148). Miller and Gentry, in different passages, characterize Whitehead's early theory of knowledge as realistic, representative, and static (The Philotophy of A. N. Whitehead, pp. 61 and 66). They use this, however, as one explanation for Whitehead's failure to account for motion in his early works. I do not believe that they are correct in this attitude. Motion can be analyzed and interpreted in terms of Whitehead's early concepts, despite the fact that "events never change." This has been shown by many commentators, for example, R. Das in his book The Philotophy of Whitehead (London: J . Clarke & Co., Ltd., 1938), pp. 83-84. Whitehead's early thought does not appear to be static in the way in which this is attributed to him by Miller and Gentry (see pp. 60 and 66 of their work).

22

Whitehead's

Initial

Position

which can hardly be looked upon as "given" should be awkward. Such concepts Whitehead gives the name "scientific objects." Both of these consequences are present in the early works. "Significance," in the early works, can readily be shown to be a matter of the observed relationships which are found to exist between the "factors" of nature. 13 This is a natural is V i c t o r L o w e h a s r e f e r r e d t o "significance" in his excellent discussion of W h i t e h e a d ' s philosophy which a p p e a r s in t h e S c h i l p p volume ( P a r t I , c h a p , ii, esp. p p . 75-79). H e Is u s i n g t h e w o r d in a d i f f e r e n t sense t h a n I a m , b u t , in connection with it, p o i n t s t o an i m p o r t a n t p h a s e of W h i t e h e a d ' s e a r l y t h o u g h t which I h a v e not developed. H e s a y s t h a t i m m e d i a t e e x p e r i e n c e "signifies" f a c t o r s not d i r e c t l y e x p e r i e n c e d b e c a u s e of a g e n e r a l p e r v a s i v e unif o r m i t y of n a t u r e F o r e x a m p l e , included in t h e p e r c e p t i o n of a closed c u p b o a r d is a s p a t i o - t e m p o r a l e l e m e n t which l e a d s t o a g e n e r a l experience of a c u p b o a r d , r a t h e r t h a n t o a limited e x p e r i e n c e of the e x t e r i o r colors a n d f o r m s . A c c o r d i n g t o W h i t e h e a d , d e s p i t e i n t e r n a l r e l a t i o n s , we can knows o m e t h i n g a b o u t n a t u r e w i t h o u t h a v i n g t o k n o w e v e r y t h i n g b e c a u s e of t h e " u n i f o r m significance" of s p a t i o - t e m p o r a l r e l a t i o n s . L o w e f e e l s t h a t this e a r l y notion is t h e p r e d e c e s s o r of t h e l a t e r d o c t r i n e of p r e h e n s i o n . ( S e e also his discussion on p p . 94—95.) F o r my p u r p o s e s , however, t h e r e a r e i m p o r t a n t d i f f e r e n c e s between t h e e a r l y a n d l a t e r a t t i t u d e s . Significance based on s p a t i o t e m p o r a l relations is a n entirely d i f f e r e n t d o c t r i n e t h a n significance b a s e d on p r e h e n s i v e relations. A s a m a t t e r of f a c t , t h e r e a r e a t least t h r e e uses of the w o r d "significance" in t h e e a r l y works. T h e first is t h e one which I a m s t r e s s i n g , in which t h e w o r d d e n o t e s u n d e r s t a n d i n g , e x p l a n a t i o n , o r i m p o r t a n c e . T h i s m e a n i n g is exhibited clearly, f o r example, on p. 12 of P N K . T h e second u s e of the w o r d , m o r e explicit a n d m o r e f r e q u e n t t h a n t h e first, a n d t h e one s t r e s s e d by Lowe, is p e r h a p s best exemplified in P a r t I, c h a p , ii, of P R e l . F i n a l l y , t h e r e is a p a s s a g e on p. 188 of C X in which t h e l a t e r d o c t r i n e of c a u s a l efficacy a p p e a r s t o lie j u s t below t h e s u r f a c e of t h e discussion of significance. So f a r as I know, t h i s is t h e only e a r l y p a s s a g e which exhibits this t o n e t o such a m a r k e d d e g r e e ; a n d it a p p e a r s t o r a i s e the f u n d a m e n t a l p r o b l e m s a s s o c i a t e d witli p r e s e n t a t i o n a l i m m e d i a c y which will be discussed l a t e r . L o w e h a s m a d e c l e a r in his a r t i c l e t h a t t h e d o c t r i n e of t h e e a r l y w o r k s is a n o u t g r o w t h a n d d e v e l o p m e n t of a n e a r l i e r "sense e m p i r i c i s m " ; a n d I a g r e e w i t h him in f u l l , a s I h a v e i n d i c a t e d , t h a t t h e "1920" books d o not e x p r e s s a n o r d i n a r y d o c t r i n e of empiricism. M i l l e r a n d G e n t r y (The Philosophy of A. X. Whitehead, p . 69) have s u g g e s t e d t h a t W h i t e h e a d ' s r e a l i s t i c account of significance o m i t s reflective thinking. T h e y i n t e r p r e t a n d m a k e use of this, however, a g a i n s t the b a c k g r o u n d of t h e i r a t t i t u d e t h a t t h e r e is n o t h i n g in n a t u r e in W h i t e h e a d ' s e a r l y w o r k s which can move. A l e x a n d e r L i t m a n h a s « a i d t h a t one definition of " p r e h e n s i o n " in t h e l a t e r

Whitehead's Initial Position

28

consequence of the doctrine that "nature is closed to mind." "Significance" is the relatedness of things. T o say that significance is experience, is to affirm that perceptual knowledge is nothing else than an apprehension of the relatedness of things, namely of things in their relations and as related. . . . B u t then we are quite mistaken in thinking that there is a possible knowledge of things as unrelated. I t is thus out of the question to s t a r t with a knowledge of things antecedent to a knowledge of their relations. T h e so-called properties of things can always be expressed as their relatedness to other things unspecified, and natural knowledge is exclusively concerned with relatedness [ P N K , 1 2 ] . In natural science, " t o explain" means merely to discover "interconnexions." F o r example, in one sense there is no explanation of the red which you see. I t is red, and there is nothing else to be said about it. . . . B u t science has explained red. Namely it has discovered interconnexions between red as a factor in nature and other factors in nature. . . . Thus connexions have been discovered between red as posited in sense-awareness and various other factors in nature. T h e discover}7 of these connexions constitutes the scientific explanation of our vision of color [CN, 9 7 - 9 8 ] . T h e real question is, When red is found in nature, what else is found there also? . . . In other words, science is not discussing the causes of knowledge, but the coherence of knowledge. T h e understanding which is sought by science is an understanding of relations within nature [ C N , 4 1 ] . T h e laws of nature are the outcome of the characters of works makes it identical with the concept of "significance" in PNK ("Prehension as Relation," Journal of Philosophy, X L I V [1947], 235). It does not seem to me that the establishment of an actual identity between these two concepts can be accomplished, on any interpretation of significance. Prehension necessarily involves a reference to the concept of life. Also, the early doctrine is more closely related to presentational immediacy than to causal efficacy.

24

Whitehead's

Initial

Position

the entities which we find in nature. The entities being what they are, the laws must be what they a r e ; and conversely the entities follow from the laws. We are a long way from the attainment of such an ideal; but it remains as the abiding goal of theoretical science [CN, 142]. Evidently the relations holding between n a t u r a l entities are themselves n a t u r a l entities, namely they are also factors of fact, there for sense-awareness [CN, 13—14], The philosophy of science is the endeavour to formulate the most general characters of things observed. These sought f o r characters are to be no fancy characters of a fairy tale behind the scenes. They must be observed characters of things observed [PRel, 5 ] . A second obvious consequence of the undue emphasis upon the objective character of experience is the awkwardness in dealing with scientific objects. In treating this subject, Whitehead provides for their perception, but not for their intellectual formulation. T o him they are there in nature to be seen. Scientific objects are a special class of objects which involve the principle of diminution of extent in order to accomplish simplicity. They are abstractions greatly limited in scope. The reason for them, according to Whitehead, lies in the fact t h a t the relationships between two ordinary objects are complicated and many-sided, while the relations between scientific objects are capable of simple direct treatment with very few terms involved. Finally the characters of the observed physical objects and sense-objects can be expressed in terms of these scientific objects. In f a c t the whole point of the search for scientific objects is the endeavour to obtain this simple expression of the characters of events. These scientific objects are not themselves merely formulae for calculation ; because formulae must refer to things in nature, and the scientific objects are the things in nature to which the formulae refer [CN, 158].

Whitehead's Initial

Position

25

Here scientific objects are clearly referred to as observed characters of physical objects, and they are described as things in nature. Later the same attitude is expressed with respect to the concept of the physical field, which is described as an observed character of the events which lie within it. I t is undoubtedly true that there is an observational basis for any scientific concept, but at the same time there is a "conceptual" or "theoretical" aspect to many of these concepts which Whitehead consistently omits. "A scientific obj ect such as a definite electron is a systematic correlation of the characters of all events throughout all nature. . . . Namely the electron is the systematic way in which all events are modified as the expression of its ingression [CN, 158—159]." In this passage the "ingression" of an electron is understood in terms of a systematic correlation of its properties as exhibited in "all events throughout all nature." If instruments are available which can discern the field of an electron at all, they certainly cannot do so at any point remote from the electron itself. The idea that such a field pervades all nature is purely a conceptual idea and is not the result of the observation of all the events in nature upon which a given electron has an influence. And yet Whitehead uses this doctrine of the wide extension of a physical field in an extreme form, in the early works as well as the later ones. " B u t in a sense there is action at a distance, since the character of any event is modified (to however slight a degree) by any other electron, however separated by intervening events [PNK, 9 8 ] . " This one-sided method of treating scientific objects is not so clear in Whitehead's early works as to be obviously selfevident and beyond doubt; for there are numerous general statements which refer to inference and other such intellectual operations. For example, in the reference to electrons above, the phrase "systematic correlation" could be interpreted in a number of ways. In passages on pages 170 and 171 of The Concept of Nature, such phrases as "make us aware of" and "acknowledge" are used. Language of this type could imply in the back-

26

Whitehead's

Initial

Position

ground the type of conceptual activity which appears to be missing in these early works. There are numerous statements of this type. However, vague suggestions of this sort are as close as Whitehead ever comes in his early works to recognizing such activity. Words such as "infer," when they appear, are never amplified. If Whitehead had really intended to recognize inference and other such factors, he could easily have said a t some point that observation is ultimately the basis of most of our theories about n a t u r e ; but t h a t when observation is not conclusive, we do theorize in the sense of framing hypotheses as to what is probably true. These hypotheses are not directly observed; in fact, many hypotheses are ultimately found never to have been true of nature a t all. In such a case, they never were in nature. Examples of this would possibly be the ether, 1 4 the idea of absolute space and absolute time, and also the idea of matter which Whitehead goes to such length to criticize. In addition to theorizing in the sense of framing hypotheses, we develop certain notions such as right angles, zero, and infinity which serve as very useful principles of explanation, but which have no observational basis a t all. 15 Whitehead does agree in his early works t h a t thought is wider than nature, and he develops this into the principle of "reversion" in the later works, but it does not appear t h a t reversion can be eliminated altogether even in framing a philosophy of science. There are numerous passages which f u r t h e r illustrate this awkwardness in dealing with scientific objects. 1 6 In one, 17 only two extremes are recognized—pure fantasy, and what is there to be seen in nature. I t has been shown so f a r t h a t the limited or narrow view of exi* "Nature is what is observed, and the ether is an observed character of things observed [PRel, 5]." is Another problem in this connection is Whitehead's grouping concepts like right angles together with concepts like molecules as observed objects. His early analysis gives no basis for making the important distinctions between such concepts as these. Further, the necessity of classing such things as molecules under objects rather than events introduces confusion. Problems such as these are cleared up in the broad view. 1« See PNK, 188-189; CN, 45-46, 96,125-126. " CN, 96.

Whitehead's

Initial

Position

27

perience, exhibited in Whitehead's early works, involves a great emphasis upon purely objective f a c t o r s ; and t h a t , as a result of this, significance and meaning as elements in experience are present purely as the result of direct selective observation. The third outstanding charaqteristic of this limited view, which will now be discussed, is the great importance given to the experience of spatio-temporal relationships. There are two aspects of this. In the first place, the spatio-temporal relationships between the entities observed in n a t u r e are of outstanding importance in understanding or explaining what is observed. I t is spatio-temporal relations which constitute the observational basis of significance or meaning. In the second place, the positional relationships between the observer and the entities observed are strongly stressed. This is true to the extent t h a t the character of experience is actually controlled, to an important degree, by the spatio-temporal standpoint of the experient. I t is in these areas that the close relationships between the extension analysis and the limited view of experience lie. Whitehead has undertaken an elaborate discussion of what it means to "explain," which involves a number of special types of events and objects, particularly the former. 1 8 This discussion is designed to make more specific his point of view t h a t meaning is to be understood in objective terms. The basis for an explanation in his early conception is the discovery of a "conditioning" event. T o explain the characteristics (objects and groupings of objects) of a certain event, we must have recourse to certain conditioning events which lie behind it. These conditioning events may be "active" or "passive." The former are the direct cause or explanation and are the most relevant, but certain passive causes must also be taken into consideration. These consist of all, or most, of the rest of nature and is This type of discussion in Whitehead is to me outstanding evidence that he thinks of understanding or explanation ("significance") in the early works in terms of spatio-temporal relationships. Cf. n. 13 referring to Victor Lowe's discussion of significance.

Whitehead's

Initial

Position

must be favorably disposed to the causal influences which the active events are generating. Thus, there must be assumed a certain acquiesence on the part of the rest of nature in the influences which the active conditions are exerting. Active conditioning events are of two types—"transmitting" and "generating." Transmitting events may lie between the events and objects which are being explained and the ultimate causal event itself. In addition, in any explanation, the "percipient event" must be taken into consideration. This event must be properly located with respect to the characteristics which are being explained. The role of the percipient event will be discussed later. Together these concepts constitute an expression of Whitehead's attitude that to explain in the manner of a natural science is to provide a reason for the appearance of objects in an event. 19 This reason will itself be given in terms of other events and objects since there is nothing else in nature. An explanation will consist of an exhibition of the relationships between the objects being explained and other events and objects. The relationship itself, which constitutes the explanation, will be couched in terms of events. Objects are peculiarly deficient in their explanatory powers because they are not inherently. immersed in nature, and, also, because they are not temporal in character. It is clear that any causal explanation must refer to an active situation—the passage of time must be included as a necessary part of the explanation. Objects are inherently relata and cannot be relationships. 20 Whitehead's attitude that events consist exclusively of characters and position has previously been noted. If events are the means of explanation, and their characteristics (objects) are what is being explained, then it must be the factor of position on which the emphasis is placed. With respect to the problem of experience in the early works, this means that the experience of spatio-temporal relationships is all-important. It is these which give rise to the factor of meaning or significance. Meaning, as a factor in experience, reduces itself to a knowledge is See CN, 169 and P N K , 86-87.

20 See P N K , 73.

Whitehead's Initial Position

29

of spatio-temporal relationships which are considered as being "given." This, of course, is a natural consequence of the extension analysis in conjunction with the attitude that nature is closed to mind. I f nature is analyzed in terms of character, space, and time, if experience is wholly objective, and if spatial and temporal relationships are basic in "understanding," it follows that the experience of such relationships is necessarily the most useful and important type of experience. Thus, the extension analysis and this aspect of the limited view of experience require each other. Whitehead's general emphasis upon the importance of space and time in relation to meaning is well illustrated in a passage on pages 32—33 of the Concept of Nature where he points out that the problem of "bifurcation" can be overcome if the redness and warmth of fire can be "exhibited" in one system of relations with the molecules. Time and space, he says, provide such a system of relations. He then makes the general comment: " I t is hardly more than a pardonable exaggeration to say that the determination of the meaning of nature reduces itself principally to the discussion of the character of time and the character of space." His specific analysis of experience also illustrates this emphasis upon space and time. An excellent example is found in chapter iii of The Concept of Nature. This passage is quoted at length because it is particularly relevant to some of the problems which arise in connection with the limited view of experience as it is exhibited in the later works. Whitehead clearly provides for the direct perception of spatio-temporal relationships, apart from an}' accompanying experience of objects. Spatio-temporal structure is an element "given" in experience, and it is this element which is the basis of meaning and explanation. Every type of sense has its own set of discriminated entities which are known to be relata in relation with entities not discriminated by that sense. For example we see something which we do not touch and we touch something which we do

30

Whitehead's Initial Position not see, and we have a general sense of the space-relations between the entity disclosed in sight and the entity disclosed in touch. Thus in the first place each of these two entities is known as a relatum in a general system of space-relations and in the second place the particular mutual relation of these two entities as related to each other in this general system is determined. B u t the general s}'stem of spacerelations relating the entity discriminated by sight with that discriminated by sight 2 1 is not dependent on the peculiar character of the other entity as reported by the alternative sense. F o r example, the space-relations of the thing seen would have necessitated an entity as a relatum in the place of the thing touched even although certain elements of its character had not been disclosed by touch. Thus apart from the touch an entity with a certain specific relation to the thing seen would have been disclosed by sense-awareness but not otherwise discriminated in respect to its individual character. An entity merely known as spatially related to some discerned entity is what we mean by the bare idea of "place " T h e concept of place marks the disclosure in sense-awareness of entities in nature known merely by their spatial relations to discerned entities. I t is the disclosure of the discernible by means of its relations to the discerned. This disclosure of an entity as a relatum without further specific discrimination of quality is the basis of our concept of significance. In the above example the thing seen was significant, in that it disclosed its spatial relations to other entities not necessarily otherwise entering into consciousness. Thus significance is relatedness, but it is relatedness with the emphasis on one end only of the relation. F o r the sake of simplicity I have confined the argument to spatial relations; but the same considerations apply to temporal relations [ C N , 5 0 - 5 1 ] . 2 a

The word "sight" here apparently should be "touch." " In the whole discussion from which this passage is taken (pp. 60-52), the word "significance" is apparently used in two ways—in the sense of meaning,

Whitehead's

Initial

Position

SI

This emphasis upon relations, and particularly spatiotemporal relations, makes it clear that in the limited analysis of experience nothing is significant of itself. An entity is significant only in terms of its relations with other entities. This point of view is inverted in the process analysis and the broad view of experience. The later analysis begins with the postulation of entities which are significant in themselves, and then proceeds to the discussion of the relations between them. In the full broad view the relations are understood in terms of the characters of the significant entities. This significance is directly experienced and is not made apparent through an elaborate analysis of positions. In terms of the process analysis, the objects of the extension analysis are "dead" even when analyzed as a series of events. The concept of an event adds to the concept of an object purely the factor of extension. T o possess life in the sense of inherent significance and vitality requires more than mere extension through time. In terms of the process analysis, extension can lead only to description, and is not adequate for understanding. 23 Finally, in the limited view of experience, as exhibited in the early works, there is no experience which does not involve a and also in the sense that immediate experience signifies a general structure of nature which extends beyond immediate experience. 23 Whitehead recognizes this himself when he says: "Science can find no individual enjoyment in N a t u r e ; science can find no aim in N a t u r e ; science can find no creativity in N a t u r e ; it finds mere rules of succession. These negations are true of natural science. They are inherent in its methodology. The reason for this blindness of physical science lies in the fact that such science only deals with half the evidence provided by human experience. I t divides the seamless coat—or, to change the metaphor into a happier form, it examines the coat, which is superficial, and neglects the body which is fundamental [NL, 30]." While there is certainly a basis for this remark, especially in terms of its general tone, it is the writer's attitude that Whitehead here is more effectively criticizing his own philosophy of science than he is science itself. Thus, biology, psychology, chemistry, even physics itself, recognize and deal with factors which are significant in terms of their own internal organization and life, and not purely in terms of their spatio-temporal relationships. Science may be narrower than it should be in terms of Whitehead's process analysis, but it does not seem to be as narrow as his extension analysis.

32

Whitehead's

Initial

Position

reference to the experient's position. I t has already been noted, but has not yet been discussed, t h a t Whitehead requires this third consideration with respect to the observer in addition to requiring t h a t the observer be an event immersed in nature and t h a t he diversify. In the early works Whitehead even expresses the attitude t h a t the observer's position determines much of the content of experience, particularly with respect to the f a c t o r of significance. A dominant element in experience is the spatio-temporal perspective of the observer upon nature. In the narrow view of experience, rather than being concerned with the observer's "life," Whitehead is interested in his position. The general importance of the observer's position is first of all shown by the unvarying emphasis upon the percipient event, a reference to which is a necessary p a r t of any explanation. For example, in chapter vii of An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Natural Knowledge, there is a discussion of the various relations of a "sense-object" to nature. " T h e events which (in addition to the sense-object) enter as terms into such a relation can be classified into three sets (not mutually exclusive), namely (i) percipient events, (ii) events which are 'situations' of the sense-object, (iii) conditioning events [ P N K , 8 4 ] . " I t is then made clear t h a t it is the position of the percipient event in relation to the sense-object which counts. Whitehead's limited view of experience goes f u r t h e r than this mere requirement t h a t the position of the percipient object must necessarily be referred to in any understanding of nature. He indicates t h a t the relationship which constitutes the act of perception is basically a spatio-temporal relationship. When we perceive green, it is not green in isolation, it is green somewhere a t some time. The green may or may not have the relationships to some other object such as a blade of grass. Such a relation would be contingent. But it is essential t h a t we see it somewhere in space related to our eyes a t a certain epoch of our bodily life. The detailed relation-

Whitehead's

Initial

Position

33

ships of green to our bodily life and to the situations in which it is apparent to our vision are complex and variable and partake of the contingence which enables us to remain ignorant of them. But there can be no knowledge of green without apprehension of times and places. . . . In other words green presupposes the passage of nature in the form of a structure of events. I t may be merely green associated vaguely with the head, green all about me; but green is not green a p a r t from its signification of events with structural coherence, which are factors expressing the patience of f a c t for green [PRel, 2 4 - 2 5 ] , Here the knowledge of green as an artist, for example, would know green, entirely a p a r t from its spatial and temporal relationships, is evidently excluded. This passage could be understood if the reference were to process, rather than to time and place. I t would be a different thing to say t h a t green cannot be perceived a p a r t from the becomingness of nature. There would be no perception or any other kind of activity in a completely static world; nothing would ever become, including any act of perception. But this is not what Whitehead means as is shown by the unmistakable statement t h a t "there can be no knowledge of green without apprehension of times and places." The same attitude is illustrated in the "constants of externality." Six of these are enumerated by Whitehead in An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Natural Knowledge. They are intended to be an incomplete enumeration of the characteristics of the external factors concerned in every act of perception. The third, fourth, and fifth are particularly worth noting. 24 These three are summarized in a passage in which position is clearly made an element of every act of perception. Thus the third, fourth, and fifth constants of externality convey its very essence, and without them our perceptual experience appears as a disconnected dream. They embody the reference of an event to a definite—an absolute—spatio24 See PNK, 75-78.

SA

Whitehead's

Initial

Position

temporal position within a definite whole of nature, which whole is defined and limited by the actual circumstances of the perception [ P N K , 7 8 ] . In the early works, the content of experience itself, particularly with respect to interpretation and understanding, is to a large extent governed by the position or spatio-temporal perspective of the observer. As will subsequently be noted, the word "perspective," in the process analysis, has an entirely different meaning from this "spatio-temporal perspective." In a passage on pages 106 and 107 of The Concept of Nature, Whitehead describes the position of the "percipient event" as the "foothold of the mind" in nature. I t is made clear t h a t " p o s i t i o n " means spatio-temporal location, and the spatial f a c t o r is evidently given g r e a t e r emphasis t h a n the temporal f a c t o r . This would be n a t u r a l since " s p a t i a l perspective," p a r ticularly in a c o n t e m p o r a r y duration, is clearer and more meaningful t h a n " t e m p o r a l perspective." W i t h respect to the "locus standi" in n a t u r e , as described in this passage, there is a p p a r e n t l y nothing but the spatial f a c t o r involved. T h e following sentence is especially significant: " T h e complete foothold of the mind in n a t u r e is represented by the p a i r of events, namely, the present duration which marks the 'when' of awareness and the percipient event which marks the 'where' of awareness and the 'how' of awareness." T h e use of the word "how" indicates t h a t the spatio-temporal location of the perceiver actually controls the qualitative character of experience. This a t t i t u d e presents a s h a r p c o n t r a s t with t h a t of the later works. Another illustration of this is a passage on pages 55—56 of The Concept of Nature where a spatio-temporal "focus" is recognized, and this is the explanation f o r the different experiences of two persons. 2 5 I n summary, Whitehead's limited view of experience exhibits these characteristics: ( 1 ) Experience is understood in objecSee also CN, 183. "All we know of the characters of the events of nature is based on the analysis of the relations of situations to percipient events."

Whitehead's

Initial

Position

35

tive terms, almost to the complete exclusion of subjective considerations. ( 2 ) As a consequence of this, the f a c t o r s of "meaning," "significance," or " i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , " in experience, a r e "given." ( 3 ) Because of the c h a r a c t e r of the extension analysis, this element of meaning, understood objectively, is reduced to the apprehension of spatio-temporal relations, which tend to be directly perceivable a p a r t f r o m objects. ( 4 ) T h e spatiotemporal relations between n a t u r e and the percipient are of g r e a t importance, invariably enter into experience, and, t o a marked extent, control the c h a r a c t e r of experience. Before leaving the early works, it should be pointed out t h a t Whitehead, like so many others who have taken this wholly objective a p p r o a c h to the u n d e r s t a n d i n g of knowledge, has not succeedcd in realizing his own ideal. His own basic notions a r e heavily clothed with conceptual embellishments. 26 F o r example, while "permanence" as an element in an o b j e c t may be observed, certainly the idea t h a t an o b j e c t is a universal is an anal3'tical notion. T h e r e a r e marked c o n t r a s t s in the manner of discussion of objects in the early works. F o r example, on page 82 of An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Natural Knowledge, they are discussed largely as unelaborated elements in sense-awareness. In the discussion on pages 64 to 65 of the same work, the distinctions made a r e conceptual r a t h e r than perceptual. In f a c t , Whitehead actually recognizes here t h a t it is not sophisticated perception which is necessary to disss J. E. Turner has pointed out that such factors as "objects" and "moments" are described in terms which remove them very far from anything disclosed in sense-awareness ("A. N. Whitehead's Scientific Realism," p. 146). He remarks pointedly that for Whitehead "moments" are not real, while molecules and electrons are. This distinction cannot be based on sense-awareness, since none of these concepts arc immediately "disclosed." Also, A. E. Murphy has pointed out that events, as described in Whitehead, are themselves abstractions of a high order, and not the concrete things they are supposed to be ("What is an Event?" Philo»ophical Review, X X X V I I [1928], 57V). .Miller and Gentry ( T h e Philosophy of A. X. Whitehead, pp. 7 and 47) correctly note that events are logical abstractions. They go on to say, however, that there is no empirical evidence for events since they are unique by definition, and therefore cannot be recognized. This appears to neglect "apprehension," and is not Whitehead's doctrine.

36

Whitehead's

Initial

Position

tinguish objects and events but sophisticated thought. I t is doubtful t h a t any purely perceptual distinction between events and objects could be made a t all; for no matter how permanent an object may a p p e a r , it is still composed of events, as Whitehead points out in his discussion of Cleopatra's Needle. There are also properties of events which violate the ideal t h a t n a t u r e is closed to mind. F o r instance, the internal relationships between events would a p p e a r to be discoverable only by analysis and not by perception. This too is purely a conceptual notion, involving more t h a n diversification.

Ill

Experience in the Process Analysis Two basic changes characterize the transition in Whitehead's thought from the early to the later works. The first is a shift in method of inquiry, and the second is an enlargement and revision in the categories in terms of which nature is to be understood. The change in method is clearly described in the first chapter of Process and Reality. Whitehead indicates that he now intends to include in his analysis, in addition to perception, "every element of experience," including t h a t which is "enjoyed, willed or thought [ P R , 4 ] . " On page 7, he explicitly introduces the factor of imaginative generalization. No attempt is made, in the later works, to look upon the elements of our understanding of nature as "given" in a perceptual sense. Process and Reality explicitly exhibits a normal set of hypotheses which constitute the principles of explanation of Whitehead's metaphysical scheme. The full implications of "thought"-—of concepts, theories and principles of explanation, the entire machinery of rationalizing— are admitted as elements in whatever understanding of nature we do possess. In the full broad view and the process analysis there remains nothing of "empiricist" method. 1 The second change in the later works is that this enlarged notion of experience becomes the basic principle of understanding and analysis of nature itself. Nature is now to be understood in terms of "life"—a "feeling" analysis has been adopted in place i The word "empiricist" here denotes the restricted meaning associated with British empiricism. Mack, The Appeal to Immediate Experience, has made clear the character of the change in Whitehead's approach from the early to the later works. This is the problem with which his discussion of Whitehead is primarily concerned.

38

Experience

in the Process

Analysis

of the "extension" analysis of the early works. These two changes are not qualitatively different. The full admission of the procedures of "thought " into the framing of an explanation is to be understood in terms of the addition of subjective factors to the content of knowledge, j u s t as life represents the addition of subjective factors to an "event." I t is a p p r o p r i a t e to begin this discussion of the broad view of experience with a reference to the creativity, actual entities, and eternal objects in order to contrast these concepts of the later works with the three corresponding ideas of the early works. I t is the absence of geometrical or mathematical elements, and the addition of the generalized notion of concrescence, which differentiates the creativity from extension. The creativity is essentially a dynamic concept while extension tends to be a struct u r a l concept as well. Extension, as an element in the creativity, has been reduced to overlapping, and the creativity does not possess a geometrical character. This is possible in the later works, because the analysis of "process" is carried on in terms of prehensive relationships, while the analysis of the extensive universe characterized in the early works takes place in terms of position. Actual entities and eternal objects 2 each possess the m a j o r characteristics of events and objects, but their additional characteristics make them entirely different concepts. The basic definition of an actual entity is not t h a t it is any spatio-temporal portion of nature—the general characterization of an event— but t h a t it is the minimum effective unit of "life." I t represents a prehension, or grasping together into a unified experience, of the relevant aspects of the universe which have preceded it. An event as actual entity is thus a unit of the creativity, while an event as "happening" is a unit of extension. From the point of view of their own process of becoming, actual entities are atomic and indivisible. I n this, of course, they differ markedly from events. " I n other words, extensiveness becomes, but 'becoming' 2 There are a number of "categories of existence" in Whitehead's analysis, but the two basic types are actual entities and eternal objects. The other types, such as "nexüs," "prehensions," and "propositions," are understandable in terms of actual entities and eternal objects.

Experience

in the Process Analysis

39

is not itself extensive [ P R , 5 3 ] . " This passage expresses the point of view t h a t no p a r t of the process of prehensive unification can be understood a p a r t from the whole. Whitehead has provided in the later works a new definition of the "event" which is intended to fit the original concept into the process analysis. "An event is a nexus of actual occasions inter-related in some determinate fashion in some extensive quantum: it is either a nexus in its formal completeness, or it is an objectified nexus [ P R , 1 2 4 ] . " In terms of this definition, an event is a cluster of actual entities rather than a cluster of objects ; and as a "nexus" it exhibits prehensive connections, rather than spatio-temporal connections. Eternal objects differ from the n a t u r a l objects of the early works in a manner which is indicated by the word "eternal" itself. This represents a shift of emphasis from the "permanence" quality of objects to their qualities as "universals." Permanence or endurance in the later works is analyzed as "reiteration," and involves actual entities, as well as objects. Permanence is to be understood as a temporal chain of actual entities which continually exhibit the same characteristics. The word "nexus" is best illustrated by such a chain of entities, but there are many nexus, of course, which are not enduring objects. E t e r n a l objects are not merely enduring or permanent; they are eternal, and time is completely irrelevant to them. They are not to be thought of as having disappeared if they cease to characterize something in the world. They are still available for some new realization. The passage of the world neither adds to nor diminishes the eternal object population. This is the process idea of "eternality." Eternal objects serve two principal functions in the process analysis: (1) They characterize actual entities, which is equivalent to the function of objects (an idea carried over from the early works). (2) They characterize for actual entities the potentialities which lie ahead of them for realization (which is new in the later works and requires them to be eternal). 3 > There is a tendency in Process and Reality for an "object" to be defined in terms of experience, just as is the case in the early works, but with an im-

Experience

in the Process

Analysis

In process-analysis terms the world consists of a continuous becoming of actual entities. It is in his description of this process with respect to a single actual entity that Whitehead exhibits his broad view of experience. 4 In this endeavor, he uses a number of special terms and concepts which have a consistent meaning throughout. These are the analytical tools of the broad view of experience. First, an actual entity has a "physical pole" (or "responsive stage") and a "mental pole" (or "supplementary stage"). The former refers to its experience of the past actual world, while the latter refers to its experience of potentiality. Generally speaking, the mental pole covers final causation, while the physical pole provides for efficient causation. This distinction is not particularly important since the two poles are inseparable and are not precise analytical concepts. The real analysis of individual becoming is conducted in portant change in the definition. "Instead of that term [Locke's use of the word "idea"], the other things, in their limited roles as elements for the actual entity in question, are called 'objects' for that thing. There are four main types of objects, namely, 'eternal objects,' 'propositions,' 'objectified' actual entities and nexus [ P R , 82]."' Here, oi course, the limitation of objects to perceptual experience has been abandoned. * A number of lucid descriptions of Whitehead's doctrine of actual entities, in which the broad view of experience is exhibited, are available. See A. H . Johnson, "Whitehead's Theory of Actual Entities: Defence and Criticism," Phiiotophy of Science, X I I (1945), 237; Sydney E. Hooper, "Whitehead's Philosophy: Actual Entities," Phiiotophy, X V I (1941), 285; and R. Das, The Philosophy of Whitehead, chaps, i-iv. My purpose in this chapter is to bring out those phases of the broad view which contrast most vividly with the narrow one. As far as I know, my interpretation is in general agreement with the three studies cited above. I do not endorse all of Johnson's refutations of Whitehead's early commentators, but it is not my purpose here to evaluate Whitehead's theory of actual entities. My principal specific disagreement with Johnson is in the fact that he does not recognize Whitehead's narrow view of experience. Also, as will be indicated, I disagree with some of his interpretations of God and eternal objects. Hooper, I think, makes occasional slips which result from his trying to combine, at some points, Whitehead's early and late doctrine. For example, he speaks of a molecule having a richer essence through one minute of its existence than through one second. Also he speaks of the morphological scheme of extension which underlies the world, which provides a region presupposed by every actual entity. In my notion, these remarks do not characterize Whitehead's broad view.

Experience

in the Process

Analysis

41

terms of " p r e h e n s i o n s " and "feelings." B o t h of these a r e f o u n d in either pole. A prehension is the u l t i m a t e u n i t a r y element of experience. T h i s is its definition, j u s t as the definition of an a c t u a l entity is t h a t it is the ultimate u n i t of life. E a c h u n i t a r y experience of some p a r t i c u l a r a c t u a l e n t i t y or g r o u p of act u a l entities, or some p a r t i c u l a r e t e r n a l o b j e c t or g r o u p of eternal objects, is known as a prehension. A feeling m a y be defined as a positive prehension. E v e r y item in experience felt has been positively admitted to experience a n d is a real p a r t of the c h a r a c t e r of the a c t u a l e n t i t y in question. T h e r e a r e a g r e a t many other items which might have been a d m i t t e d into experience, b u t which are r e j e c t e d . These are "negatively prehended." Most of the realm of eternal o b j e c t s is negatively prehended. T h i s negative prehension concept in W h i t e h e a d ' s t h o u g h t is a r a t h e r cumbersome one which imposes an enormous work load upon the mental pole of an a c t u a l entity. I t will be f u r t h e r discussed in C h a p t e r V. Feelings a r e either " p h y s i c a l " or " c o n c e p t u a l " depending upon whether a c t u a l entities or eternal o b j e c t s are being felt. T h e objective p a r t of a feeling is represented b y the e t e r n a l object or a c t u a l e n t i t y felt, and its subjective side is r e p r e sented by its "subjective f o r m , " or the manner in which it feels. T h e commonest examples of subjective f o r m s (which are themselves classed as eternal o b j e c t s b y W h i t e h e a d ) a r e " a v e r s i o n " and "adversión." A " p r o p o s i t i o n a l feeling" represents a combined feeling of eternal objects with a c t u a l entities. I t is both physical and conceptual. T h i s concept provides f o r a feeling of potentiality in c o n t r a s t with f a c t . I t poses a possibility f o r realization. This p r o p o s a l m a y involve simple r e i t e r a t i o n of what is a l r e a d y present in the world, or it m a y involve change, depending on whether or not the eternal o b j e c t s felt are identical with the characteristics of the a c t u a l entities felt. "Decision" represents the culmination of the process of becoming and marks the end of an a c t u a l e n t i t y ' s experience. When there has been final decision, the a c t u a l e n t i t y has a t tained its " s a t i s f a c t i o n " a n d is no longer t o be t h o u g h t of as a

42

Experience

in the Process

Analysis

process ; it has "perished." I t then becomes one among the world of actual entities which serve as an objective element in the experience of actual entities of the future. The best summary of the manner in which these concepts are combined into the broad view as a whole is perhaps furnished by the nine "Categoreal Obligations." These are formally set f o r t h in P a r t I, chapter ii, of Process and Reality, and they are elaborated in P a r t I I I , which is almost wholly dedicated to this purpose. 5 The Categoreal Obligations constitute a full statement of what is involved in "becoming"—they are Whitehead's central hypotheses with respect to the element of experience in nature. 6 The ideas of reversion, of subjective aim, and of aesthetic unity are the basic notions exhibited and explained in the categories which most clearly mark the contrast between the early and late views of experience. The first three Categoreal Obligations have to do with the "responsive" stage — t h e physical pole—while the remaining five are related to the mental pole and "supplementation." 7 The statements which follow represent a summary interpretation of each category. Category I ( T h e Category of Subjective Unity) is the basic postulate of a subjective aim. Experience begins with a multiplicity of physical feelings of the actual entities of the past, all of which must be positively prehended. But these physical feelings are not "given." If they were, the world process would represent a complete determinism. 8 Each actual entity would exactly duplicate what had gone before it. The subjective aim influences these physical feelings both as to content, and as to 5

I feel that more attention should be given to Whitehead's Categoreal Obligations. There has been hardly any discussion of them. The ideas which they exhibit are not confined to Part III of PR—they appear throughout the book. Categories I V - I X particularly should not be read out of Whitehead. They are not designed to refer primarily to human experience—they refer to all actual entities. The Categories are somewhat obscure, they tend to overlap, and it is difficult to separate them even for purposes of discussion. It should be remembered that they refer collectively to one unified act of experience. Despite this, they are used for the discussion here because they illustrate the broad view of experience better than anything else, e See PR, 335 if. ? See PR, 379. s Aside from the possibility of "reversion."

Experience

in the Process

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manner of feeling. T h e influence, as t o content, is p r i n c i p a l l y a m a t t e r of selection or a b s t r a c t i o n . All the phases of every actual e n t i t y in the environment are not felt ; some phases of certain entities a r e negatively prehended. T h e influence, as to manner, is a m a t t e r of the subjective f o r m of these p h y s i c a l feelings. T h e r e will be emphasis or de-emphasis—evaluation of the f a c t o r s in the environment which a r e felt. One must not overstress the subjective aim a p a r t f r o m the environment, however—it cannot be u n d e r s t o o d a p a r t f r o m the initial physical feelings themselves. Since these feelings represent a t a k i n g account of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the p a s t a c t u a l entities, they s t a t e the potentialities given f o r realization by the world as it is a l r e a d y constituted. T h e y erect the f o u n d a tion upon which the a c t u a l e n t i t y must build itself. T h e y are the vehicle of efficient causation, and they determine the conditions and limits of final causation. I n the developing process there is interaction between these physical feelings and the subjective aim—each determining the other. 9 Categories I I ( T h e C a t e g o r y of Objective I d e n t i t y ) a n d I I I ( T h e C a t e g o r y of Objective D i v e r s i t y ) can be r e g a r d e d as a clarification of what the subjective aim accomplishes in the responsive phase. A c c o r d i n g to C a t e g o r y I I , each a c t u a l occasion must determine what every p a s t e n t i t y means f o r it. T h e meaning must be discovered in the light of the final aesthetic unity which is t o emerge. T h e r e a r e m a n y sources t h r o u g h which one a c t u a l e n t i t y prehends a n o t h e r — i t m a y be felt directly, s It seems to me that this first categoreal obligation is clear refutation of those who hold that Whitehead postulates feelings without a feeler. See George Gentry, "Eternal Objects and the Philosophy of Organism," Philosophy of Science, X I I I (1946), 252; W. M. Urban, Part II, chap, vii, Schilpp volume; and George Gentry, "The Subject in Whitehead's Philosophy," Philosophy of Science, X I (1944), 222. Miller and Gentry also express this point of view in Parts I V and V of their book. A. H. Johnson, "Whitehead's Theory of Actual Entities: Defence and Criticism," has adequately refuted Urban and Gentry in this matter, and Sydney E. Hooper, "Whitehead's Philosophy: Actual Entities," easily and naturally concludes that the actual entity is both self-directing process and outcome. A s Whitehead says, the actual entity is a subject-superj ect.

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or through a number of intervening entities. These intervening entities may confuse things by contributing their own "interpretations" of entities in the more distant past. In this situation of varied influences, a concrescent entity must discover the identity for it of each p a s t actual entity. I t must eliminate incompatible feelings of any one entity, reducing each to one self-consistent function. 1 0 Category I I I is simply a f u r ther development of Category I I , pointing out t h a t inconsistent elements cannot play an "absolute identity of function" in the final unification which is the outcome of experience. 11 In other words, there are laws of logical compatibility governing these physical feelings—they must be consistent with each other, with diverse elements blended as an "aesthetic unity." Whitehead regards these first three categories as basic. They "flow from the final nature of things"; they "have an air of ultimate metaphysical generality [ P R , 3 4 0 ] . " Category IV ( T h e Category of Conceptual Valuation) is the basic postulate of a mental pole. This pole as such originates with the conceptual registration of what has been felt in the physical pole. I t translates physical feelings into a potentiality f o r realization. When the actual entities of the physical pole are translated into the eternal objects of the mental pole, they acquire an impartiality as to how they will be exemplified in the actual world. There is then free play for the entity's own decision. If conceptual experience does not extend beyond this point, the actual entity will merely duplicate, in its own realization, the conditions which have gone before it. I t will add nothing new to the content of the world, although it may add something new by way of emphasis or reorganization of p a t t e r n . Category V (The Category of Conceptual Reversion) provides f o r something wholly new. As a further stage in conceptual experience, the actual entity may feel certain eternal objects which are not characteristics of the actual entities experienced in the physical pole—they are rather selected from 10 See PR, 347.

" See PR, 348.

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the realm of eternal objects. These, when added to the eternal objects felt under Category IV, constitute the full potentiality or "lure for feeling" which is posed for realization by the entity. Conceptual feelings which raise potentialities not directly experienced in the physical pole are termed "reverted conceptual feelings" by Whitehead. According to Category VI (The Category of T r a n s m u t a tion), as experience proceeds, a number of actual entities felt, which have certain striking identical characteristics, may be combined into a single feeling which drops their p a r t i c u l a r i t y and retains only the common characteristics. Thus, although physical experience begins with particulars, conceptual experience may deal with the gross, summary facts of the environment and drop the original particulars. The dominant influences of the environment can then be concentrated upon, in terms of a feeling of the common p a t t e r n or characteristic which pertains to a large number of entities taken together. Category V I I (The Category of Subjective H a r m o n y ) serves the same function with respect to conceptual feelings t h a t Category I serves with respect to physical feelings. Conceptual feelings and transmuted feelings are evaluated—accepted or rejected, emphasized or de-emphasized—according to the subjective aim of the entire concrescence. There is an interplay between the subjective aim and the feelings, each influencing the other. But the conceptual prehensions admitted to feeling will be compatible for final synthesis by virtue of the f a c t t h a t they are directed by the subjective aim. Whitehead remarks t h a t Categories I and V I I establish a "pre-established harmony." This phrase merely refers to the f a c t t h a t each actual entity is an organic unity whose p a r t s cannot be considered separately from the whole—the subjective aim is a f a c t o r in all the component feelings. 12 Category V I I I (The Category of Subjective Intensity) represents the law governing the origination of reverted conceptual feelings. Whitehead's answer to the question of how we under12 See PR, 41.

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stand the emergence of a particular novelty in the world is given in aesthetic terms. Any novelty introduced must be such as to lead to an aesthetic unity of greater scope—the new element does not eliminate existing elements, rather it blends with them in an enlarged experience which encompasses the greater whole. The " c o n t r a s t , " one of the Categories of Existence, is the analytical notion used by Whitehead to clarify his ideas here. J u s t as a whole concrescence may be broken down into individual prehensions, so may aesthetic unities be broken down into contrasts, or "Modes of Synthesis of Entities in One Prehension [ P R , 3 3 ] . " The simplest form of contrast would be t h a t existing between two distinct elements in the experience of an actual entity, for example, the color red and the shape cube synthesized into the idea of a red cube. But there are contrasts of contrasts to any degree of complexity, and the distinction between a high-grade entity and a low-grade entity is primarily one of the degree, or complexity, of contrast which an entity is able to achieve. A contrast is not merely a multiplicity of eternal objects. I t is a realized togetherness of eternal objects in the experience of some subject. 1 3 Category I X (The Category of Freedom and Determination), while only briefly discussed by Whitehead, is one of the most important of all. The ultimate metaphysical character of an actual entity is t h a t it is "causa sui"—it cannot finally be understood in terms which do not refer to its own private experience. " T h e concrescence of each individual actual entity is internally determined and is externally free [ P R , 4 1 ] . " These Categoreal Obligations make clear the great emphasis upon aesthetic unity, and the fact t h a t it, rather than spatiotemporal relationships, is the basis of our understanding of the world in the later works. They also illustrate the great importance of subjectivity in the broad view of experience. 13 See PR, 41, 349, 424-425. A discussion of "narrowness," "width," "intensity," etc. is in Part II, chap, vii of PR, esp. sees. 3 and 4. A particularly revealing discussion is in A I, 339. The idea of contrast is also applicable, of course, apart from the idea of reversion.

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Apart from the Categoreal Obligations, other discussions of the aesthetic unity idea are to be found in Adventures of Ideas, particularly in Part IV dealing with civilization, 14 and in Process and Reality in connection with "aesthetic supplementation." 16 It is important to note that, despite Whitehead's emphasis upon "logical compatibility" in the responsive stage, particularly in connection with Categoreal Obligations II and III, 1 8 aesthetic unity is always in the background and, with respect to this matter of experience, is more ultimate than logical considerations. The "decision" as to whether or not two feelings are logically compatible must be made with reference to a certain "role" which a feeling is to play in the final unity. The logical decisions are made against the background of the aesthetic goals. 1 7 In AI, it is made clear that Beauty is more important than Truth. For a summary discussion of the relationships between truth, beauty, and goodness, see A. H . Johnson, " 'Truth, Beauty and Goodness' in the Philosophy of A. N. Whitehead," Philosophy of Science, X I (1944), 9. This question is surrounded by much controversy into which I have not entered. 15 F o r example, pages 323-326. The supplementary phase is divided into "aesthetic supplementation" and "intellectual supplementation." The latter is characteristic of only a few high-grade entities. As will be shown later, intellectual supplementation cannot be understood a p a r t from aesthetic unity. 18 See P R , 344-348. " There has been considerable discussion of whether the aesthetic point of view or the logical point of view is dominant in Whitehead's thought. Whitehead has expressed himself on both sides of the question, even in his later works (see MT and "Mathematics and the Good," p. 666 in Schilpp volume). It seems to me, however, that with respect to this m a t t e r of the experience of an actual entity, it must be concluded that the aesthetic point of view is ultimate. Gross feels t h a t Whitehead has left the relation between logic and aesthetics unclear (review of the Schilpp volume in the Journal of Philosophy, X L [1943], 276). G. Morgan, J r . , has argued that Whitehead's concept of value, being closely related to the concept of actuality and thus expressing full concreteness, cannot be reduced to any number of finite abstractions ("Whitehead's Theory of Value," International Journal of Ethics, X L V I I [1936-1937], 312). This excludes logic as ultimate, but he also holds that the concept cannot be understood in purely aesthetic terms either. Whitehead's concept of value does not represent any one standard type of value theory— it is a theory of "generic value." Mary L. Coolidge holds that the aesthetic point of view is ultimate ("Purposiveness without Purpose in a New Context," Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, I V [1943-1944], 85).

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The essential subjectivity of the broad view of experience is also emphasized in Process and Reality entirely a p a r t from the Categoreal Obligations. One of the best short statements is the following: " F o r the philosophy of organism, the percipient occasion is its own standard of actuality. If in its knowledge other actual entities appear, it can only be because they conform to its standard of actuality. There can only be evidence of a world of actual entities, if the immediate actual entity discloses them as essential to its own composition [ P R , 219—220]." 18 This doctrine of subjectivity extends even to the responsive phase of concrescence, which is analagous to perception. The broad view does not represent merely the addition of a supplementary phase to a responsive phase which is still understandable in narrow-view terms. Rather the subjective aim directs and influences perception, and what is perceived cannot be understood a p a r t from it. This has been made evident in the first three Categoreal Obligations, and the doctrine is clarified in the passage below : A "feeling"—i.e. a positive prehension—is essentially a transition effecting a concrescence. Its complex constitution is analysable into five factors which express what t h a t transition consists of and effects. The factors a r e : (i) the " s u b j e c t " which feels, (ii) the "initial d a t a " which are to be felt, (iii) the "elimination" in virtue of negative prehensions, (iv) the "objective d a t u m " which is felt, (v) the "subjective f o r m " which is how t h a t subject feels t h a t objective datum [ P R , 3 3 7 - 3 3 8 ] . The distinction between the "initial d a t a " and the "objective d a t u m " is consistently adhered to throughout Process and Reality. The initial d a t a represent the world as "given" in its purely objective c h a r a c t e r ; the "objective d a t u m " is what is Marjorie S. Harris, in analyzing Whitehead's philosophy, has tried to reduce aesthetics to logic ("Symbolic Logic and Esthetics," Journal of Philosophy, X X X V I I [1940], 533). is See also P R , 65 and 337-338.

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actually perceived. T h e difference between the two is a t t r i b u t a ble to the influence of the subjective aim in the responsive phase. T h e language used in the above passage is significant. The initial d a t a are " t o be f e l t " ; it is the objective d a t u m which "is f e l t . " T h e initial d a t a are prehended, but this is entirely different f r o m being admitted to feeling. I n terms of the above passage, there are evidently two i m p o r t a n t subjective operations to be a t t r i b u t e d to a feeling. T h e first is the t r a n s f e r f r o m the initial d a t a to the objective datum, and the second is the manner of feeling expressed by the subjective form. As Whitehead indicates, the " h o w " of feeling refers to the objective datum and not to the initial d a t a . Consequently, it is not merely the addition of the idea of a " m a n n e r " of feeling which distinguishes the broad view from the narrow view. The subjective aim must be introduced in perception even in understanding the objective content of what is perceived. 1 9 I t is evident t h a t one element concerned in the transition from the "initial d a t a " to the "objective d a t u m " is the f a c t o r of "diversification" or selection which figures prominently in the early works. A concrescent a c t u a l entity selects from among the feelings of the entities whicli make u p the "initial d a t a , " choosing which to " f e e l " and which to prehend negatively. As in the early works, perception involves concentration of attention, abstraction, and other selective activities. I t is also evident, however, t h a t this diversification is accomplished in the light of the subjective aim. T h e subjective aim provides a frame of reference—a set of theories or ideals or conceptual notions—which modify and control the objective content of experience even during the process of perception. I t is the lack of this element in the early works which partially caused the awkward t r e a t m e n t of "scientific objects." In the broad view the transition f r o m " f a c t " to " f a c t o r " to " e n t i t y " cannot be understood in purely objective terms. In the broad view n a t u r e is not "closed t o mind." 1» See also PR, 320-321, 361. This point is discussed by Das, The Philosophy of Whitehead, chaps, x and xl.

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I t should be noted t h a t Whitehead provides for a "feeling of conceptual feelings" in the physical pole. I t is an important element of the broad view of experience t h a t a concrescent actual entity can feel the conceptual feelings of another a c t u a l entity as well as its physical feelings. Such a feeling is given the name "hybrid physical feeling," as contrasted with a "simple physical feeling" which is based on a physical feeling of another actual entity. T h e feeling of conceptual feelings is especially important with respect to the introduction of novelty into the world. Thus, a novelty, in process of being realized and exhibited only in the conceptual feelings of p a s t actual entities, may be accentuated or subdued by the actual entities whicli are subsequently aware of it. 2 0 There are two f a c t o r s in Whitehead's metaphysics which could be considered a qualification or limitation of the subjective interpretation of the broad view of experience j u s t presented. T h e first is the concept of " G o d . " God, in Whitehead's thought, is an actual entity which is felt by every entity undergoing concrescence. From this point of view God is one of the objective factors in experience. F u r t h e r , he is closely associated with the formation of the subjective aim. If God accounts for "decision"—if he determines much of the subjective character of experience—then experience could be considered largely objective a f t e r all in Whitehead's later thought. In the later works, there are two important elements in experience which are attributed to G o d : ( 1 ) He determines the initial subjective aim of every actual entity (and it is this which accomplishes the t r a n s f e r from the initial d a t a to the objective d a t u m ) . ( 2 ) H e accounts for the introduction of novelty into the world (reversion). Each actual entity has physical feelings of God, and these feelings give it the conceptual ideas which govern its experience of the a c t u a l world, and which indicate to it the novel factors, if any, most relevant f o r realization. These two functions are clearly brought out on pages 343 to 344 of Process and Reality, and on pages so See PR, 376-377.

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3 8 1 to 382. In the second of these discussions the Category of Reversion is reduced entirely to God and abolished altogether. I f there were nothing further to be said about the God of Whitehead's thought, there would be no broad view of experience which pertained to actual entities of the actual world. There would be only the world and God. Such a literal interpretation of Whitehead's God is not the final doctrine, however. I t needs to be qualified in two ways. In the first place, God is not really a separate entity apart from the world. " G o d " is rather a name for certain elements in experience. The broad view of experience is the basic hypothesis, and God is fitted into it. In the second place, entirely a p a r t from God, the final decision of an actual entity is to be referred ultimately to itself. No matter how much of its experience is accounted for by God, there is always something left over for itself. T h a t it is the actual entity itself which chooses what it will make of the situation it faces, including that part attributable to God, is brought out in a number of passages of which the following is an example : Each new phase in the concrescence means the retreat of mere propositional unity before the growing grasp of real unity of feeling. Each successive propositional phase is a lure to the creation of feelings which promote its realization. E a c h temporal entity, in one sense, originates from its mental pole, analogously to God himself. I t derives from God its basic conceptual aim, relevant to its actual world, yet with indéterminations awaiting its own decisions [ P R , 343]. This ultimate autonomy of the actual entity is important in Whitehead's thought ; for it governs much that he has to say about God, and, in Religion in the Making, it is made the basis of his explanation of the existence of evil in a world in which there is also God. The Ninth Catcgoreal Obligation gives the clearest evidence of this ultimate freedom :

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This category can be condensed into the formula, that in each concrescence whatever is determinable is determined, but t h a t there is always a remainder for the decision of the subject-superject of t h a t concrescence. This subject-superj e c t is the universe in t h a t synthesis, and beyond it there is nonentity. This final decision is the reaction of the unity of the whole to its own internal determination. This reaction is the final modification of emotion, appreciation, and purpose. But the decision of the whole arises out of the determination of the p a r t s , so as to be strictly relevant to it [ P R , 4 1 - 4 2 ] . T h a t God is not external to experience, but simply a name for certain aspects of experience, is most clearly evidenced by the f a c t t h a t this concept is a "derivative notion" in Whitehead's thought. The central scheme of Process and Reality is laid down in chapter ii, entitled " T h e Categorical Scheme." God is first discussed in chapter iii, which is entitled "Some Derivative Notions." God is not one of the central hypotheses or categories of thought—the ideas involved in this concept are rather derived by logical inference from the basic tenets of the general scheme. Whitehead first framed his metaphysics and then explored its implications with respect to the idea of God. 21 God is actually the name applied to certain phases of the "life" hypothesis. He is to be found only as an element in the experience of actual entities—he is wholly immanent—and it is only through empirical experience t h a t his influence in the world can be characterized at all. " T h e general principle of empiricism depends upon the doctrine t h a t there is a principle of concretion which is not discoverable by abstract reason. W h a t f u r t h e r can be known about God must be sought in the region of p a r t i c u l a r experiences, and therefore rests on an empirical basis [ S M W , 2 5 7 ] . " The logical basis for God as a derivative notion in Whitehead's thought is to be found in the creativity and eternal objects hypotheses. Both of these are considered prior to God. si See PR, 315-316, 521.

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T h e creativity contains within itself no principle which accounts f o r the actual entities which do a p p e a r in the world. Likewise, there is no logic which governs the associations of eternal objects in the actual world. 2 2 When the creativity and the eternal objects are considered in relation to each other, there is logically required a "principle of concretion" which Whitehead gives the name " G o d . " Reality is a limitation on the infinity of the realm of eternal objects. This relevance of God to the scheme of things which does actually exist in the world is represented by his "primordial n a t u r e . " T h i s is the only aspect of God which has any significance to actual entities. The "ontological principle" 2 3 logically requires t h a t God be given the s t a t u s of an actual entity, and this leads Whitehead to ascribe to him a "consequent n a t u r e " and even a "superjective n a t u r e . " 24 A second problem with respect to the broad view of experience is the question of whether or not Whitehead really intends it to be a universal principle. 2 5 If it applies only to certain high-grade entities, then experience, f o r the most p a r t , is to be understood in objective terms a f t e r all. This question is a puzzling one in Whitehead's thought. There are passages on both sides which seem to contradict each other. In many statements, Whitehead takes the usual interpretation of empirical evidence and agrees t h a t , as f a r as can be seen, the element of final causation is completely lacking in the case of the vast m a j o r i t y of the entities of the world. 22 There is some evidence of such a logic in chap, x of SMW. It appears to have been abandoned in PR, however, and is clearly denied in MT. 23 PR, 36-37. -* See PR, 134-135. These characteristics of God are further discussed In Chapter V of this book. 25 This problem has been much discussed, but I think the disagreement is not so much concerned with the presence of this hypothesis in Whitehead's thought, as with its validity, and with the degree of its application. See A. E. Murphy, "The Anticopernican Revolution," Journal of Philosophy, X X V I (1929), 281; Ernest Xagel, review of Process and Reality, in Symposium, I (1930),396; R. Das, The Philosophy of Whitehead, pp. 68-69; Charles Hartshorne, "On Some Criticisms of Whitehead's Philosophy," Philosophical Review, XLIV (1935), 323.

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When we pass to inorganic actual occasions, we have lost the two higher originative phases in the "process," namely, the "supplemental" phase and the "mental" phase. They are lost in the sense t h a t , so f a r as our observations go, they are negligible. The influx of objectifications of the actualities of the world as organized vehicles of feeling is responded to by a mere subjective appropriation of such elements in their received relevance. The inorganic occasions are merely what the causal p a s t allows them to be. As we pass to the inorganic world, causation never for a moment seems to lose its grip. W h a t is lost is originativeness, and any evidence of immediate absorption in the present. So f a r as we can see, inorganic entities are vehicles for receiving, for storing in a napkin, and for restoring without loss or gain [ P R , 269]. The low-grade organism is merely the summation of the forms of energy which flow in upon it in all their multiplicity of detail [ P R , 389], According to this account, the experience of the simplest grade of actual entity is to be conceived as the unoriginative response to the datum with its simple content of sensa [ P R , 176]. On the other hand, there are a number of passages in which he takes exactly the opposite point of view. E a c h actuality is essentially bipolar, physical and mental, and the physical inheritance is essentially accompanied by a conceptual reaction p a r t l y conformed to, and p a r t l y introductory of, a relevant novel contrast, but always introducing emphasis, valuation, and purpose [ P R , 165]. Thus an actual entity is essentially dipolar, with its physical and mental poles; and even the physical world cannot be properly understood without reference to its other side, which is the complex of mental operations [ P R , 366].

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In the case of the higher organisms, this conceptual initiative amounts to thinking about the diverse experiences; in the case of lower organisms this conceptual initiative merely amounts to thoughtless adjustment of aesthetic emphasis in obedience to an ideal of harmony. In either case the creative determination which transcends the occasion in question has been deflected by an impulse original to that occasion [ P R , 1 5 5 - 1 5 6 ] . If we consider the implications of Whitehead's philosophy us a whole and the problems to which most of the discussion of Process and Reality is directed, it appears that we are compelled to find the "mental pole" and the redirection of the flow of energy everywhere in the entire world. I t is true that words like "feeling," "subjective aim," and "subjective form" are neutral terms devoid of their usual implications of thought, consciousness, and intellectually analyzed purpose. Nevertheless, Whitehead's philosophy would lose much of its importance if life were not a universal hypothesis. I f he did not intend life to be a universal principle, he would not speak of "cosmic epochs" and his God would have little relevance. Whitehead is after all framing a group of hypotheses which collectively serve as an interpretation of the world. The inadequacy of the Newtonian cosmology in accounting for much that is important in human experience, and much that appears to be characteristic of the world, is one of the important forces which lias motivated his metaphysics. If we read life out of most of nature, then much of the world in Whitehead's thought is still Newtonian.26 His endeavor consists of an attempt to frame an applicable and adequate scheme of ideas. His enterprise is not rigorously inductive in character. Certain passages in some of the more popular works would never have been written if Whitehead had not meant his life 26 There would still be the hypothesis of the creativity, but this requires life to give it meaning and a concrete character.

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hypothesis to be universal. 27 Finally, the existence of P a r t I I I of Process and Reality is the most conclusive evidence t h a t the broad view of experience is characteristic of all entities in nature. This section as a whole would not have been written if this were not the case. In addition, it contains numerous direct statements to the effect t h a t the principles of the genetic analysis of experience are everywhere applicable. 2 8 In this chapter thus f a r there has been no direct reference to the spatio-temporal f a c t o r which plays such an important role in Whitehead's early works. Chapter I I showed t h a t spatiotemporal relationships are of basic importance in the narrow view of experience, and t h a t it is through this f a c t t h a t the narrow view is closely associated with the extension analysis. From what has been said of the broad view of experience in this chapter, it is evident t h a t spatio-temporal relationships can have only a minor role, and t h a t , while present, they in no way control experience or contribute the f a c t o r of significance to it. The spatio-temporal relationships between the experient and the rest of nature are merely a few among many equally important objective f a c t o r s which may enter into experience. This must now be established by an explicit discussion of the role of space and time in the broad view of experience and in the process analysis. In the first place, in the process analysis, relationships are basicully described in terms of prehensions and feelings, rather than in terms of spatio-temporal connections. When the word "prehension" is first introduced in Process and Reality, it is followed by the phrase "or Concrete F a c t s of Relatedness [ P R , 3 2 ] . " The following is an example of one of numerous passages in Process and Reality which indicate t h a t the prehension concept expresses the general wnv in which entities of the actual world are related: 27 Notable examples, understandable only in the light of a universal application of the broad view of experience are as follows: AI, 249; RM, 159-160; MT, 13; FR, "Introductory Summary," and 71-72. 2 8 For example, the discussion of "physical purposes" on pp. 421-426.

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T h e perceptive constitution of the actual entity presents the problem, How can the other actual entities, each with its own formal existence, also enter objectively into the perceptive constitution of the actual entity in question? This is the problem of the solidarity of the universe. . . . T h e answer given by the organic philosophy is the doctrine of prehensions, involved in concrescent integrations, and terminating in a definite, complex unity of feeling [ P R , 88—89], T h i s shift in point of view itself carries with it the conclusion t h a t the spatio-temporal relationships existing between a given actual entity and the actual entities of its p a s t world cannot plav a controlling p a r t in determining experience. From the point of view of the subject, the subjective form of a prehensive relationship is the most important thing about i t ; and this must be understood in terms of the subjective aim of the actual entity in question. F u r t h e r , the object in a prehensive relationship enters into experience through one of its own feelings, and not in terms of the spatio-temporal relations between it and the subject. 2 9 We would expect to find the spatio-temporal influence, if present a t all, a t its height during the responsive phase of the process of concrescence. There is ample evidence in Process and Reality, however (as has already been indirectly shown), t h a t it is not intended t h a t such an influence be dominate or controlling: T h u s a simple physical feeling is one feeling which feels another feeling. B u t the feeling felt has a subject diverse from the subject of the feeling which feels it. A multiplicity of simple physical feelings entering into the propositional unity of a phase constitutes the first phase in the concrescence of the actual entity which is the common subject of all these feelings. T h e limitation, whereby the actual entities felt are severally reduced to the perspective of one of their own feelings, is imposed bv the categoreal condition of subjects See

P R , 339.

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tive unity, requiring a harmonious compatibility in the feelings of each incomplete phase [ P R , 362], I n another passage, it is pointed out t h a t there are no significant relationships a t all between actual entities except in so f a r as they are related in the experience of a subject 3W-—the ultimate meaning of "togetherness" in Process and Reality is "experiential togetherness." 3 1 Whitehead even remarks t h a t the concept "where" is not to be analyzed in terms which omit life and prehension. 3 2 This, especially, presents a s h a r p contrast with the extension analysis of the early works. In Process and Reality " t o be" in any concrete sense means to be an actual entity—to have "value" or "life." 3 3 Any other meaning of existence, such as a spatio-temporal meaning, is derivative from this. Eternal objects, of course, are included among the Categories of Existence, but theirs is not a concrete existence. The word "perspective" is sometimes used in Process and Reality in connection with the experience of an actual entity, but this word is not to be taken in a spatio-temporal sense. I t does not refer to a spatio-temporal perspective upon the world, and it does not mean t h a t experience occurs under the limitation of such a perspective. The word "perspective" is rather a process-analysis concept, related to the broad view of experience. It is to be understood in terms of subjective aim. T h e term covers p a r t of the f a c t o r of "meaning" which is introduced into objective experience by the subjective aim. "Perspective" marks the difference between "initial d a t a " and "objective datum." T h u s objectification is an operation of mutually a d j u s t e d abstraction, or elimination, whereby the many occasions of the actual world become one complex datum. This f a c t of the elimination by reason of synthesis is sometimes termed the so See P R , 41. si P R , 28S. 32 P R , 93-94. s* See P R , Part I, chap, ii, Categories of Explanation, Nos. ix, x, xxi, xxii, xxiii.

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perspective of the actual world from the standpoint of that concrescence. Each actual occasion defines its own actual world from which it originates. No two occasions can have identical worlds [ P R , 321], In view of this complete change-over from the early point of view with respect to the role of spatio-temporal relations in experience and in nature, it becomes important to inquire as to the role which these relations do play in the process analysis and in the broad view of experience. This question will be more fully discussed in Chapter Y in connection with the "extensive continuum." I t will simply be noted here that the universe does not have an ultimate spatio-temporal character at all in Process and Reality. Spatio-temporal relations are derived from organic patterns and prehensive relations. The very possibility of "coordinate" divisibility is dependent upon "genetic" divisibility. This is indicated in Part IV of Process and Reality.34 Since an actual entity which has perished can be divided, morphological analysis is not irrelevant. I t is a useful tool in the study of the actual entities of the world in their roles as data for subsequent realizations. This is the only legitimate area for a spatio-temporal view of the universe in the process analysis. Coordinate analysis leaves out the full significance of the factor of life, but it can deal with the effects of life; and, to the extent that life is relatively unimportant in an actual entity, analysis according to coordinate division becomes increasingly significant.35 The whole relevance of coordinate division is well summarized on page 448 of Process and Reality, where it is indicated that it attains an importance in connection with efficient causation. Whitehead has extended his broad view of experience to human beings in his discussion of the "Higher Phases of Experience" in the last two chapters of Part I I I of Process and Reality.30 Chapter Y is particularly relevant. This view will be consi See PR, 433-434; also 337. 36 See PR, 436-437. as For a largely non-controversial, lucid exposition of Whitehead's doctrine

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sidered here in terms of its adequacy as a theory of knowledge, and it will be compared with the epistemology exhibited in Whitehead's early works. The other treatment of human experience in the later works, based on the limited view, will be discussed in Chapter IV. The concept of the "proposition" is the basis of Whitehead's entire discussion. A proposition is a type of contrast—it contrasts the eternal objects of certain conceptual feelings with the actual entities of certain physical feelings. The actual entities are termed the "logical subjects," and the eternal objects are called the "predicates." A proposition is based upon the following elements in experience: 37 ( 1 ) a physical feeling of the actual world which provides the necessary logical subjects in its objective datum; ( 2 ) a physical feeling of a certain eternal object, which may be a character involved in the experience referred to under ( 1 ) , or may be exhibited in some other entirely different physical experience; ( 3 ) a conceptual feeling of this eternal object, according to Categoreal Obligation I V ; and perhaps ( 4 ) a reverted conceptual feeling, according to Categoreal Obligation V, which introduces an eternal object not derived from physical feeling ( 2 ) . Whitehead gives the term "indicative feeling" to ( 1 ) , and names ( 2 ) the "physical recognition." The "indicative feeling" is always the logical subject of the proposition; while the "physical recognition" is the physical basis of the predicate. Stages ( 3 ) and ( 4 ) provide for a full mental pole based upon the physical experience denoted by ( 2 ) . If ( 4 ) is involved, the propositional feeling will pose the possibility of the introduction of something wholly new into the world, while if ( 1 ) and ( 2 ) differ substantially, and the proposition is admitted to feeling, the result will be of the higher phases of experience, see Sydney E. Hooper, "Whitehead's Philosophy: Propositions and Consciousness," Philosophy, X X (1945), 59 and "Whitehead's Philosophy: the Higher Phases of Experience," ibid., X X I (1946), 57. John W . Blyth in his book Whitehead's Theory of Knowledge (Providence: Brown University, 1941) has also treated this matter at some length, but in controversial terms. See Part I I I of Blyth's work. 37 See P R , 397.

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a redirection, or reorganization of the elements of physical experience. The total extent to which novelty will be introduced thus depends on the two phases (2) and ( 4 ) . The two extremes are, on the one hand, a maximum of recognition with a minimum of reversion and, on the other hand, a minimum of recognition and a maximum of reversion. Whitehead's technical concepts having to do with the higher phases of experience are, in general, names for the various stages which lie between these two extremes of creative contribution. Particular propositional feelings of importance for the higher phases of experience can be grouped into two main types and several subdivisions with the distinctions depending on this four-stage analysis of a proposition. Whitehead surprisingly goes back to stages (1) and (2) f o r his fundamental distinction. If the indicative feeling and the physical recognition are the same, the propositional feeling is called a "perceptive feeling"; if they are different,, the term "imaginative feeling" is used. I t is surprising t h a t imaginative feelings do not require a full reference to reversion as introduced in stage ( 4 ) , but it must be remembered t h a t wide differences are possible between "indication" and "recognition." F o r example, in a high-grade organism, the physical recognition could be based upon memory of actual entities now physically remote. Whitehead's doctrine here evidently exhibits an attitude t h a t imagination is primarily concerned with the manipulation and regrouping of items previously experienced, rather than with the creation and realization of wholly new items. In the case of a perceptive feeling, "the proposition predicates of its logical subjects a character derived from the way in which they are physically felt by t h a t prehending subject [ P R , 4 0 0 ] . " In the case of an imaginative feeling, "the proposition predicates of its logical subjects a character without any guarantee of close relevance to the logical subjects [ P R , 4 0 0 ] . " As Whitehead remarks, the distinction here is not precise, and these two types of feelings have numerous borderline cases and shade into each other.

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Perceptive feelings are "authentic" when there is no reversion involved, and are "unauthentic" when reversion is involved. I t is obvious t h a t "authentic perceptive feelings" are most likely to be true. There are, however, two types of "authentic perceptive feelings." An "indirect authentic perceptive feeling" is one based upon a hybrid physical feeling in stage (1). There may be involved in this a feeling of a reverted conceptual feeling of the actual entity felt, or a transmuted feeling. In such a case, an indirect perceptive feeling would not necessarily be true of the actual world, even though it were authentic, because t h a t which is felt might still be an unrealized possibility in the actual world. A "direct authentic feeling" would be based upon a physical feeling of the actual entity felt; only a direct authentic perceptive propositional feeling would be without qualification true. This doctrine is necessary for Whitehead's process analysis since, if there is to be novelty or change, there must be provision for its development through a long series of actual entities before there is full realization. At the same time, the idea t h a t the unrealized reversions of the actual world can be felt appears to raise great difficulties with respect to the problem of determining what is true of the world, and it cont r a s t s markedly with the simple "objectively given" attitude of the early works. This doctrine is in conflict with the narrow exposition of human experience discussed in Chapter IV. I t should be noted t h a t the difference between an unauthentic perceptive feeling and an imaginative feeling is merely structural. The subjective form of a propositional feeling involves valuation, which leads to "adversión" or "aversion." A proposition, as a lure for feeling, is not necessarily conscious. Propositional feelings are in the intermediate area between conscious and unconscious mental operations. " T h e subjective form lies in the twilight zone between pure physical feeling and the clear consciousness which apprehends the contrast between physical feeling and imagined possibility. A propositional feeling is a

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lure to creative emergence in the transcendent f u t u r e [ P R , 4 0 2 ] . " "Consciousness" is the subjective form of a propositional feeling in which there is clear apprehension of the distinction between what is and what might be. Whitehead introduces a concept called the "affirmation-negation" c o n t r a s t which must enter into the subjective form of a propositional feeling before it will involve consciousness. In other words, consciousness enters into the subjective forms of feelings, when those feelings are components in an integral feeling whose datum is the contrast between a nexus which is, and a proposition which in its own n a t u r e negates the decision of its t r u t h or falsehood. . . . Consciousness is the way of feeling t h a t p a r t i c u l a r real nexus, as in cont r a s t with imaginative freedom about it. The consciousness may confer importance upon what the real thing is, or upon what the imagination is, or upon both [ P R , 3 9 9 ] . In the case of a direct authentic perceptive feeling the "negation" involved would extend only to the full actuality of the entity perceived. T h e contrast would be t h a t arising from the entity as a c t u a l and a propositional feeling of the entity as potential. According to Whitehead, only transmuted feelings seem to acquire consciousness. We are never aware of individual actual entities but only of the gross facts in our environment. T h e triumph of consciousness comes when negation is extended to complete falsity—when a proposition is completely false as compared to an actual entity. F o r example, the awareness t h a t this red cube perceived is not the yellow sphere conceptually felt would represent the fullest extent of consciousness. Consciousness thus has a quality of imaginativeness. I t is a characteristic of the subjective forms of certain types of propositional feelings. I t should be noted t h a t there is nothing about a proposition which determines whether it will involve consciousness or not. T h e same proposition could be felt consciously or unconsciously. This and other manners of

6A

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feeling are ultimately understood in terms of the subjective aim. 3 8 "Comparative feelings" result from the integration of the other more elemental feelings. They are of two types—"intellectual feelings" and "physical purposes." The former are peculiarly relevant to human beings and to other high-grade actual entities. In the case of "physical purposes," 3 9 the comparative feeling involves the integration of a conceptual feeling with the physical feeling from which it is derived. The conceptual feeling may or may not involve "reversion." "Intellectual feelings," on the other hand, represent the contrast between a "propositional feeling" and the "indicative feeling" from which it is partly derived. Thus, intellectual feelings are more complicated. Physical purposes can lead only to "aesthetic supplementation" while intellectual feelings make possible "intellectual supplementation." The latter involves the conscious formulation of alternatives, and the modification of the subjective aim through intellectual analysis. Intellectual feelings can be divided into two types—"conscious perceptions" and "intuitive judgments." The former represent the integration of a perceptive propositional feeling with the indicative feeling. The integration of the two factors into the conscious perception thus confronts the nexus as fact, with the potentiality derived from itself, limited to itself, and exemplified in itself. This confrontation is the generic contrast which is the objective datum of the integral feeling. The subjective form thus assumes its vivid immediate consciousness of what the nexus really is in the way of potentiality realized [ P R , 4 1 1 ] . An "intuitive judgment," on the other hand, is a feeling derived from the integration of the physical feeling of a nexus and the imaginative propositional feeling whose logical subjects refer to the same nexus. Thus, an intuitive judgment tends to 38 Consciousness is further discussed in Chapter I V . 3 9 Physical purposes are not propositional in character. A physical purpose involves only one initial physical feeling—that numbered ( 2 ) in the discussion on p. 60. See P R , 422.

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emphasize possibility rather than actuality. This enables one to do more than consciously perceive—it permits one to say "yes," "no," or "maybe." Intuitive judgments are most relevant to intellectual analysis; conscious perceptions are largely perceptive implements. 40 The difference between intuitive judgments in the "yes-form," the "no-form," and the "suspense-form" is a matter of the correspondence between the propositional feeling of the judgment and the indicative feeling. In the case of the suspense form there is contrast without incompatibility. 41 "Conscious perceptions" and "intuitive judgments" shade into each other. This results from the fact that there are differences between conscious perceptions depending upon the type of perceptive propositional feeling which forms one p a r t of the integration. A conscious perception based on an unauthentic perceptive feeling would be false, and the difference between it and an intuitive judgment of a certain type would be merely structural. Only a conscious perception based upon a direct authentic perceptive feeling would be true without qualification. It would represent wholly a perception of what is. There would be no reversion in the forming of the proposition, and the physical recognition would be identical in pattern with the indicative feeling. I t should be noted that one source of error in conscious perceptions is the reverted conceptual feelings of the entities felt. These would introduce a certain element of as yet unrealized possibility into the perception, and it would not be true of fact as it exists now. These, then, represent the concepts of the epistemology of the later works in so far as it is an outgrowth of and consistent with the broad view of experience. It is evident that a theory or description of knowledge could be constructed from these conIt is worth noting that, in setting forth the stages represented in an intuitive judgment (PR, 415), Whitehead has apparently changed "physical recognition" to "physical recollection." Xo comment upon or explanation of the change is made. One can only conclude that this indicates what it seems to—an emphasis on memory in the case of this type of intellectual feeling. The intuitive judgment compares a remembered physical situation with another physical situation now directly present in experience. «1 See PR, 413.

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cepts. F o r example, the inductive scientific method 4 2 could readily be described in terms of "intellectual feelings," which involve the interplay of imaginative and perceptive feelings. The machinery is available for describing hypotheses and for the attempt to test them through a recourse to nature in the form of "conscious perceptions" and "intuitive judgments." I t must be recognized, however, t h a t Whitehead has not attempted in this analysis to frame an epistemology as much as he has attempted to show t h a t his concepts can be extended to cover this field. He is primarily interested in showing the adequacy of his general ideas. Thus, any real contribution to the technical problems of epistemology would be incidental. I t does not appear t h a t any significant contributions have been made in the "Higher Phases of Experience" discussion, and, in fact, from several points of view, the doctrine is awkward when considered strictly as a theory of knowledge. Whitehead's notions can be extended so t h a t they are adequate in this field, but the result does not appear to be convenient or illuminating. F o r example, one problem which immediately arises is t h a t of the criteria of t r u t h in Whitehead's analysis. His doctrine of t r u t h is a realistic one which assumes the existence of a concrete world, self-sufficient, and there to be observed. Our ideas are true when they are accurately descriptive of this external world. There are numerous sources of error, however, as is indicated in the elaborate analysis of authentic and indirect propositional feelings and other similar concepts. I t is clear t h a t many sources of error lie below consciousness, and it is difficult to understand how one ever could be sure t h a t he has the t r u t h . Three tests of t r u t h value are recognized by Whitehead, but they are all reducible to the first—the "force and vivacity" of the impression. This is an idea which Whitehead frequently refers to in connec42 For a full exposition and discussion of the problems involved in induction in Whitehead's thought, a matter which I have not explicitly discussed, see the following: J. W. Robson, "Whitehead's Answer to Hume," Journal of Philosophy, X X X V I I I (1941), 85; Mason W. Gross, "Whitehead's Answer to Hume," ibid., p. 95; Harold Taylor* "Hume's Answer to Whitehead," ibid., p. 409.

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tion with Hume. 4 3 W e are likely to regard t h a t intellectual or propositional feeling as true which strikes us as t r u e with the greatest force. This method would presumably be limited to those conscious perceptions which a r e really t r u e ; the absence of force and vivacity would not necessarily establish the falsity of an intellectual feeling. There would still be doubt or suspense. The second test of t r u t h is the illumination by consciousness of the various feelings involved in the process. T h i s method is a means of establishing the presence of reverted feelings both in the actual entities felt and in the concrescent entity. A human being, capable of conscious analysis of his perceptions, can weigh and deliberate, examine and classify, thus permitting himself to determine in detail whether or not his perceptions are true. While this represents an analytical a p p r o a c h to the problem, it would still come down ultimately to a series of impressions of "force and vivacity." Finally, there is the delayed test, t h a t the f u t u r e conforms to the expectations derived from present feelings. By waiting to see what develops, one can discover in actual practice whether or not one's observations have been true. This, too, comes down to a final impression of utmost force and vivacity. So much of human experience is bound u p with symbolic reference, t h a t it is hardly an exaggeration to say t h a t the very meaning of t r u t h is p r a g m a t i c . B u t though this statement is hardly an exaggeration, still it is an exaggeration, f o r the pragmatic test can never work, unless on some occasion—in the f u t u r e , or in the present—there is a definite determination of what is t r u e on t h a t occasion. Otherwise the p o o r p r a g m a tist remains an intellectual Hamlet, perpetually a d j o u r n i n g decision of judgment t o some later d a t e [ P R , 2 7 5 ] . This doctrine of "force and vivacity" takes into consideration many problems in the determination of t r u t h which do not a p pear to be recognized in the narrow view of experience as it appears in either the early works or the later works. In the n a r «» See PR, 411.

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row view, acts of perception are regarded as true without qualification. This point of view is not exhibited in P a r t I I I of Process and Reality. In fact, the doctrine appears to go to the other extreme. At the same time, the idea of "force and vivacity" passes rather rapidly over a great many problems in the determination of t r u t h . F o r example, there is the problem of the use of instruments in inductive sciences. Measurement, which involves the use of an instrument, is chiefly a matter of comparison and not a matter of force and vivacity. Similarly, the determination of linear measurements is chiefly a matter of care in the use of a ruler. This idea of force and vivacity, taken by itself, is at least an oversimplification of the problem of what constitutes truth. I t leaves out the organizing and manipulating activities of the human being who is engaged in constructing a fabric of knowledge. These can be provided for in Whitehead's special concepts, but the whole doctrine is cumbersome. As a second problem, a real continuity of endeavor is required in the creation of a particular body of knowledge. The creation of such a body would be beyond the power of a single actual entity, since it would involve numerous experiences occurring over a long period of time. The question arises as to how Whitehead provides for a coordinated endeavor representing a large temporal extension. His ultimate answer to this problem is, of course, t h a t a f t e r one concrescence comes another. One can assume t h a t , in building up a complicated structure of "knowledge," a human being is guided by a continuous subjective aim which each individual act of concrescence inherits from the previous one. The situation represents a nexus, or a real togetherness of actual entities. The point is, however, t h a t the Whiteheadean scheme, in which the time-span of each discrete entity is small, is not admirably suited to the description or the understanding of a long continued situation, in which one joining aspect is of dominant interest to the exclusion of the discrete elements of which the whole situation may be said to be composed. In the process of building a fabric of knowledge, generations are required, and there are numerous interruptions and

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breaks in the continuity of the subjective aim as well as shifts of attention and emphasis. The resulting work is one unified scheme, but the most complicated possible approach to the judgment or understanding of the scheme itself is t h a t of considering its history of development in terms of innumerable discrete actual entities and their individual subjective aims. Another problem is t h a t of how Whitehead provides for the appearance of ideas such as may compose theories—ideas which may not be obtained from direct observation. F o r example, how were gaps in the periodic table filled before the missing elements were discovered, and how do we obtain knowledge of atoms and molecules? This, of course, is covered in Whitehead's later doctrine by reversion, 44 which adequately provides for non-perceptual elements in theories and hypotheses. A problem arises, however, when we ask the question, what guarantee is there t h a t human beings will seize upon reverted ideas which are relevant to the problem a t hand? In this connection, Whitehead makes use of the "suspended judgment," 45 but no explicit provision is made for the selection between various suspended judgments, each of which may appear equally relevant to a given situation. We have already noted t h a t the concept of God is the general principle covering this type of selection. God accounts for the introduction of novelty, and is closely associated with reversion. Since each actual entity includes a prehension of God in the beginning of its process of concrescence, and its subjective aim is set accordingly, only such ideas as are in some degree relevant will be conceptually prehended by an actual entity. Thus, God, and also man's own process of concrescence, which must always be relevant to the actual world, limit the number of hypotheses which will be entertained with respect to a given situation so t h a t man is not faced with a multiplicity of them. In this, however, the subjective aim is the controlling principle, and it is ultimately to be understood in aesthetic terms. In Process and Reality, Whitehead has tended to shift to an aesthetic point of view with respect to this phase of the problem of knowledge. In « PR, 398.

« PR, 418-419.

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comparison with his early view, he has tended to go from one extreme to another. In the later works, the subjective aim of a human being and his creation of an aesthetic unity would necessarily have to be taken into consideration even in connection with the problem of the natural sciences. This is true not only with respect to hypotheses, but with respect to perception itself. The fact that the distinction between true and false propositions lies below consciousness makes it quite clear that the aesthetic concrescence of the subject must be considered regarding the what of feeling as well as the how of feeling. In other words, in the process analysis as extended to human beings, a reference to the observer in determining the content of experience is necessary, and this reference has to do with more than the spatio-temporal position of the observer. Since the type of knowledge exhibited by the physical sciences is a part of experience, this observation pertains to it as well as to experience in general. In fact, on page 408 of Process and Reality, it is clearly stated that the subjective aim of the subject is a major factor in "belief" regardless of objective considerations.

IV

The Narrow View in the Later Works Before undertaking a discussion of Whitehead's narrow view of experience as exhibited chiefly in Symbolism, Its Meaning and Effect and Process and Reality, it is worth noting an example of the extension analysis which appears in Science and the Modern World. In this transitional work, the process point of view is first developed. It is significant, however, that the concept of the prehension itself is first defined in terms of a spatio-temporal perspective, and there is repeated emphasis upon an underlying spatio-temporal structure of nature. The passage quoted below follows a discussion of perception, which Whitehead conducts through the medium of a number of quotations from Berkeley and Francis Bacon. He finds that perception represents a taking account of the spatio-temporal aspect, from the standpoint of the observer, of whatever is perceived. He then uses this idea to define "prehension." For Berkeley's mind, I substitute a process of prehensive unification. . . . In the first place, note that the idea of simple location has gone. The things which are grasped into a realized unity, here and now, are not the castle, the cloud, and the planet, simply in themselves; but they are the castle, the cloud, and the planet from the standpoint, in space and time, of the prehensive unification. In other words, it is the perspective of the castle over there from the standpoint of the unification here. It is, therefore, aspects of the castle, the cloud, and the planet which are grasped into the unity here [SMW, 102]. Several pages farther on Whitehead develops the basis of his broad view of experience in his first reference to "value." 1 This i SMW, 136-137.

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theme is continued in Science and the Modern World, and is also expressed in Religion in the Making.2 In the passage quoted from Science and the Modern World, the prehensive unity described is an assemblage of spatiotemporal perspectives. N a t u r e is first of all to be analyzed in terms of extensive relationships, and within this framework the concept of life is developed. In the references to value, however, there is no evidence of extension at all. Experience is not controlled by the spatio-temporal standpoint of the perceiver, and the broad view of experience is exhibited. In one case the initial analysis of experience is objective, in the other the subjective aspect dominates. The "causa sui" notion is much more than the negation of "simple location" which lies back of the discussion in the first passage. T u r n i n g to Symbolism and Process and Reality, the limited view is most fully revealed in the direct analysis of human experience which is conducted in terms of "presentational immediacy," "causal efficacy," and "symbolic reference." 3 The second of these three is the important new element in the doctrine. In the early works, as an outcome of his view of "extension," Whitehead recognized that experience extends over a period of time, and t h a t those elements of the world which are experienced extend over and into the act of experience itself. The first element of causal efficacy is formed by taking over this initial idea. When a human being has experience in the mode of causal efficacy, he is perceiving t h a t various elements of the past world are having a causal effect upon him. The second element of 2 For example, p. 101. 3 There have been a number of expositions or analyses of Whitehead's doctrine of perception. See Das, The Philosophy of Whitehead, chap, x; Blyth, Whitehead's Theory of Knowledge, Part II (referred to later); D. Cory, "Dr. Whitehead on Perception," Journal of Philosophy, X X X (1933), 29; and Sydney E. Hooper, "Whitehead's Philosophy: Theory of Perception," Philosophy, X I X (1944), 136. Hooper's treatment is entirely descriptive and is intended to be non-controversial. For an expository account of causal efficacy, which does not deal with the problems raised by presentational immediacy and its relation to causal efficacy, see Hugh Rodney King, "Whitehead's Doctrine of Causal Efficacy," Journal of Philosophy, X L V I (1949), 85.

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causal efficacy represents the incorporation of the process analysis into this original idea. I t is the actual entities of the p a s t which are experienced in this mode. Causal efficacy represents the "objectification" of these entities for the experient observer. The doctrine in Process and Reality is made completely consistent with the general concept of objectification, which was examined in the last c h a p t e r ; although in Symbolism all the subtle ways of transmission of feelings, developed in Process and Reality, had not yet been recognized. The most important and relevant example of experience in the mode of causal efficacy is an entity's experience of its own immediately p a s t act of concrescence. This is the foremost f a c t o r which determines the environmental conditions to which the experient must conform in the present. 4 Whitehead offers both a logical and an empirical justification for his doctrine of causal efficacy. The first is a negative approach, sweeping away a priori objections to it. Logically, experience in this mode could not exist if nature consisted wholly of external relationships, and time were looked upon as a series of discrete instants. Whitehead's recognition of a different type of world—his creativity hypothesis—is the first basis for this doctrine. In terms of the general process analysis, causal efficacy is a f a c t o r operative throughout n a t u r e ; but it is only certain high-grade organisms which perceive in the mode of causal efficacy. F o r low-grade organisms the idea of causal efficacy is expressed in the whole machinery of the responsive stage. The empirical, or positive, evidence for causal efficacy is represented by the frequent assertions t h a t we see "with our eyes." In making this seemingly obvious statement, Whitehead is arguing against Hume and others, to the effect t h a t we have positive awareness t h a t our eyes are causally efficacious in sight—we are directly aware of causal transitions. As evidence t h a t experience is not primarily composed of instantaneous percepts, Whitehead, in Adventures of Ideas, discusses an audition of the phrase * See Sym, 36 and 50; PR, 180.

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"United States." When we are listening to a speaker who uses the word " U n i t e d " in a sentence, as the first p a r t of a proper name, we are urged, through the efficacity of this action of the speaker, to complete the phrase with the word "States." The word " S t a t e s " is not an isolated sense-data, but p a r t of a previous state from which the present moment is an outgrowth. The speaker may have been intending to say "United F r u i t Comp a n y . " In t h a t case, the auditor who completed with the word " S t a t e s " would have exhibited himself as immersed in a different causal background than the speaker. He would conform to the speaker's causal background, however, when the latter uttered the phrase " F r u i t Company." Presentational immediacy involves the perception of "percepts" or "sense-data," such as tastes, colors, sounds, and configurations, either individually or in various combinations. These are perceived in this mode in a certain spatio-temporal relationship to the observer and to each other. This mode of perception is to be found only among a very few highly developed organisms since an elaborate sensory a p p a r a t u s is necessary. I t is an important characteristic of presentational immediacy t h a t it involves only the perception of "contemporary" actual entities. I t is causal efficacy which deals with p a s t actual entities. In terms of the process analysis, the past, present, and future are defined through the idea of "causation." Contemporary entities are those which happen in causal independence of any particular entity. F o r this reason presentational immediacy involves a mere " b a r r e n " display of colors, sounds, and other sensa. These may be enjoyed purely for their aesthetic values, and they may be precisely delineated in a spatio-temporal sense, but beyond this they have no significance to the observer. Presentational immediacy is equivalent to the traditional empiricist account of perception. Whitehead recognizes all the difficulties which Hume saw in perception according to this mode, but, of course, he has added causal efficacy in an effort to overcome them. 5 5 See P R . 184-185.

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These two modes of perception each have their special purposes and uses. Presentational immediacy, as is obvious from the above description, is particularly concerned with the discrimination of spatio-temporal relationships. " F o r human beings, this type of experience is vivid, and is especially distinct in its exhibition of the spatial regions and relationships within the contemporary world [Sym, 1 4 ] . " Aside from causal disturbances which are perceived within the human body, spatial relations are not clear in perception in the mode of causal efficacy. The situation of external events may not be known a t all to organisms incapable of perception in the mode of presentational immediacy. The "barrenness" of presentational immediacy suggests the important unique function of causal efficacy—that of apprehending the "significant" aspects of nature. In terms of Whitehead's early position, presentational immediacy would be an adequate perceptive base f o r experience since "meaning" and "significance" were considered to result from the apprehension of spatio-temporal relationships. This is not enough, of course, in terms of the process analysis. I t is also necessary to apprehend the "intrinsic characters" of nature—its "hues and content." Causal efficacy is the means by which these intrinsic characters are perceived. In terms of the process analysis, the essence of an actual entity is its own experience—its process of development. I t is this process which gives it its real significance when it is objectified in the experience of subsequent actual entities. Presentational immediacy, being confined to contemporary elements, does not apprehend this p a s t functioning, and consequently does not lead to a prehension of organic p a t t e r n s a t all. As a corollary of this, it is characteristic of Whitehead's thought t h a t the world is not actually divided through perception in the mode of presentational immediacy. Perception which accomplished a real differentiation of nature would require prehension of the factor of life, and this can only be accomplished through causal efficacy. There are additional secondary characteristics and functions

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of perception in the mode of presentational immediacy. In the first place, as compared with causal efficacy, it is manageable and controllable. In this mode one can perceive or not as one pleases, and there is a maximum degree of freedom in the concentration of attention. I t makes possible a maximum of diversification. This is because it involves the perception of contempor a r y entities which are not causally efficacious. Causal efficacy deals with the p a s t world, and all of the p a s t world must be positively prehended. There can be emphasis and de-emphasis, selection or concentration to a g r e a t e r or less degree, but there cannot be selection to the point of exclusion. Another closely related advantage of presentational immediacy is t h a t it gives a maximum power of a b s t r a c t i o n . This f a c t o r is one of the reasonsfor Whitehead's giving presentational immediacy such an imp o r t a n t role in the development of the sciences. Presentational immediacy is especially suitable f o r the apprehension of the generalized characteristics of n a t u r e since it is not ultimately based upon particulars. Since presentational immediacy and causal efficacy each have unique functions and purposes, it is necessary t h a t there be one combined act of perception which p a r t a k e s of the advantages of both modes. This Whitehead recognizes in his concept of "symbolic reference." Symbolic reference lies wholly in the supplemental phase of the concrescence. I t is an outgrowth of the material contributed by the perceptive phases. In this combined act of perception there will be involved both the causal character of whatever is being perceived and its spatio-temporal position and sense characteristics. Symbolic reference is not to be identified with thought. Experience, in this mode, may be a subject f o r t h o u g h t f u l conceptual analysis, but reactions involving symbolic reference are also possible which lie below the level of thought. Symbolic reference is much concerned with Whitehead's doctrine of "meaning" in relation t o human experience. Generally speaking, when there is perception in both modes through symbolic reference, one of the modes is entering into experience through providing the meaning which is attributed to

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6

whatever is perceived in the other mode. Usually causal efficacy gives the meaning to whatever is experienced in the mode of presentational immediacy, but this is not invariably the case. Whitehead is insistent t h a t pure perception, in either the mode of causal efficacy or the mode of presentational immediacy, is not subject to error. E r r o r occurs only through symbolic reference. As f a r as perception is concerned, what is there to be perceived, is perceived. I t is only when the advanced synthesizing activity of the observer is called f o r t h t h a t error can arise. There is one great difference between symbolism and direct knowledge. Direct experience is infallible. W h a t you have experienced, you have experienced [Sym, 6 ] . Accordingly, while the two perceptive modes are incapable of error, symbolic reference introduces this possibility [ P R , 255]. There are several reasons why this attitude of Whitehead's is difficult to understand. In the first place, there is an apparent conflict between this analysis of the sources of error, and the analysis made in P a r t I I I of Process and Reality which was discussed in Chapter I I I . The conflict lies in the f a c t t h a t error, in the above analysis, is attributed wholly to the supplemental phase; whereas in the full "feeling" analysis, the possibility of error is provided for in the responsive phase as well. As has been noted, a true proposition must be based upon a direct, authentic, perceptive feeling. A feeling can be indirect and imaginative wholly for reasons which have to do with the responsive phase of the concrescence. This allows for the possibility of error a t a very elementary level, even before the origination of conceptual feelings, and would appear to indicate t h a t error could arise in any of the acts of experience which in Symbolism and p a r t s of Process and Reality are referred to as perception. The problem is made more puzzling by the f a c t t h a t there is a passage in Process and Reality which explicitly recognizes the possibility e See Sym, 7-8; PR, 274-275.

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of error arising through presentational immediacy—this despite the f a c t t h a t the doctrine, t h a t the two pure perceptive modes are free from error, continues to be maintained in this work. There is, however, always this limitation to the security of direct knowledge, based on direct physical feeling, namely, t h a t the creative emergence can import into the physical feelings of the actual world pseudo-determinants which arise from the concepts entertained in t h a t actual world, and not from the physical feelings in t h a t world. This possibility of error is peculiarly evident in the case of t h a t special class of physical feelings which belong to the mode of "presentational immediacy [ P R , 3 9 0 ] . " 7 Since presentational immediacy itself lies in the supplement a r y phase of concrescence, it is difficult to understand why it particularly should not be j u s t as subject to error as symbolic reference is. Presentational immediacy is not only a supplemental activity; it actually requires synthesis on the p a r t of the observer. This f a c t o r ought to lead to the possibility of error in presentational immediacy, j u s t as much as it does in symbolic reference. Whitehead's doctrine of presentational immediacy is directly related to the central problem of this chapter. I t represents the first illustration of the narrow view of experience and the extension analysis in the later works. There are three m a j o r topics which require discussion in order to illustrate this. In the first place, presentational immediacy is not a doctrine of perception which performs any function or role in the process of human concrescence which could not be j u s t as well performed by causal efficacy. In any analysis of experience in the broad view, presentational immediacy appears to be unnecessary. In the second place, presentational immediacy presupposes a world 7 It is perhaps significant that this passage follows a lengthy discussion of process-analysis problems. Whitehead was not concerned, for the moment, with his limited view of experience.

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analyzed in terms of the extension analysis, rather than in prehensive terms. It assumes an ultimate spatio-temporal character of the universe which is perceived apart from actual entities. It is only if presentational immediacy is interpreted as a concept related to Whitehead's structural analysis of nature that his effort to keep it alive as a mode of perception distinct from causal efficacy can be understood. Finally, Whitehead's analysis of human experience in terms of symbolic reference preserves the spatio-temporal character of the world required for presentational immediacy and fits causal efficacy into it. The result of this is to illustrate the narrow view through giving human experience a more pronounced objective character than would be the case if the analysis were conducted altogether in broad-view terms. In Whitehead's discussion of presentational immediacy there are to be found four possible bases for a functional distinction between it and causal efficacy: ( 1 ) The two involve separate, unrelated processes of perception. ( 2 ) Presentational immediacy accomplishes certain supplementary functions which cannot be attributed to causal efficacy in a purely genetic analysis. (3) Presentational immediacy is necessary in order to account for the perception of "contemporary entities." ( 4 ) Presentational immediacy is necessary to account for "sense-perception" in high-grade organisms. In the pages which follow, an attempt will be made to show that none of these serve to differentiate presentational immediacy from causal efficacy. Presentational immediacy and causal efficacy could be functionally differentiated if they represented unrelated processes in the concrescence. In Whitehead's thought, however, the former, looked upon in functional terms, is clearly an outgrowth of the data "implanted" by the latter. Presentational immediacy represents a later stage in the process of concrescence, and it is based upon the data there to be perceived as a result of the responsive stage. This is shown by Whitehead's frequent assertions to the effect that we see with, our eyes, and it is directly stated in a number of passages.

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Both in common sense and in physiological theory, this bodily efficacity is a component presupposed by the presentational immediacy and leading up to it. Thus, in the immediate subject, the presentational immediacy is to be conceived as originated in a late phase, by the synthesis of the feeling of bodily efficacity with other feelings [ P R , 4 7 5 ] . 8 Whitehead thinks of perception when analyzing it functionally as one continuous process in which causal efficacy is one phase and presentational immediacy a subsequent phase. Presentational immediacy does not take place independently of a previous perception in the mode of causal efficacy. In functional terms it is not separately rooted in experience. I t is true, however, that it lies wholly in the "supplemental" phase of the process of concrescence while causal efficacy lies in the "responsive" phase. 9 In addition to the direct statements which establish this, Whitehead's frequent assertions that our sensations are "projected" in the case of presentational immediacy also show that some unusual supplementary activity on the part of the percipient is involved. The question arises as to whether or not this situation gives any real ground for differentiation between the two modes. As indicated in the description of the broad view of experience presented in Chapter III, there are only three elements, in terms of a genetic analysis, introduced into experience by the supplemental phase above and beyond purely objective elements. These are: ( 1 ) origination of something new (reversion) ; ( 2 ) interpretation, leading to evaluation, understanding, and emphasis; ( 3 ) concentration, in the manner of selecting among objective factors, and possibly introducing negative prehensions. Of these three, only ( 1 ) is found wholly in the supplementary phase and not in the responsive phase. It is clear that Whitehead does not intend to attribute origination in the sense of reversion to presentational immediacy—if he did so, presentational immediacy would not be merely perception. In addition, presentas See also PR, 260.

a PR, 273.

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tional immediacy does not refer to any subjective supplement a r y f a c t o r of the type indicated under (2) above. 10 This topic will be f u r t h e r discussed later, but it has been shown t h a t the d a t a apprehended in the mode of presentational immediacy are "barrefi." There are present nothing but "sensa" and spatiotemporal factors. The latter in Whitehead's thought are in no sense an element of subjective evaluation. The spatio-temporal element is wholly there in nature. The f a c t o r of concentration upon a certain type of d a t a , then, is the only kind of supplementary activity left for the purpose of distinguishing presentational immediacy from causal efficacy. Whitehead intends presentational immediacy to represent unusual concentration upon certain elements in the environment, namely, sensa and spatio-temporal factors. In the broad view of experience, however, this f a c t o r of selection—of concentration upon and amplification of certain universals—is clearly covered in the responsive stage (as is the f a c t o r of interpretation). I t has already been noted t h a t the general doctrine of "objectification" involves a transfer of feelings and not of a t o t a l experience. No actual entity ever feels the full exact experience of another actual entity. I t feels certain feelings of t h a t other actual entity. The organic philosophy does not hold t h a t the " p a r t i c u l a r existents" are prehended a p a r t from universals; on the cont r a r y , it holds t h a t they are prehended by the mediation of universals. In other words, each activity is prehended by means of some element of its own definiteness. This is the doctrine of the "objectification" of actual entities [ P R , 230]. This statement refers impartially to all actual entities, whether they are capable of the advanced form of perception known as presentational immediacy or not. I t shows t h a t the broad view of experience covers the case of the prehension of universals, without the necessity of introducing a special supplementary activity on the p a r t of human beings. Sensa are clearly universals and so are general spatio-temporal relationships. I n io See Sym, 58.

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terms of the broad view of experience, it would a p p e a r t h a t causal efficacy should have been made to cover this type of perception. T o accomplish this would have required only the introduction of the specialized senses into prehensive relationships in order to take full account of the experience of high-grade organisms. Another possible reason f o r Whitehead's distinction between presentational immediacy and causal efficacy is t h a t the former doctrine could be necessary in order to account f o r the perception of " c o n t e m p o r a r y " entities. If this were the case, then presentational immediacy could be related to the process analysis and required by it since it is in terms of process t h a t Whitehead defines contemporary entities. Before discussing this m a t t e r , it is necessary to examine the question of what Whitehead means by the perception of cont e m p o r a r y entities in a functional sense. 11 This question is a puzzling one since contemporary entities are defined as those which lie neither in the causal p a s t nor in the f u t u r e of a given entity. At the same time, as has been shown, Whitehead maintains the position t h a t presentational immediacy is an outgrowth of the d a t a implanted by causal efficacy. Since this is true, f o r perceptive purposes, the entities perceived in presentational immediacy must in some sense be causally efficacious a f t e r all. T h e key to this problem is the distinction, in connection with presentational immediacy, between objects in their "objective" character and objects in their " f o r m a l " character. 1 2 I t is only the former which p e r t a i n s to presentational immediacy. I n accordance with this distinction, entities perceived in the mode of efficacy impress themselves upon a given entity in their full, formal completeness. An entity undergoing concrescence is, ' i Blyth has argued, Whitehead's Theory of Knowledge, chap, vi, that given Whitehead's basic hypotheses, there is no sense in which there can be objcctiflcation of contemporaries. I think that Whitehead's attitude does have a meaning, but I agree with Blyth's suggestion that Whitehead's doctrine of presentational immediacy is one of the greatest sources of confusion in his philosophy. 12 See Sym, p. 25.

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in a sense, the issue of the full experience of these past entities; although it interprets and selects what is relevant to it from this full experience. In the case of presentational immediacy, however, the object itself is not impressing itself on the perceiver, rather some aspect of the object comes to the attention of the perceiver through indirect channels. An example of this distinction would be that of the prehension of the immediately preceding concrescence of oneself, on the one hand, and the prehension of a distant hill through sight, on the other hand. The hill itself in its full formal nature is in no sense a causal factor in the past world, but certain aspects of the hill—its color, shape, and location—come to attention through various indirect transmitting media. Causal influences in the environment lead to experience of the hill in the manner of seeing, but there is no direct causal influence attributable to the hill itself. 13 This interpretation is verified by Whitehead's references to "secondary qualities" in Process and Reality. The epithet "delusive," which fits many, if not all, of these examples of presentational immediacy, is evidence that the mediating eternal object is not to be ascribed to the donation of the perceived region. I t must have acquired its ingression in this mode from one of the originative phases of the percipient occasion. T o this extent, the philosophy of organism is in agreement with the seventeenth-century doctrine of primary and secondary qualities, the mediating eternal object being, in this mode of ingression, a secondary quality. But in the philosophy of organism the doctrine does not have the consequences which follow in the earlier philosophies [ P R ,

186]. 14

Presentational immediacy, then, introduces into experience an element analogous to those factors once known as "secondary qualities." 15 I t is through causal efficacy that we apprehend the is The discussion in Sym, 15-16, is illuminating in this connection. 1« See also P R , 99. is Whitehead's doctrine here is not to be taken as a refutation of his early stand against the bifurcation of nature. He has brought the knower into

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full formal reality of an object through a prehension, in some manner, of its own experience. I t is for this reason, of course, t h a t Whitehead tends to attribute our real understanding of the environment to causal efficacy. We perceive a real essence of an object, on the one hand, and certain superficial characteristics, which do not reveal the real essence, on the other. Causal efficacy deals with the former, while presentational immediacy deals with the latter. I t is because of his doctrine of causal efficacy t h a t Whitehead is not faced with the traditional problem of primary and secondary qualities. This manner of perception of contemporary entities gives no reason for a special mode of perception to account for it. As previously explained, the broad view of experience takes account of this matter of "objective" vs. " f o r m a l " existence. Since this is all t h a t is involved in any functional sense in the perception of contemporary entities, the doctrine of causal efficacy could easily cover this type of perception. Whitehead does not deny t h a t there are (indirect) causal relationships between contemporary entities and the perceiver. There is no character or aspect of the real world involved in the prehension of "contemporary entities" in presentational immediacy, in terms of the manner in which this is understood by Whitehead, for which the functional basis is not found in causal efficacy. Finally, there is a possible ground for presentational immediacy in the necessity of providing for sense-perception in high-grade organisms. The question of whether Whitehead intends to limit sense-perception to the mode of immediacy is itself a puzzling one which will be discussed in Chapter V. I t is the writer's interpretation t h a t Whitehead does thus limit senseperception, and t h a t this introduces a number of awkward factors into his philosophy. F o r the purpose of the subject now under discussion, however, it is clear t h a t Whitehead holds that knowledge, but the sense-data are still considered to be "out there" in nature. Emmet has discussed this point, and I think somewhat exaggerated the break with the early point of view which it represents (Dorothy M. Emmet, Whitehead's Philosophy of Organism [London: Macmillan and Co., Ltd., 1932], chap. vi).

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there are no cases of sense-perception which do not involve stimulation of the senses by the past causal environment. This has been fully illustrated in passages already quoted or referred to. Sense-perception requires causal influences of some type or other, and there is no reason to make the type of distinction Whitehead does between it and any other form of prehension of the environment. The only factor which causes Whitehead to do this is that he does not look upon sense-perception as exhibiting chiefly prehensive relationships with the environment. Otherwise, it could be regarded as a precise and advanced form of experience in the mode of causal efficacy. I t remains to establish, through a positive discussion, that the doctrine of presentational immediacy is not a genetic doctrine and that it represents the importation of the extension analysis into the later works. I f we take this point of view the concept becomes clear. I t should be noted, first, that in Whitehead's treatment of this mode of perception there is a maximizing of the spatio-temporal factor and a minimizing of the sensa factor. He thinks of presentational immediacy chiefly in terms of its exhibiting the factor of location, and not in terms of its exhibiting "sensa." We must first consider the perceptive mode in which there is clear, distinct consciousness of the "extensive" relations of the world. These relations include the "extensiveness" of space and the "extensiveness" of time. Undoubtedly, this clarity, at least in regard to space, is obtained only in ordinary perception through the senses. This mode of perception is here termed "presentational immediacy." In this "mode" the contemporary world is consciously prehended as a continuum of extensive relations [ P R , 9 5 ] . The main facts about presentational immediacy are: ( i ) that the sense-data involved depend on the percipient organism and its spatial relations to the perceived organisms ; (ii) that the contemporary world is exhibited as extended and as a plenum of organisms; (iii) that presentational immediacy is

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an important f a c t o r in the experience of only a few highg r a d e organisms, and t h a t f o r the others it is embryonic or entirely negligible [Sym, 2 3 ] . In the second of these passages item ( i ) exhibits the early a t t i tude t h a t the objective content of experience is governed by the spatio-temporal perspective of the percipient. T h a t presentational immediacy is concerned with a f a c t o r of position or perspective, and not with the general non-geometrical concept of extensiveness as it a p p e a r s in the l a t e r works, is a f a c t o r in the doctrine which is p a r t i c u l a r l y exhibited in the following statement : Our direct perception, via our senses, of an immediate extensive shape, in a certain geometrical perspective to ourselves, and in certain geometrical relations to the contemporary world, remains an ultimate f a c t [ P R , 9 9 ] . The truly unique f a c t o r contributed by presentational immediacy a p a r t from causal efficacy is an apprehension of the spatio-temporal or geometrical c h a r a c t e r of the contemporary world. 1 6 I t is only Whitehead's early emphasis upon spatiotemporal relations which can account f o r this element in his later philosophy. I t is his contention t h a t we are aware of geometrical perspectives as a p u r e potential entirely a p a r t from any entities of the world. I t is in this sense t h a t the contempor a r y world does enter into experience, and it is this which accounts f o r Whitehead's puzzling insistence t h a t the contemp o r a r y world is perceived in the absence of any type of efficacious relationships. I n the passage below it is indicated t h a t " c o n t e m p o r a r y " sensa, as distinct f r o m contemporary spatiotemporal relationships, are perceived first in the mode of efficacy. Sensa perceived, although not necessarily those conceptually felt, enter into experience only as aspects of the actual entities i« Blyth ( W h i t e h e a d T h e o r y of Knowledge, chap vi) has pointed out that presentational immediacy is based upon a doctrine of the perception of spatio-temporal relations apart from the prehension of actual entitles. Mack (The Appeal to Immediate Experience, p. 37) has also pointed to the emphasis upon the spatio-temporal factor in presentational immediacy.

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of the world. There must be some kind of causal relationship involved in a n j perceptual feeling of sensa, but this is not true of a feeling of perspectives. In this way, by reason of the principle of contemporary independence, the contemporary world is objectified for us under the aspect of passive potentiality. The very sense-data by which its p a r t s are differentiated are supplied by antecedent states of our own bodies, and so is their distribution in contemporary space. Our direct perception of the contemporary world is thus reduced to extension, defining (i) our own geometrical perspectives, and (ii) possibilities of mutual perspectives for other contemporaries inter se, and (iii) possibilities of division [ P R , 96]. The clause which I have underlined is the important one. According to this passage there is not only experience of the contemporary world a p a r t from actual entities, but even, it would appear, a p a r t from sensa. The "indirect" relationships necessary to understand contemporary entities in terms of their secondary qualities are absent here. If presentational immediacy is understood in these terms, it makes clear Whitehead's doctrine that our sensations are "projected" in the mode of immediacy. Also Whitehead's paradoxical insistence (in view of the fact that he is describing a mode of perception) t h a t presentational immediacy lies wholly in the supplementary stage becomes no longer a puzzle. The "projection" represents an integration of the pure geometrical feelings in the mode of immediacy with the "sensa" which are originally introduced in the mode of efficacy. Such an integration would, of course, have to be supplementary activity. Thus, in the passage above it is stated that the antecedent states of our bodies must be introduced in order to account for the distribution of some particular sensa in contemporary space, but it is also clearly stated that there is direct perception of the perspective factor as a potentiality of the contemporary world in the mode of immediacy. 17 « For other passages which bear out this interpretation, see PR, 193, 489, and 498.

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Presentational immediacy is not required as a genetic doctrine, and as a formal doctrine it clearly exhibits these characteristics of the early point of view: (1) I t discloses the extensive relationships of the world, rather than the prehensive relationships. (2) I t is based upon a geometrical or mathematical concept of space and time, and not upon the general concept of the extensive continuum as exhibited in the process analysis. (3) Experience in the mode of immediacy actually occurs under the conditions of a spatio-temporal perspective. (4) The only f a c t o r of meaning or significance present in presentational immediacy is contributed by the perspective element. Beyond this, presentational immediacy is barren. In this connection, it should be recognized that in the more carefully refined statements in Process and Reality (of which those last referred to are examples), and particularly in P a r t IV, there is a shift from the early spatio-temporal view to a more general "geometrical perspective" view. Although there are many looser passages in which presentational immediacy is referred to in purely spatio-temporal terms, the more refined analysis probably represents the final doctrine. The factor of "position" in the early works refers to a structure of events, and necessarily requires a reference to the actual world. Such a positional f a c t o r would have to be classed with "sensa," and enter into experience initially through causal efficacy. The idea of a general geometrical perspective is rooted by Whitehead in pure extension, and does not require a reference to the actual world as an objective element in experience. This does not alter the argument, however; Whitehead clearly exhibits his early view in (1) his insistence upon the importance and unvarying presence of this f a c t o r in experience, above and beyond experience arising from prehensive relations, and (2) his providing f o r it through a doctrine of perception. If this description of presentational immediacy is correct, it is clear t h a t it cannot be combined with perception in the mode of causal efficacy in any manner which preserves the full process analysis. One mode of perception requires an extensive view

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of the world, and the other requires a prehensive view. I t remains to be shown t h a t in his full analysis of human perception through symbolic reference, Whitehead has retained his formal presentational immediacy doctrine and modified causal efficacy as it would ordinarily be understood in broad terms in order to fit it in. This not only illustrates the extension analysis, but also puts human experience, as analyzed through symbolic reference, under a peculiar limitation which is not present in the broad view. 18 Before discussing this matter f u r t h e r , it will be well to understand in general terms the two ways in which the modes of perception could be integrated. One would involve the subordination of presentational immediacy to causal efficacy, and the other would follow the opposite procedure. In accordance with the first manner of integration, human experience would be looked upon as basically a prehensive unification of the objective content of experience, accomplished in the light of the subjective aim. Among the various factors undergoing a prehensive unification, would be sensa and spatio-temporal relations. These would be exhibited in the feelings of the entities of the actual world being experienced. They might also, p a r ticularly in the case of a human being, be predominantly subjective elements—factors of interpretation or refinement, such as abstract geometrical systems—not directly posited in the actual world. In such a view, spatio-temporal relations and elements would represent only one among many elements in experience. They would not always be present in experience, and they would in no way control it. In addition, in such a view, is It should be noted, in this connection, that in Sym the whole method of approach is that of modifying the original doctrine of experience based on presentational immediacy through the introduction of causal efficacy. Whitehead has begun with the limited view and attempted to broaden it. Causal efficacy was originally introduced to overcome certain defects in Hume's analysis of experience. This, in itself, is one illustration that causal efficacy has been fitted into presentational immediacy, rather than vice versa. In particular, Whitehead has found it necessary to fit causal efficacy into the extensive world of spatio-temporal structure which is derived from presentational immediacy.

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there would be no perception in the mode of presentational immediacy. Presentational immediacy could represent only a supplementary activity in the process of concrescence, involving subjective emphasis upon or refinement of spatio-temporal or geometrical factors. Concrete spatio-temporal relations would be exhibited as an aspect of the experiential togetherness which constitutes a nexus. The primary f a c t o r would be the experiential togetherness, while the spatio-temporal relations would represent a derivative or a b s t r a c t f a c t o r which might or might not be of any importance. Whitehead's process analysis and broad view of experience not only provide for this view of the spatio-temporal f a c t o r in experience, they require it. In terms of the "Categorical Scheme" of chapter ii of Process and Reality, there are only two hypotheses or principles which are understandable in a b s t r a c t terms a p a r t from the actual entity and the concept of life. These nre ( 1 ) the creativity, and (2) eternal objects. T h e creativity covers the extensive continuum in the manner previously explained, but it does not provide f o r specialized spatio-temporal relationships or f o r the possibility of a "spatio-temporal perspective" in any sense prior to or a p a r t f r o m the actual world itself. The same is true of eternal objects. T h e ontological principle refers all spatio-temporal or mathematical elements to the actual entity itself. T h a t every condition to which the process of becoming conforms in any p a r t i c u l a r instance, has its reason either in the character of some actual entity in the actual world of t h a t concrescence, or in the character of the subject which is in process of concrescence. . . . This ontological principle means t h a t actual entities are the only reasons; so t h a t to search f o r a reason is to search f o r one or more actual entities [ P R , 3 6 - 3 7 ] . I t should be remembered t h a t Whitehead consistently treats the spatio-temporal f a c t o r as a "reason." I n the early works it is the basis of all reasons. I t is clear in terms of the onto-

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logical principle that, from the process-analysis point of view, Whitehead must find space and time and all analytical factors related thereto either as an element in the character of an entity in the actual world (or a nexus of actual entities), or as a subjective element in the character of a concrescent entity. H e cannot provide for them through "perception" of the contemp o r a r y world, when it is not actual entities which are being perceived. I t is true t h a t the possibility of pure extensiveness, devoid of any geometric structure, must be postulated before actual entities with their prehensive connections; but this is provided for in the extensive continuum aspect of the creativity. Spatio-temporal or perspective relationships are not involved in this hypothesis and, consequently, are covered by the ontological principle. They represent a condition to which the process of becoming conforms, or an explanation of the process, entirely a p a r t from anything provided for in the creativity. The other approach to the problem of integrating presentational immediacy and causal efficacy, would be to begin with the former, keeping it alive as a separate doctrine, and to fit the latter into it. This would have to be accomplished by importing some of the characteristics of the extension analysis and the narrow view of experience into causal efficacy. I n such a view, the world would have to be looked upon as exhibiting extension analysis characteristics, entirely a p a r t from prehensive relations. This spatio-temporal character of the world would to some extent govern the conditions under which prehensive relationships occur. I t remains to be shown t h a t it is this latter course which Whitehead has followed. The integration of the two modes of perception is provided for, in Whitehead's thought, through elements of " s t r u c t u r e " which "can be shared in common by a percept derived from presentational immediacy and by another derived from causal efficacv rSYM, 4 9 ] . " The two elements are sense-data and locality. The first is not important for the purpose a t hand. The factor of common locality, however, results in the subordination of causal efficacy to the characteristics of presentational

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immediacy. 19 Causal efficacy is also made to occur under a spatio-temporal perspective, and it involves the perception of spatio-temporal relations in themselves. The following passage introduces this matter in Symbolitm: The partial community of structure, whereby the two perceptive modes yield immediate demonstration of a common world, arises from their reference of sense-data, common to both, to localizations, diverse or identical, in a spatiotemporal system common to both. For example, colour is referred to an external space and to the eyes as organs of vision. In so far as we are dealing with one or other of these pure perceptive modes, such reference is direct demonstration ; and, as isolated in conscious analysis, is ultimate fact against which there is no appeal. Such isolation, or at least some approach to it, is fairly easy in the case of presentational immediac}', but is very difficult in the case of causal efficacy. Complete ideal purity of perceptive experience, devoid of any symbolic reference, is in practice unobtainable for either perceptive mode [Sym, 5 3 - 5 4 ] . The wording in this passage, which is repeated many times in Symbolism and Process and Reality, is important. Data perceived in causal efficacy are localized in a "spatio-temporal system common to both modes." This "system" is described as though it were an element in nature "given" for either mode regardless of the other, and regardless of such actual entities as may be present. The system is not derived from causal efficacy by presentational immediacy, although specific location within the system is. I t appears that human perception is being described against the background of an extensive spatio-temporal structure in the early sense, rather than against the background of a prehensive universe in which there is no meaning of togetherness other than experiential togetherness. >»Mack ( T h e Appeal to Immediate Experience, p. 36) has suggested the implications of this factor of common locality in connection with presentational immediacy and causal efficacy.

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This doctrine of Whitehead's would not be so significant, if it were not for the attitude expressed in the last sentence of the above passage. I t is indicated that there is no experience devoid of symbolic reference. This means t h a t there is no experience in which the spatio-temporal factor is not included in causal efficacy. If this were not the case, it would be impossible for the spatio-temporal feelings of presentational immediacy to be integrated with causal efficacy. Causal efficacy must always be limited and controlled by the spatio-temporal perspective under which it is given. I t is this factor which reveals the continuation of the limited view of experience, in this integration of the two modes of perception, as well as the extension analysis. The broad view of experience would not be violated to such a degree if Whitehead's doctrine, in this respect, provided for the spatio-temporal factor to be one among a number of objective elements to be discovered, when relevant, among the feelings of other actual entities, and refined and interpreted in subjective experience. Whitehead's attitude is not this, however. He holds rather that the spatio-temporal factor is "given," and because of the stress which he places on presentational immediacy, he requires that it be "given" and always present in causal efficacy too. This matter is further illustrated on page 56 of Symbolism, and here there is additional evidence of the early view in a stressing of the importance of spatio-temporal relations in regard to meaning. This is a curious thread maintained in the later works, along with more frequent assertions that the element of meaning is more likely to be derived from causal efficacy. On page 55 of Symbolism, there is a reconciliation of the numerous remarks concerning the vagueness of causal efficacy with the requirement that causal efficacy must disclose a precise localization. The whole argument is that this localization is there, even though it is often difficult to apprehend. The extensive continuum concept of the process analysis merely requires, with respect to causal efficacy, that actual entities overlap. If there is to be perception of an object in the

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mode of efficacy, the percipient must be within the "field" of the object. This is clearly not the same idea as is expressed in the references to the "localization" of objects perceived in causal efficacy in a spatio-temporal structure. In terms of this particular analysis of Whitehead's, human experience has a spatio-temporal " s t r u c t u r e " even when considered in genetic terms. This is not true in the broad'view of experience. As previously shown, spatio-temporal factors are not even mentioned in Whitehead's general statement of this view. Human experience, in this later analysis, must always begin under the limitations of a perspective. This one objective feature of the external world invariably forces itself upon a human being. T o this extent, human experience is less " f r e e " than experience in the broad view. I t is built upon a more limited perceptive base. I n the broad view, those factors appropriated into experience are understood only in terms of the requirements of achieving an aesthetic unity. Within the limitations of the " c o n t r a s t , " the concrescent entity is free to prehend negatively any one set of feelings of the actual world. There is no one type of feeling which forces itself upon the percipient. In this instance, as in others, the limited analysis places a greater emphasis upon the objective content of experience than does the broad view. I t could be argued, of course, t h a t human experience could be built upon a limited perceptive base, and still be internally free and self-determining to the degree t h a t should be characteristic of so advanced an organism as a human being. J u s t because human perception invariably involves the f a c t o r of localization, does this mean t h a t the experience which results from perception is more limited than experience in the process analysis? This problem is answered by the consideration that, if we look upon a self-determining human experience as taking place a f t e r a limited perceptual experience, then we still have something which is different from experience in the process analysis. T o the extent t h a t one single element of brute fact in the actual world—such as localization—is a controlling and

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"given" element in the responsive phase, then, either human experience is limited, or, if the freedom is reintroduced in the supplementary phase, experience is not so readily explicable in terms of the simultaneous growth and interaction of perception and the subjective aim. In the latter case the subjectivity element would be overdone, and Whitehead would be approaching the very solipsism or idealism in experience which he is t r y ing to avoid. Underlying this argument is the point of view t h a t it is possible for an advanced being equipped with senses to have significant experience, even objective experience, which is not structured in a spatio-temporal sense. All experience is necessarily temporal, but there are many significant human experiences in which the spatial element, which is emphasized strongly by Whitehead in the limited view, is either irrelevant or absent. Whitehead, himself, agrees to this in numerous passages. These occur in those p a r t s of his works in which he is not conducting a specific analytical discussion but is describing, in general, the implications of an aesthetic point of view toward experience. 20 Surely the dreams and ambitions of a human being, which are inherited in causal efficacy, do not involve a geometrical structure in the inheritance itself. This matter has been presented, so f a r , largely in terms of Symbolism. The same problem appears in Process and Reality, however, in connection with the same necessity of finding a common ground for the two modes of perception. 2 1 A statement on pages 256 to 257 is especially clear. In connection with causal efficacy Whitehead uses the phrase "vaguely exemplifying its participation in the general scheme of extensive interconnection." This is a reference to space and time, and not to the general extensive continuum. If the reference were to the general extensive continuum, the word "scheme" would not 20 See Sym, 76-77, 83-84. 21 For example, PR, 255-259. In a later discussion on p. 262 it is shown that the reason for the perspective element in causal efficacy is that it is required by the doctrine of presentational immediacy, which for genetic reasons must be understood in terms of its growth from causal efficacy.

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have been used. In connection with presentational immediacy, there is the remark—"the animal body of the percipient" is "the region from which the perspectives are focussed." The entire passage is a statement to the effect that this same perspective element is present in causal efficacy. In fact, there is a clear statement that the concrescent entity prehends causal influences in the mode of efficacy, "under the limitation of its own perspective." The word "perspective" evidently refers to a spatio-temporal perspective, and not to Whitehead's other use of this word as the initial selection accomplished by the subjective aim. The following passage, except for the phrase underlined, is just the kind of observation which Whitehead should make about causal efficacy as a doctrine in the general process analysis. The phrase which I have underlined, however, introduces the qualification under discussion. It places human experience under a limitation. The former mode produces percepta which are vague, not to be controlled, heavy with emotion: it produces the sense of derivation from an immediate past, and of passage to an immediate future; a sense of emotional feeling, belonging to oneself in the past, passing into oneself in the present, and passing from oneself in the present towards oneself in the future; a sense of influx of influence from other vaguer presences in the past, localized and yet evading local definition, such influence modifying, enhancing, inhibiting, diverting, the stream of feeling which we are receiving, unifying, enjoying, and transmitting [PR, 271]. In addition to the doctrine of presentational immediacy and ¿ts implications, there are two other ways in which Whitehead reveals the continuance of the limited view of experience in Symbolism and Process and Reality. The first is the extraordinary emphasis placed upon spatio-temporal delineation as explanatory of the superior abilities and attributes of human beings. This attitude is present in both Symbolism and

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Process and Reality. The second is the tendency in Symbolism to continue the attitude of the early works that significance is largely a matter of perception and is understandable almost exclusively in objective terms. This latter attitude is not exhibited in Process and Reality. The determination of spatio-temporal position is a factor concerned with the objective side of experience. In the light of the process analysis, it would appear that in a discussion of human beings, particularly, the principal emphasis should be upon the subjective elements of experience. There should be a maximum possibility of reversion—a maximum of freedom and creative ability. There should also be a maximum of interpretation and evaluation. Instead of this, we find that Whitehead, again and again, accounts for the superior character of the human concrescence in terms of the ability to make a precise determination of spatio-temporal position. He seems to look upon this as the outstanding factor which differentiates human beings from the rest of nature. For example, on page 45 of Symbolism, it is indicated that the freedom of a high-grade organism results from presentational immediacy, and that "detailed spatial discrimination" is the basis of final causation. Again, on pages 78 to 81 of the same work, causal efficacy is made the basis of pure "instinctive" reaction, while the more advanced abilities of higher organisms are understood in terms of presentational immediacy. This discussion appears to express the early view, in which meaning is contributed by the spatio-temporal factor. It contrasts with the more frequent analysis in Symbolism in which causal efficacy is made the basis of meaning. It would appear that causal efficacy rather than presentational immediacy should be of greatest importance to a human being. 22 22 Part of Whitehead's problem here arises from his attempt to account for the remarkable fact of sense perception in terms of the artificial distinction between causal efficacy and presentational immediacy. If he did not restrict sense perception to presentational immediacy, it would have to do with the genuine realities of the environment, and superior perceptive ability could then be more easily integrated with superior experience, and still retain the broad view.

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This same type of emphasis upon presentational immediacy is evident in Process and Reality. Whitehead's tendency to place presentational immediacy in the mental pole and causal efficacy in the physical pole has already been noted. Since causal efficacy is concerned with the realities of the environment— with true prehensive relations—it would appear t h a t the d a t a provided by it should be more important in the mental pole than the d a t a provided by presentational immediacy. But perception is a feeling which has its seat in the two earlier phases of the experiental process, namely, the "responsive phase," and the "supplemental" phase. Perception, in these phases, is the appropriation of the datum by the subject, so as to transform the datum into a unity of subjective feeling. The mode of efficacity belongs to the responsive phase, in which the objectifications are felt according to their relevance in the d a t u m : the mode of immediacy belongs to the supplemental phase in which the faint indirect relevance, in the datum, of relationships to regions of the presented locus are lifted into distinct, prominent, relevance [ P R , 273]. The awkwardness of the analysis in this passage is made especially clear if one remembers t h a t the important and unique f a c t o r s in the experience of a human being—his dreams, ambitions, and purposes—are perceived in the mode of causal efficacy. These are the conditions of the environment—its feeling tones—of greatest importance to such an advanced organism. The supplementary stage should be primarily concerned with these. This whole analysis of perception has led Whitehead to an attitude toward consciousness which is not consistent with the broad view: Consciousness only illuminates the more primitive types of prehension so f a r as these prehensions are still elements in the products of integration. Thus those elements of our experience which stand out v clearly and distinctly in our consciousness are not its basic f a c t s ; they are the derivative

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modifications which arise in the process. F o r example, consciousness only dimly illuminates the prehensions in the mode of causal efficacy, because these prehensions are primitive elements in our experience. B u t prehensions in the mode of presentational immediacy are among those prehensions which we e n j o y with the most vivid consciousness [ P R , 245—246]. These factors of presentational immediacy may be the clearest things which a r e seen, and even perceived in g e n e r a l ; but it is difficult to agree, in the light of the b r o a d view of experience, t h a t they should be the clearest and most distinct f a c t o r s in consciousness. 23 Whitehead himself has pointed out t h a t an a r t i s t must be highly trained in order to live even momentarily on a level of p u r e presentational immediacy. Again, in the Function of Reason, he points to reason as t h a t f a c t o r which helps a human being choose and analyze the alternatives which lie ahead of him. Certainly reasoning is a conscious operation, and any continued process of reasoning is sustained through inheritance in the mode of efficacy. I t would a p p e a r t h a t consciousness should be primarily concerned with those f a c t o r s which are most unique and important to a human being. In this matter, as in others in Whitehead's philosophy, there are statements which represent a curious mixture of both points of view. This is shown, f o r example, in the discussion of f o u r " g r a d e s " of actual occasions on pages 269 and 270 of Process and Reality. The discussion begins with a broad view of experience, a t t r i b u t i n g to higher organisms, above all, an outstand23 I think that Johnson overemphasizes Whitehead's treatment of consciousness in which he describes it in terms of the contrast between an ideal possibility for realization and existing matter-of-fact ("The Psychology of Alfred North Whitehead," Journal of General Ptychology, X X X I I [1945], esp. 192-195). This would relate consciousness to man in the broad view. I think, however, that Whitehead's treatment of consciousness is closely related to his treatment of sense-data, and generally involves the contrast between what something perceived is and what it is not, as a perceptual component in knowledge. This is well illustrated in MT, where consciousness and sense perception are closely related. (See discussion at end of this chapter.) D. Cory agrees that consciousness in Whitehead's thought is largely associated with sense-awareness ("Dr. Whitehead on Perception").

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ing originative ability. Then comes a change of tone, in the main body of the discussion, with all the emphasis put upon the factor of presentational immediacy as the difference between the "grades" of entities. The first three grades (occasions in empty space, enduring non-living objects, and enduring living objects) are analyzed and described altogether in terms of this distinction. 24 Finally, in the description of the fourth stage (organisms possessed of conscious knowledge) there is a complete change-over to the process language. The following is exactly the type of statement which should be made about human beings when analyzed in the broad view. "The fourth grade is to be identified with the canalized importance of free conceptual functionings, whereby blind experience is analyzed by comparison with the imaginative realization of mere potentiality. In this way, experience receives a reorganization in the relative importance of its components by the joint operation of imaginative enjoyment and of judgment [ P R , 270]." In this connection, it is worth noting some of Whitehead's observations with respect to the role of spatio-temporal relations in science. Some of the attitudes of the early works are exhibited without any apparent change resulting from the process analysis and the broad view of experience. Thus ultimately all science depends upon direct observation of homology of status within a system. Also the observed system is the complex of geometrical relations within some presented locus [ P R , 195]. The contemporary actualities of the world are irrevelant to these [scientific] observations. All scientific measurements merely concern the systematic real potentiality out of which these actualities arise. This is the meaning of the doctrine 24 During the course of this discussion, Whitêhead attributes presentational immediacy to non-living organisms. As far as I am aware, there are no other examples of this. Elsewhere presentational immediacy is regarded as identical with sense-perception. The discussion does not make clear how non-living organisms can have contact with their contemporaries.

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that physical science is solely concerned with the mathematical relations of the world [PR, 498]. This "appearance" is always a perception in the mode of presentational immediacy. If such a perception be in any sense "private" in contradistinction to a correlative meaning for the term "public," then the perceptions, on which scientific measurements depend, merely throw light upon the private psychology of the particular observer, and have no "public" import [PR, 502]. There is present in Symbolism, and this particular attitude is not exhibited in Process and Reality, a continued tendency to analyze human experience in purely objective terms, although the character of the analysis is entirely different than that of the early works. We have already noted that in Symbolism "meaning" is attributed to symbolic reference from one perceptive mode to another. In terms of this analysis meaning and significance are referred back to nature as "given." The world of colors, sounds, and spaces, perceived in presentational immediacy, has meaning because of the experience of those colors and sounds in the mode of causal efficacy. Symbolic reference can proceed the other way, but in general, presentational immediacy contributes the symbol, and causal efficacy the meaning. There are no components of experience which are only symbols or only meanings. The more usual symbolic reference is from the less primitive component as symbol to the more primitive as meaning. This statement is the foundation of a thorough-going realism. It does away with any mysterious element in our experience which is merely meant, and thereby beyond the veil of direct perception. I t proclaims the principle that symbolic reference holds between two components in a complex experience, each intrinsically capable of direct recognition. Any lack of such conscious analytical recognition is the fault of

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the defect in mentality on the p a r t of a comparatively lowgrade percipient [Sym, 10]. The sentence which I have emphasized is an exact expression of the attitude of the early works. In this passage, meaning is clearly reduced to perception, and to symbolic reference from one mode of perception to the other. 2 5 I t remains only to consider the view of experience expressed in Adventures of Ideas and Modes of Thought. The former, in general, is overwhelming confirmation and elucidation of the broad view. W e shall find, however, t h a t in the technical sections the limited view is still expressed. Chapter xi of Adventures of Ideas is chiefly concerned with what Whitehead calls the "object-subject structure of experience." This is first of all described in a general way in terms of the process language. 2 6 But when the discussion turns to human beings, one is immediately struck by the sentence: "All knowledge is conscious discrimination of objects experienced [ A I , 2 2 7 ] . " This raises the same questions as those in connection with the early works. I t does not a p p e a r to provide for theories and general concepts, such as the electron, the ether, and the right triangle. I t represents the original tendency to look upon all human experience, as f a r as knowledge is concerned, in terms of objects "given," with the contribution of the observer limited to his selection or discrimination of the objects experienced. A subsequent sentence confirms the existence of this attitude: "And all knowledge is derived from, and verified by, direct intuitive observation [ A I , 2 2 8 ] . " The meaning of both of these statements, particularly the first, is made absolutely clear by a formal definition of the word " o b j e c t . " Two conditions must be fulfilled in order t h a t an entity may function as an object in a process of experiencing: (1) the entity must be antecedent, and (2) the entity must be experienced in virtue of its antecedence; it must be given. Thus an object must be a thing received, and must not be either ?e See also Sym, 8-9.

AI, 226-227,

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a mode of reception or a thing generated [AI, 229].

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I n these terms an object has nothing whatever to do with the subjective aim of the percipient entity, or with any f a c t o r of interpretation or origination. The three statements above, taken together, exclude such factors from "knowledge." In addition, it is apparently clear t h a t Whitehead is not including "eternal objects" in the above, and t h a t consequently he has not even allowed for "reversion" in knowledge. The word " e n t i t y " is used, and this word is not used elsewhere with reference to eternal objects, but only with reference to actual entities. Also, an object as defined above cannot be a mode of reception—it cannot be a subjective form. I n Whitehead's thought, of course, subjective forms are a species of eternal objects. Thus " o b j e c t " as used above appears to include only actual entities. The objective attitude continues to be illustrated on pages 231 and 232, particularly toward the bottom of the latter page. There is shown here the restricted t r e a t ment of consciousness which has already been noted in connection with Process and Reality, and also the tendency to treat meaning in objective terms which appears in Symbolism. In most of Modes of Thought, as in Adventures of Ideas, the language is general, and there are a number of nonsystematic statements in which the broad point of view is applied to human beings. A t the same time, the early analysis is clearly evidenced, principally in the implications of the doctrines of presentational immediacy and causal efficacy. These terms are not used in Modes of Thought, but the concepts are still present, and are most fully described on pages 98 to 100 where "our more direct experience" is grouped in "two large divisions." "One division is formed by the sense of qualitative experience derived from antecedent fact, enjoyed in the personal unity of present fact, and conditioning f u t u r e f a c t . " This is clearly causal efficacy, which is f u r t h e r characterized in f a piiliar terms as "complex, vague, and imperative," as peculiarly

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associated with the body, and as lacking in intimacy or precision in the case of that portion of nature which is external to the body. T h e second division is termed sense-perception and it "has a character very different from the first division of bodily feelings." " I t consists of the discrimination of forms as expressing external natural facts in their relationship to the body." I t is further described as involving " c l a r i t y , distinctness, and indifference," as having only derivative emotional effects, and as exhibiting "forms of quality" and "forms which express both separation and connection." I t is also pointed out that this type of experience is relatively abstract in character, and that the elements perceived in sense-awareness are "devoid of impulse." In Mode» of Thought, however, presentational immediacy appears to be a different doctrine from the one found in Process and Reality and Symbolism. There is nothing which prevents it from being functionally integrated with causal efficacy, and the emphasis upon the spatio-temporal factor is not central. Presentational immediacy is regarded as a "sophisticated derivative from the more primitive bodily experience," but the two are not described as separate modes of perception. They are rather referred to as aspects of direct experience. Further, the insistence that presentational immediacy is exclusively concerned with contemporary entities is not present. Thus a clear basis can be found in causal efficacy for everything contributed by presentational immediacy, and there is not the problem noted in Process and Reality and Symbolism of functionally integrating the two. In addition, in Modes of Thought, space and time are only to be experienced in connection with actual entities. There is no remnant of the idea that they can be experienced through presentational immediacy in and of themselves. Despite this, there is continued in Modes of Thought, although not so clearly as in other works, the failure previously noted to associate the outstanding attributes of a human being with his most significant experience in terms of the broad view. Causal efficacy is still looked upon as deep and

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meaningful, while presentational immediacy and with it consciousness are relegated to a more superficial area. "Also in the course of our lives, we start in the womb, in the cradle, and we gradually acquire the art of correlating our fundamental experience to the clarity of newly-acquired sensa [MT, 1 5 3 ] . " "Consciousness is an ever-shifting process of abstracting quality from a massive process of essential existence. It emphasizes. And yet, if we forget the background, the result is triviality [MT, 1 4 7 ] . " At the same time, there is a new analysis in Modes of Thought in which sense-awareness and consciousness are associated with important experience. This has been accomplished through a further discussion of abstraction, and an association of this with a process of analytical reasoning. The clearest evidence of the general attitude which underlies this change is found, perhaps, in the redefinition of the concept of perspective.27 This redefinition is only partially used in Modes of Thought. There are passages, particularly in Chapter I, which continue to exhibit the attitude of Process and Reality without change. In the new view (which does not represent any fundamental change in attitude), perspective is described in relation to the satisfaction of an entity, rather than in relation to its process of becoming. The perspective of an entity is a final accomplishment—the finished condition of all its relations to the realm of fact and the realm of form. Relation in this usage apparently does not mean spatio-temporal relation ; it means, rather, relation in the process sense. This constitutes an objective definition of an entity's perspective which is consistent with the broad view of experience, and which can be related to an observer's attempt to abstract and to analyze consciously. The importance of an entity can be found in an analysis of its abstract relations with fact and with potentiality, as well as in a direct grasp upon it as significant in itself. Sense-perception and consciousness, in the Modes of 27 See MT, 58-59,91,121.

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analysis, deal with these abstract prehensive relations. 28 There is also present a doctrine of analytical reasoning or "penetration" which provides a means by which important experience can be assembled out of the abstract elements perceived in sense-awareness and held in consciousness. There is never any full discussion of analytical reasoning, but the doctrine is present. But consciousness, which is the supreme vividness of experience, does not rest content with the dumb sense of importance behind the veil. Its next procedure is to seek the essential connections within its own conscious area. This is the process of rationalization. This process is the recognition of essential connection within the apparent isolation of abstracted details. Thus rationalization is the reverse of abstraction, so far as abstraction can be reversed within the area of consciousness. . . . Thus rationalization is the partial fulfillment of the ideal to recover concrete reality within the disjunction of abstraction. This disjunction is the appearance which has been introduced as price of finite conscious discrimination. The concrete reality is the starting-point of the process of individual experience, and it is the goal in the rationalization of consciousness. The prize at the goal is the enhancement of experience by consciousness and rationality [ M T , 1 7 0 171].29 In this passage, we note the qualifications—"so far as abstraction can be reversed within the area of consciousness," and "partial fulfillment of the ideal." Aside from this qualifying phraseology, it is clear that this abstractive understanding of nature would be defective in two respects: ( 1 ) I t would be impossible to know an infinity of relations (particularly those with unrealized eternal objects) and thus attain to a full understanding of importance. ( 2 ) The occasion thus analyzed 28 See MT, 100-101.

2» See also pp. 59-60.

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would be an "entity" (in the early sense) held in thought, and removed from the total sweep of process. 30 Such an abstraction would not detract from the fullness of the understanding of that occasion at that time, but it would detract from the relevance of the occasion to the observer's own process of concrescence. By the time an abstract understanding had been attained, the urgency or immediacy of the situation would have been lost. There is in Modes of Thought, then, a continued failure to connect this manner of knowing the importance of external entities with the significant experience of an observing entity now. This expanded view of the notion of sense-awareness and consciousness still contrasts with the full broad view, based upon causal efficacy, which continues to be exhibited in Modes of Thought. The passages below exhibit the only attitude which can be fully consistent with the broad view as long as sense-perception and consciousness are treated in superficial terms: 3 1 At the base of our existence is the sense of "worth." Now "worth" essentially presupposes that which is "worthy." so In fact, W. G. de Burgh has reached the conclusion that in MT sensa, for all their practical utility, are completely superficial as a revelation of reality ("Professor Whitehead's Modes of Thought," Philosophy, X I V [1939], 210). Percy Hughes has pointed out that there appears to be more concerned in sense-perception than Whitehead includes in presentational immediacy, or even in sense-perception as treated in MT ( P a r t II, chap, vi, Schilpp volume). A. H. Johnson ("The Psychology of Alfred North Whitehead") has argued against Hughes on this matter, but I think he has missed Hughes's point. H e says: "Thus, in summary it may be noted that Whitehead's basic'objection to undue emphasis on ordinary sense perception is that it is a shallow and partial perception of the real facts of experience. It overlooks many basic elements which are not easily apprehended with clarity. It breaks up experience into separate and distinct units, disregarding the facts of essential interconnectedness (p. 188)." This is exactly Whitehead's point of view, but I doubt that one would take this position if he had not started where Whitehead did. There is no inevitable reason for characterizing sense-perception in this fashion. (See Hughes characterization, p. 293 and p. 297) D. Cory ("Dr. Whitehead on Perception," p. 40) has asked, in connection with Whitehead's thought, why is vision so sophisticated? This I interpret as a reference to the restricted character of presentational immediacy.

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Here the notion of worth is not to be construed in a purely eulogistic sense. I t is the sense of existence for its own sake, of existence which is its own justification, of existence with its own character. The discrimination of detail is definitely a secondary process, which may or may not assume importance [ M T , 149]. 3 2 There is in Modes of Thought a striking use of such words as "self-evidence" and "disclosure" when referring to the acquisition of certain important types of knowledge. " I t follows t h a t philosophy, in any proper sense of the term, cannot be proved. F o r proof is based upon abstraction. Philosophy is either selfevident, or it is not philosophy. The attempt of any philosophic discourse should be to produce self-evidence. . . . The aim of philosophy is sheer disclosure [ M T , 6 7 ] . " " I n fact, selfevidence is understanding [ M T , 6 6 ] . " Since there is an equally frequent use of such words as "penetration" in Modes of Thought, we cannot take this phraseology to mean complete dismissal of theorizing and intellectual manipulation. At the same time, there is exhibited here a marked short-circuiting of such factors, and, as previously noted, there is no full discussion of them in Modes of Thought. In addition, there is shown a remnant of the "givenness" attitude noted in Symbolism. Whitehead must mean, in some sense, t h a t significance is disclosed or given, presumably in causal efficacy. This problem is f u r t h e r discussed in Chapter V in connection with the concept of "God." I t is perhaps significant t h a t when such factors as consciousness and abstraction are discussed in Modes of Thought, in connection with "expression," a somewhat different treatment results. "Consciousness is the first example of the selectiveness of enjoyment in the higher animals. I t arises from expression coordinating the activities of physiological functionings [ M T , 4 0 ] . " 3 3 This passage well illustrates an important aspect of Whitehead's problem in the later works. He 32 See also MT, 162-163.

sa See also MT, 105-106.

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started with an objective analysis of experience in relation to knowledge and associated sense-perception, consciousness, and reasoning with this objective aspect of experience. Experience has two sides, however—the receptive and the expressive. In the later works, the emphasis is upon the latter, and the doctrine of experience becomes more subjective in character. The difficulty is that consciousness, sense-awareness, and reasoning have never been fully disassociated from the early analysis. This would appear to be a principal reason for the fact that they have never been fully integrated with expression—which involves aim, purpose, and realization—and with the broad view of experience. When Whitehead is exclusively interested in discussing expression in general terms, apart from his early analysis and his later systematic discussion of human experience, he appears to accomplish the integration more easily.

V

Some Concluding Interpretations If the analysis so f a r has been correct, Whitehead's works exhibit two views of experience which are significantly different and which cannot co-exist without some modification of one or the other. In one case human experience is analyzed in terms of its objective content ; in the other there is equal if n o t greater emphasis on the subjective aspects of experience. I n the first view every element of n a t u r a l knowledge is "given" in a perceptual fashion ; in the second there is a full admission of theorizing, interpretation and the use of analytical tools—there is no given perceptual character of the world which dominates and controls experience. In the narrow analysis the most i m p o r t a n t objective elements in experience are the spatiotemporal relations exhibited in the environment. In the broad view the significant f a c t o r s to apprehend are the emotional tones — t h e subjective realities of the environment. There are two references in the early analysis to elements of subjective p a t t e r n , but these do not significantly qualify the statements which have j u s t been made. In the first place, Whitehead requires "diversification" as an element in experience. If this idea were developed, it would inevitably lead to a full discussion of the organic subjective p a t t e r n of the experient entity, with diversification regarded as one of the purposive and interpretative elements in experience. In his early works, however, Whitehead does not c a r r y out this analysis. H e retains throughout his insistence t h a t , so f a r as knowledge is concerned, experience can be understood in objective terms ; and he does not look upon diversification as a violation of this principle. I n the second place, it is indirectly recognized in the early works that

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objective experience has meaning only in terms of an interpretative conceptual framework to be found in the experient entity. This conceptual framework, of course, is supplied by the spatiotemporal element, which contributes the factor of meaning to experience. This element could not be the basis of a full organic pattern, however, even if understood in subjective terms. In addition, in the narrow view, Whitehead tends to think of this element as "given." This means that it is ultimately objective in character. The basic difference between the early and later views of nature is closely related to the difference between the two views of experience. In one case nature is analyzed ultimately as organic patterns—units of experience—in terms of which the universals of the world are explained and acquire meaning. In the other, universals can be explained through the mathematical or spatio-temporal relations which are found to exist between them.1 The subjective element involved in organic patterns is not i W. M. Urban has asked Whitehead to choose between an analysis of nature in terms of experience and in terms of mathematics. H e feels that Whitehead has finally chosen the latter (Schilpp, p. 324). Bertram Morris has raised the question whether Whitehead has solved the problem of analysis vs. synthesis. He also describes this contrast as the mathematical vs. the aesthetic method, or art vs. science (Schilpp, pp. 485-486). Schilpp seems to agree with Urban that Whitehead has ended up with a mathematical point of view. He feels that mathematics and the good cannot be gotten "out of the same pail" (Schilpp, p. 613). John Dewey, in a 1936 symposium (Philosophical Review, X L V I [1937], 175), requested Whitehead to choose between the "genetic-functional" approach and the "intuitional-structural" approach. He repeated the request in P a r t II, chap, xviii of the Schilpp volume. Whitehead, in his reply, indicated that his problem is the fusion of the two {ibid., p. 179). It seems to me, however, that either the functional view or the structural view must be made ultimate—they cannot co-exist on equal terms. I think that Dewey's request applies with undeniable force to such concepts as eternal objects and the extensive continuum, which Whitehead tends to give an existential status. This will be discussed later. I have not attempted to discuss here the problem posed by the other p a r t of Dewey's contrast—the genetic vs. the intuitional. I t seems to me that this represents an irreconcilable difference between the points of view of the two men. Dewey has further amplified it in his article "The Objectivism-Subjectivism of Modern Philosophy" (Journal of Philosophy, X X X V I I I [1941], 533). He remarks (p. 537) : "From the standpoint of this postulate, the problem is to discover in terms of an experienced state of affairs the connection that

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present a t all in the early works. In the later works, the full particularity of an actual entity must be referred to in understanding, and there is no full knowledge of nature a p a r t from this. This is why Whitehead, having first identified sense-perception and consciousness with abstraction, must turn in his process analysis to some form of non-sensuous, often unconscious, way of knowing. Mathematical relations are clearly subordinate to "life" in the full broad view. I t is doubtful t h a t we can wholly dismiss the difference between these two sets of views simply by saying t h a t in the early works Whitehead was dealing with one type of problem and in the later works with another. I t is generally recognized that Process and Reality is the basic and most important work. If he had developed his philosophy of science a f t e r this work, rather than before it, important changes would have been made necessary in the early view. With respect to the theory of experience, he could not have maintained his early ideal t h a t nature is closed to mind in the formulation of human knowledge. The interpretative, manipulative, and conceptual elements, which must be recognized in a human being analyzed subjectively, would have to be admitted even in the framing of a n a t u r a l science. In the light of the later view, controversies in science cannot be referred back to what is directly given in objective experience. The importance of the subjective intellectual patterns of the observer have to be recognized. Some element of interpretation or concept formulation, involving more than diversification, must be thought of as present in any scientific statement about nature. The later view recognizes t h a t there are many sources of error in perception which lie below consciousness. Sense-awareness is not completely neutral in the formulation of n a t u r a l knowledge. There are exists between physical subject-matter and the common-sense objects of every day experience." Rigorous application of this postulate would eliminate much of Whitehead's functional hypothesis of life. A considerable literature has appeared in recent years discussing this problem which has been raised anew by Whitehead's metaphysics. Except as it applies to such concepts as the extensive continuum, I have not considered this matter relevant to my study.

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many important distinctions and differences in the ways in which an " e n t i t y " (in the early sense), which is held in thought, is "there" in nature. 2 With respect to the view of nature, if the early works had been written a f t e r Process and Reality rather than before, the analysis would necessarily have started with experiential organic unities. All reasons or explanations would have to be referred ultimately to these. N a t u r e would exhibit first of all an atomistic quality, and Whitehead would have to be very careful to define the limitations pertaining to any spatio-temporal or mathematical statement about nature which did not refer to these atoms. Experiential togetherness would be ultimate, and spatio-temporal togetherness would have a limited derived meaning. We must remember the ideal of Process and Reality. " T h e metaphysical first principles can never fail of exemplification. We can never catch the actual world taking a holiday from their sway [ P R , 7 ] . " In the light of this, the concept of organic unity should be import a n t to the physicist, and we should not expect him to make his explanations altogether in terms of the objects and events of the early philosophy of science. One effect of the shift in Whitehead's point of view has been the introduction of certain aberrations into the later works resulting from the continuance of the early position. This has been discussed so f a r in terms of his doctrine of human experience as such, and it has been pointed out t h a t if we recognize the shift, we can more readily understand some of the analytical statements made about human beings in the later works. There are other specialized concepts of the later works which also become easier to understand if we interpret them in the light of Whitehead's two points of view, assuming t h a t the later view represents his final position. I t will he the purpose of the remainder of this chapter to illustrate this with respect to (1) the extensive continuum, (2) presentational immediacy (this will represent the conclusion of the discussion in Chapter I V ) , ( 3 ) eternal ob2 For example, one may perceive a conceptual feeling in another entity which is not yet there in nature in the sense of full realization.

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jects, and (4) God. While these concepts differ markedly, the problems which they pose are all closely related. The problem associated with the extensive continuum has to do with the real meaning which Whitehead attributes to this concept, and with the distinction between it and the creativity. The assumption was made in Chapter I, and has been continued throughout this book, that the idea of pure formless extensiveness is included in the creativity, and that this is the same as the extensive continuum. This assumption was based on the first discussion of the creativity in Part I, chapter ii, of Process and Reality, on other passages in Process and Reality, and on Adventures of Ideas. Whitehead must include in his Category of the Ultimate the possibility that actual entities can overlap, and the possibility that, once a pattern has been marked out by the factor of life, it can be differentiated extensively from other organic patterns. This factor in nature is simply there, and no reason for it can be found. It is ultimate, in that it is part of the irreducible element of the world which remains after all possible abstraction has been made. 3 Life, for example, can be abstracted, 3 In SMW (p. 257), God is referred to as the ultimate irrationality. Many have overemphasized this chapter in SMW in their discussion of Whitehead's God. (For example, A. H. Johnson's article "Whitehead's Theory of Actual Entities: Defense and Criticism," previously cited. See especially his discussion on p. 270.) It seems to me, however, that in P R the creativity is ultimate. It is logically prior to every other element in the system. This does not mean that anything else in the system can be derived from it, but rather that all other elements presuppose the creativity, whereas it presupposes nothing. Also it is irrational in the sense that it is the ultimate character of brute f a c t ; there is no explanation for it. As Lowe has remarked (Schilpp, p. 98) the conception of God is somewhat stronger in SMW than in P R . This matter is further discussed at the end of this chapter in connection with God. The creativity is in no sense an ultimate substratum in Whitehead's thought, which has any prior or separate existence. I think that D. Bidney has leaned too much in this direction in his discussion of the creativity ("The Problem of Substance in Spinoza and Whitehead," Philosophical Review, X L V [1936], 574). This type of interpretation also overemphasizes the discussion in SMW. Whitehead's comparison of his own thought with Spinoza's is confusing, when interpreted in the light of P R . A. H. Johnson has properly corrected Bidney on this matter, and has properly interpreted the creativity ("A Criticism of D. Bidney's 'Spinoza and Whitehead,'" Philosophical Review, X L V I I , [1938], 410).

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and there is still the creativity, but if the creativity is first abstracted, life has no meaning. The clearest justification for this point of view is found in Adventures of Ideas, where it is exhibited in Whitehead's discussion of what he understands Plato's "Receptacle" to be. This community of the world, which is the matrix for all begetting, and whose essence is process with retention of connectedness,—this community is what Plato terms The Receptacle. . . . I t is thus certainly not the ordinary geometrical space with its mathematical relations. . . . The Receptacle imposes a common relationship on all that happens, but does not impose what that relationship shall be. . . . Plato's Receptacle may be conceived as the necessary community within which the course of history is set, in abstraction from all the particular historical facts [AI, 192]. I t is p a r t of the essential nature of each physical actuality that it is itself an element qualifying the Receptacle, and that the qualifications of the Receptacle enter into its own nature. In itself, with the various actualities abstracted from it, the Receptacle participates in no forms, according to Plato. . . . The Receptacle, as discussed in the Timaeus is the way in which Plato conceived the many actualities of the physical world as components in each other's natures. . . . I t is Plato's doctrine of the medium of intercommunication [AI, 171-172]. These statements contrast with certain passages and attitudes dealing with the extensive continuum when it is discussed separately from the creativity in Process and Reality. Whitehead frequently defines the extensive continuum in mathematical terms, and appears in many places to consider it as something entirely a p a r t from the creativity. This tendency has already been noted in connection with presentational immediacy. The following passages bring it out with unusual clarity with respect to the problem now at issue:

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I n this case, the objectified contemporaries are only directly relevant to the subject in their character of arising from a datum which is an extensive continuum. . . . They thus exhibit the community of contemporary actualities as a common world with mathematical relations—where the term "mathematical" is used in the sense in which it would have been understood by Plato, Euclid, and Descartes, before the modern discovery of the true definition of pure mathematics. The bare mathematical potentialities of the extensive continuum require an additional content in order to assume the role of real objects f o r the subject. This content is supplied by the eternal objects, termed sense-data [ P R , 9 7 ] . This extensive continuum is "real," because it expresses a f a c t derived from the actual world and concerning the contemporary actual world. All actual entities are related according to the determinations of this continuum; and all possible actual entities in the f u t u r e must exemplify these determinations in their relations with the already actual world [ P R , 103]. In these passages it will be noted t h a t the extensive continuum pervades the entire universe in a uniform fashion like the creativity, but unlike the creativity it possesses certain mathematical properties which must be referred to in any explanation of the actual world. I t is apparently Whitehead's general doctrine t h a t the creativity cannot possess determinate mathematical properties because it is always and everywhere. 4 A p a r t from his confusing references to the extensive continuum, he holds that nothing more specific and determinate than the creativity can possess pervasiveness—even the three dimensions of space are subject to change as actual entities change. There are, of course, * There is a passage in Part IV of PR (p. 441) in which the extensive continuum is discussed in terms of the conditions which it lays on the world; in general terms, like the creativity, with no conditions present; and finally in terms of certain formal properties which it possesses. The general conclusion of the discussion, however, is that the extensive continuum probably does not possess any formal properties which are such as to limit the world.

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passages in which specific mathematical characteristics are read out of the extensive continuum,5 but there are many in which they are clearly present. This is one of the most confusing aspects of the doctrine. The problem here can be summarized as a tendency on the part of Whitehead to refer to certain geometrical characteristics of the world, which are discussed apart from actual entities, and which are considered in some measure to control the becoming of actual entities. There is a kind of "twilight zone" occupied by certain phases of the extensive continuum concept which lies between the creativity hypothesis and the ontological principle. Actually, there should be nothing between these two. Together they cover the entire universe.6 In accordance with * For example, PR, 103, at top of page. s McGilvary has shown himself puzzled by this problem when he asks: "Where among the categories of existence does the extensive continuum find a place?" (Schilpp, p. 239, emphasis mine). Das's discussion {The Philosophy of Whitehead, chap, vi) is an excellent example of treating the extensive continuum both ways, without recognizing the distinction. The same applies to Hooper ("Whitehead's Philosophy: Space, Time and Things," Philosophy, X V I I I [1943], 204). Miller appears to look upon the extensive continuum, even in the early works, as constituting a universe-wide organic unity, and feels that, in view of this early concept, Whitehead cannot break the world up into atoms in his later works. He appears to make the extensive continuum much more real than Whitehead ever intends ("Whitehead's Extensive Continuum," Philosophy of Science, X I I I [1946], 144). Blyth has recognized that there are two concepts in Whitehead, the "extensive continuum" and the E X T E N S I V E CONTINUUM. He finds the latter, particularly, to be inconsistent with Whitehead's first principles, one of his points being that it violates the subjectivist principle. Blyth apparently ascribes more properties even to the "extensive continuum" than it actually should exhibit (Whitehead's Theory of Knowledge, chap. v ) . Gross, in his review of Blyth's book ( Journal of Philosophy, X X X I X [1942], 420), has said that the extensive continuum refers to that which is both extensive and a continuum, and never "just a set of formal conditions." This is a clear and understandable characterization of the extensive continuum, and appears to indicate that he accepts the process-broad view of the continuum and feels that there is no other concept in Whitehead. In his review of the Schilpp volume, however (Journal of Philosophy, X L [1943], 277), in connection with Northrop's remark that Whitehead finds more knowledge in senseawareness than it exhibits, he seems to be referring to Whitehead's other treatment of the extensive continuum when he says: "This can hardly be considered a valid criticism of Whitehead's later works, in which we find the

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the broad view of experience and the process analysis this twilight area should be absorbed either in the subjective p a t t e r n of interpretation of a human being, or in the nexus of actual entities in the world. This would preserve the ontological principle, referring all reasons or explanations to actual entities, and would not disturb the general concept of the creativity. Many of the mathematical characteristics of time and space should be regarded as conceptual notions perfected as theoretical tools by human beings. Such notions are not straight abstractions in the early fact-factor-entity sense. I t is these, particularly, which Whitehead tends to give an existential status in the physical world in his extensive continuum concept, thus exhibiting the early tendency already noted with respect to such concepts as perfect right angles and the ether. These phases of the extensive continuum should have an existential status only in the mental pole of a human being. If Whitehead in his later works would make his process-broad view consistently the basic one, there would not be this confusing element in his later thought. 7 In terms of this view, the extensive continuum has a clear meaning. In Chapter IV it was pointed out t h a t the broad view of experience does not require a separate doctrine of presentational immediacy. There is no functional basis for a differentiation between the two modes of perception; and any elements, contributed to human experience by presentational immediacy which could not be contributed by causal efficacy are altogether a requirement of the extension analysis and the limited view of experience. I t has not yet been explicitly pointed out t h a t this division of perception extremely difficult concept of the extensive continuum, concerning which Prof. McGilvary so understandably requests further enlightenment." These two remarks seem to refer to the two different aspects of Whitehead's treatment of the continuum. 7 It is worth noting that in SMW (p. 232), Whitehead attributes what he there calls the "spatio-temporal continuum" to God. It is among the "general limitations at the base of actual things, as distinct from the limitations peculiar to each actual occasion." Here the continuum clearly has an existential status in the universe, and it is a reason or explanation for certain characteristics of the world, which is logically prior to actual entities. This treatment is not the principal one in PR, as is shown by the shift to the phrase "extensive continuum."

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into two modes results in an awkward and difficult to understand handling of "sense-perception." The difficulties arise from the f a c t t h a t presentational immediacy apparently covers all cases of sense-perception. There is evidently no sense-perception in the mode of causal efficacy. This matter is not completely clear in Whitehead's thought, but it is sufficiently clear, in the writer's interpretation, to w a r r a n t the above conclusion. One of the most emphatic statements t h a t all sense-perception is included in presentational immediacy is the following: "Presentational immediacy is our perception of the contemporary world by means of the senses [ P R , 4 7 4 ] . " Other statements usually contain possible qualifications, like the one below, but the tendency is there: " B y 'presentational immediacy' I mean what is usually termed 'sense-perception.' But I am using the former term under limitations and exclusions which are foreign to the common use of the latter term [Sym, 2 1 ] . " The best evidence is the apparent synonymous use of "senseperception" and "presentational immediacy" which occurs in a number of passages in Process and Reality and Symbolism,8 and is verified by the tone of the discussion in Modes of Thought. If presentational immediacy includes all instances of senseperception and there are none in causal efficacy, the inevitable result, in the broad view, is t h a t the most important and useful perceptive a p p a r a t u s of a human being is irrelevant to his most important and useful objective experience. In Process and Reality, along with the emphasis upon space and time in science, there is a parallel, and inconsistent, emphasis upon the attitude t h a t what science ultimately wants to know is the "real c h a r a c t e r " of the world as disclosed in the mode of causal efficacy. Science is a t an unusual disadvantage if the use of sense-perception is denied in the discovery of these real characters. Another illustration t h a t this doctrine is not well founded is Whitehead's difficulty in discovering an example of perception in the mode of causal efficacy. There is clearly the possibility of experiencing one's own p a s t self in the mode of efficacy in a nons For example, Sym, 4-5 and PR, 193.

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sensory manner (although many of Whitehead's examples of this would involve some use of the sense of touch), but it is difficult to imagine experience of the external world which does not involve the senses. Whitehead's most frequently used illustration is that of the vague influences which haunt one in the woods on a dark night. Even an awareness of these influences, however, would appear to be a result of sensory stimulus, or else lack of such stimuli. Analyzed as a non-sensuous mode of perception, the doctrine of causal efficacy is necessarily somewhat obscure. Finally, the requirement in Process and Reality and Symbolism, t h a t presentational immediacy invariably involves the precise delineation of spatio-temporal relations, results in the construction of this concept largely on the basis of "seeing." This cannot be successfully accomplished if presentational immediacy is to include all cases of sense-perception. I t would be difficult to show, for example, t h a t all instances of hearing and smelling are accompanied by a precise disclosure of the spatiotemporal seat of the entity which is perceived. In the case of smelling, any such perspective is negligible. There are also numerous feelings, such as perceptions of temperature through touch, in which the spatio-temporal f a c t o r is completely irrelevant. Another consideration is t h a t taste perceptions, and many touch perceptions, involve full formal causal relationships between the perceiver and the perceived, and not the "indirect" type of relationships which are associated with a contemporary entity. I t is true t h a t taste sensations choose one universal quality of the efficacious entity which is being perceived and do not apprehend the full reality of its subjective p a t t e r n ; but, as has been shown, there is no reason why the apprehension of universals cannot be provided for through causal efficacy. The inclusion of all sense-perception in presentational immediacy is probably the result of Whitehead's initial position. Originally, he allowed onlv for perception in the mode of immediacy, and this naturally included all cases of sense-perception. This attitude was simply continued in the doctrine of presenta-

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tional immediacy of the later works. If the early point of view had been fully integrated with the later doctrine, this further awkward element in the analysis would have been removed.9 The chief problem associated with Whitehead's eternal object concept is caused by the doctrine of "negative prehensions" and by the related idea that there is a kind of "realm" of eternal objects. 10 In Whitehead's thought, each actual entity takes account of the entire "realm" of eternal objects—of every possible "pure" potentiality which it could realize. Since only a very limited selection of these can actually be admitted into feeling, the volume of negative conceptual prehensions is necessarily enormous. This is an unusually cumbersome idea and difficult to understand. It is 9 Prof. Murphy has commented upon the problem resulting from the distinction between presentational immediacy and causal efficacy. "The reference to external space having already been preempted by the mode of presentational immediacy, there is really nothing very definite for this unique causal efficacy to reveal" (review of Symbolism in the Journal of Philosophy, X X V I [1929], 498). Murphy has also commented pointedly, using apt quotations, on the importance of the "dim recesses behind consciousness [MT, 170]" as the source of profound knowledge (Schilpp volume, pp. 359-360, 370-372). His discussion is largely concerned with Whitehead's metaphysical method, however. It seems to me that this more general discussion of Whitehead's method would be clarified if the problems in his doctrine of perception, which are carried over from the early works and not necessarily a legitimate p a r t of the broad view, were handled separately and not confused with the general issue as to the nature of metaphysical inquiry. if E. W. Hall has objected to Whitehead's giving eternal objects an existential status in a realm ("Of What Use are Whitehead's Eternal Objects," Journal of Philosophy, X X V I I [1930], 29). I am not sure I agree with him, however, in his feeling that this aspect of eternal objects is denied by the ontological principle. Eternal objects, even in a "realm," do not constitute a reason, and they are not real in the sense that actual entities are. I think Hooper has overemphasized the "relational essences" of eternal objects (basing his remarks upon material in SMW). It is this which results in his saying that the realm of eternal objects is an ordered system, and that no one eternal object can be abstracted from it. In making this observation he apparently does not have "God" in mind. In so far as there is order among the eternal objects, it should be attributed entirely to God. Hooper also says that eternal objects have a "yearning" or "appetition" to inhabit the real world. This is also incorrect. In other words, Hooper seems to overdo Whitehead's existential treatment of the realm of eternal objects ("Whitehead's Philosophy: Eternal Objects and God," Philosophy, X V I I [1942], 54).

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not greatly clarified by Whitehead's insistence that an organism is to be understood not only in terms of what it is, but also in terms of what it might have been but is not. There are two ways in which this treatment of the eternal obj e c t concept is related to the early view. The first has to do with the role initially played by diversification. In the early view, the content of experience is given, subject only to the requirement that the experient entity diversify. The content of experience is altogether "selected" from the actual world. In the broad view of experience the idea of reversion is introduced to account for elements in experience nqt to be found in the actual world. Since there is a realm of eternal objects, however, all of which must be prehended by an actual entity, this principle of reversion remains one which can be understood in terms of "selection." It is not unlikely that Whitehead's early position influenced him in this respect. In the broad view, thus treated, an actual entity creates its own experience, but it still does not create the "content" of its experience. The content of experience is wholly selected, either from the actual world or from the realm of eternal objects. I t is only the "manner" of feeling the objects experienced which is created, and the organic pattern which results from this. In addition, one finds in the realm of eternal objects idea Whitehead's tendency, previously discussed in connection with the extensive continuum and in Chapter II, to give elements in human thought a kind of quasi-existential status in the world. This is a second possible explanation for his realm of eternal objects. 1 1 The existential status of eternal objects, apart from actual entities, is even more clear than in the case of the extensive continuum. There does not appear to be any necessity in White11 Miller and Gentry ( T h e Philosophy of A. N. Whitehead) have pointed to Whitehead's early view as a possible basis for his later treatment of eternal objects. They hold that since his early view is neo-realistic in pattern, he must regard the data of conceptual experience as subsistent entities. Their view differs from that presented here, however, in that they attribute a large part of the problem to the shortcomings which they find to exist in Whitehead's theory of physical relatedness. They feel that recurrence or repetition constitutes the sole form of connection between actual entities. It does not seem to me that this is true of Whitehead's broad view of experience.

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head's thought f o r eternal objects to have an existential status, and a realm of eternal objects does not fit in well with his other hypotheses. Such a realm, like the extensive continuum, more plausibly could be given a status in the subjective experience of human beings. I n this respect, the realm of eternal objects is comparable to the concept of "infinity." Infinity appears in human experience as purely conceptual notion. There is no objective experience of infinity. Similarly, there is no experience in any entity by entity sense of the entire realm of eternal objects. Such an experience would be exactly comparable to an element by element experience of infinity. 12 There does not a p p e a r to be anything in Whitehead's later thought, aside from the possible continuing influence of his early position, which requires him to disallow the possibility of the creation of a new eternal object during the course of the world process. He does deny this possibility, but it is difficult to see t h a t this case is significantly different from the creation of a "manner" of experience or an "organic p a t t e r n . " The organic p a t t e r n is wholly new in the world. Even when it is a pure repetition of a previous pattern, it bears the stamp of free decision. Certainly it is more likely t h a t new eternal objects are created than it is that all experience is in some sense infinite. A doctrine t h a t new eternal objects are created from time to time could be incorporated in Whitehead's thought without necessitating a wholesale revision of his system. I t would only be necessary to provide a set of principles in terms of which this creation could be understood. Such principles are already present in the general broad view of experience as set f o r t h in the categoreal obligations and in the idea of aesthetic unity. Both of these would establish an understandable relationship between new 12 Ushenko, in the 1936 Ushenko-Dewey-Whitehead symposium, suggested real difficulties in the doctrine of negative prehensions. H e pointed out that it is hard to understand how eternal objects negatively prehended can be thought of as "given" in the first place ("Negative Prehension," Journal of Philosophy, X X X I V [1937], 266). Whitehead, in his reply, said: "But I fully agree with Dr. Ushenko that this doctrine requires examination, and probably should be recast. However, I adhere to the position that it is an approximation to an important truth" (Philosophical Review, X L V I [1937], 186).

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eternal objects and the actual world as felt in physical experience. Presumably no eternal object is ever conceived which does not have some basis in physical experience. One cosmic epoch may exhibit eternal objects not understandable in terms of a previous one, but there is still an understandable process of transition, exhibited during each cosmic epoch, in which all eternal objects realized do have some understandable relation to those t h a t have gone before. 1 3 Finally, it is relevant to discuss the concept of "God" in the light of a thoroughgoing application of the broad view of experience. One problem is t h a t there appear to be two descriptions of God in Whitehead's thought, one of which is not understandable in terms of the broad view of experience. The consistent view is expressed in connection with the general process analysis, and the other is to be found most systematically described in P a r t V, chapter ii, of Process and Reality. In addition, there is the problem, in this case too, of the existential status, if any, which is enjoyed by God a p a r t from actual entities. In P a r t V of Process and Reality, Whitehead undertakes an extended discussion of the whole topic of "God's experience." I t becomes apparent, during the course of this discussion, that God's experience is " s t a t i c , " except for one dynamic element 13 Victor Lowe, while not indicating what alternative he has in mind, has twice expressed dissatisfaction with Whitehead's treatment of eternal objects. In outlining his ideal of metaphysical inquiry he has said: "My idea of empirical metaphysics is closest to Whitehead's, but—as I should like to see the idea developed—not identical with his, because more naturalistic, less Platonic" ("Empirical Method in Metaphysics," Journal of Philosophy, X L I V [1947], 233). This could be a reference to eternal objects, to God, or to both. Earlier he remarked: "I am one of those who finds the value of Whitehead's philosophy to reside elsewhere than in the eternal objects. Of course they are indispensable to his system as it stands; but a radical reformation seems to be not impossible" ("William James and Whitehead's Doctrine of Prehensions," Journal of Philosophy, X X X V I I I [1941], 115, n. 12). Hartshorne feels that there is no reason for eternal objects to be absolutely eternal. If I understand his position, he has made much the same proposal that I am making here: "To use the current term, essences may perfectly well emerge in the universe, not merely in the world of actuality but in the total universe of actuality and possibility" ("On Some Criticisms of Whitehead's Philosophy," Philosophical Review, X L I V [1935], 334-335).

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which is somewhat arbitrarily introduced. No process of becoming is exhibited. Consequently, the analysis is not understandable in terms of the broad view of experience, in which the process of becoming is the central idea. The completion of God's nature into a fulness of physical feeling is derived from the objectification of the world in God. He shares with every new creation its actual world; and the concrescent creature is objectified in God as a novel element in God's objectification of that actual world. This prehension into God of each creature is directed with the subjective aim, and clothed with the subjective form, wholly derivative from his all-inclusive primordial valuation. God's conceptual nature is unchanged, by reason of its final completeness [ P R , 523]. 1 4 God's conceptual phase (his "primordial nature") represents a prehension of the entire realm of eternal objects according to a certain "manner" of feeling. I t is this manner of feeling which constitutes him a "principle of concretion." By virtue of this he establishes certain laws of nature and provides t h a t the course of the world will be this rather than that. Presumably there could be alternative courses of nature resulting from a different manner of feeling of the eternal objects by God. The discussion of God's "consequent nature," illustrated in the above passage, makes it clear that his primordial nature is both infinite and unchanging. His consequent nature (his responsive phase) has no effect whatever upon his primordial character. He does not "grow" with the world, or respond to it. As Whitehead puts it, God's consequent nature has merely the effect of a "tenderness which loses nothing that can be saved." He is the "fellow-sufferer who understands." If the primordial nature ever does change, this occurs in terms of principles which are known only to God, since they are not explicable through the responsive phase or through the general broad view of experience. God's consequent nature has no significant similarities to the general analysis of 14 See also PR, 522.

126

Some Concluding

Interpretations

the physical pole of an actual entity. I t represents a more or less a r b i t r a r y characteristic of God developed by Whitehead in order to complete the description of him as an actual entity. This is not to say t h a t a r b i t r a r y principles are illegitimate in the case of God, or even t h a t God must be understandable to human beings. A t the same time, we must remember Whitehead's ideal t h a t there be no disconnection between his first principles. H e does not wish to divide nature into entities which are wholly different in kind, and God is not supposed to be an exception to his general metaphysical principles. Rather, he is intended to represent the primordial exemplification of these principles. Other problems arise from the relationship between God's primordial nature and the finite experience of an actual entity. I t is the prehension of God which sets the initial subjective aim of every actual entity and which accounts for the eternal objects which are reverted. These two are closely related since the possibility of reversion must be allowed for in the initial subjective aim. I t is difficult to understand the real relation between the finite experience of an actual entity and the infinite primordial experience of God. How the prehension of an infinite, unchanging valuation can always lead each actual entity to know what is best f o r it in its particular situation is not clear. In any case, it is hard to understand why the continued prehension of this ultimate vision would not have the effect of leading the world on to the final attainment of perfection. In the process analysis, however, it is emphatically denied by Whitehead t h a t there is a final cosmic epoch which represents the perfection of the world process. Finally, if God's primordial nature is unchanging and represents a principle of concretion applied to the entire realm of eternal objects, it would appear t h a t this idea should be as ultimate as the creativity itself. If it does have this ultimacy, either it should be made a p a r t of the creativity hypothesis, or there should be two co-equal first principles. 15 If God and the creativity is Ernest Nagel has pointed out that some treatments of God in Whitehead's thought take away the individuality and self-determination of actual entities (review of Procest and Reality in Symposium, I [1930], 396). Stebbing has commented that in some of his aspects God is inconsistent with White-

Some Concluding

Interpretations

127

were merged, this, of course, would give the creativity a form. The form would not be a set of geometrical characters, as would be the case if the creativity were merged with a geometrical extensive continuum; it would rather be an ultimate aesthetic ideal, applicable to every actual entity. God, in such a treatment, would be an ultimate set of reasons. If God is a separate existential entity and a constant unchanging influence, as pictured in Part V of Process and Reality, he should not be treated as a derived notion. 16 head's other principles (review of Process and Reality in Mind, X X X I X [1930], 474). The analysis of God by Das would be sharpened if he recognized the two treatments of this concept (The Philosophy of Whitehead, p. 161). In some of his statements he overdoes God's causal force. Emmet emphasizes the view of Whitehead's God as a transcendent actual being, feeling that such a concept is a necessary p a r t of Whitehead's thought ( Whitehead's Philosophy of Organism, chaps, viii and ix). D. Bidney has noted the two treatments of God, concluding that Whitehead is in error in trying to combine a monistic metaphysics with a pluralistic theory of physics and biology ("The Problem of Substance in Spinoza and Whitehead," pp. 591592). Johnson has attempted to answer Bidney, but he has shown merely that Bidney's observations are not true of Whitehead's broad view of experience, and he has not dealt with the other aspect of God which is clearly present in Whitehead ("A Criticism of D. Bidney's 'Spinoza and Whitehead,'" esp. p. 413). is In parts of MT, which generally is phrased in process terms, there appears quite strongly a concept of God as an ultimate principle—the ultimate and most significant principle of all. There are numerous references in this work to an ultimate unity in the universe which can be experienced objectively and which is the final basis of "importance" or "significance." For example, Whitehead refers to "that ultimate unity of direction in the Universe, upon which all order depends, and which gives its meaning to importance [MT, 68, emphasis mine]." There are also references to a "totality" of value experience, as contrasted with "many other value experiences," and the "egoistic value experience." The totality is described as objectively experienced in a direct fashion and as being the basis of interpretation and value judgment. If these statements were taken as Whitehead's final attitude, it would appear to nullify much of the subjective concept of life as a significant independent notion. An objective experience of this unity would be the basis of significance, importance, and aim. Life as an independent principle would have real significance only with respect to God. Further, if God were thought of in static existential terms, the universe would appear to be completely selfdetermined. Whitehead started his process analysis with an investigation of organic patterns and the process by which they become. With respect to God, he first inquired what his system revealed as to the meaning of this concept.

128

Some Concluding

Interpretations

Such treatment of God, of course, would be clearly inconsistent with other tenets of the broad view of experience and the general process analysis. If we ask what element it is in the process analysis which leads to the existential treatment of God, we find that it is the "realm" of eternal objects. If one thinks on the one hand of the formless creativity, and on the other hand of the chaotic realm of eternal objects (and they would represent chaos if considered a p a r t from the conceptual prehension of an actual entity), one requires a "principle of concretion" to bridge the gap between these two. If the "realm" of eternal objects concept is removed, then a cosmic principle of concretion whose terminus is infinity is no longer required. There is needed only a principle of concretion with respect to each actual entity of the world. Such a principle can be found in the experience of an actual entity. I t has already been shown that the realm of eternal objects concept is an awkward and perhaps unnecessary one in Whitehead's thought, and that it is quite possibly a result of the influence of his initial position. Since a number of puzzling problems are raised by P a r t V, chapter ii, of Process and Reality, it is perhaps legitimate to deemphasize this phase of Whitehead's thought and to develop the concept of God which is exhibited in the broad view of experience, and which is fully consistent with that view.17 Apart from the As he proceeded, especially in his less systematic works, he apparently overdeveloped this concept in relation to his other ideas. " Some remarks which Prof. Hocking attributes to Whitehead in conversation are worth noting in this connection (Schilpp, p. 386). Hocking concludes that for Whitehead there is no "All-one." Also, Victor Lowe has said that, despite a clear tendency in MT, Whitehead has not gone over to monism (Schilpp, p. 120). He then quotes from Whitehead to the effect that multiplicity is equally fundamental in the universe. Monism and pluralism cannot be fundamental in the same philosophical system. If pluralism is made fundamental, it is hard to see how monism can remain as a significant principle. Stephen Lee Ely in his interesting study, The Religious Availability of Whitehead'» God (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1942), has found that the God of Part V of Procets and Reality is without religious significance. If this is true, it is an important reason for de-emphasizing this treatment in Whitehead's system. Kartshorne and others disagree with Ely (see Hartshorne's answer to Ely, "Is Whitehead's God the God of Religion?" F.thic», LTII [1942-19431, 219), but it must be remembered tbat

Some Concluding

Interpretations

129

concept of a realm of eternal objects, God is not fundamentally necessary in accounting for the preservation of the general laws of nature. In his role as a principle of concretion, he prevents an actual entity from having an experience which exhibits a disconnection with the previous world. If we do not postulate t h a t an infinity of possibilities is presented to each actual entity, we do not need a special principle to account for the choice which is made. In the broad view, conceptual experience is an understandable outgrowth of physical experience. There is no need f o r a principle other than experience itself to account f o r the persistence of the laws of nature. It is in connection with reversion t h a t Whitehead's concept of God has its greatest meaning in the light of the broad view of experience. In terms of the aesthetic unity idea, reversion will either introduce a new evil or a greater good. Presumably either would be understandable in the light of the responsive phase. T h e concept of God is very appropriate for insertion into the broad view of experience as t h a t element which accounts for the introduction of a greater good. This accords with traditional t r e a t m e n t ; God, in this conception, represents t h a t element in experience which is associated with the striving for an ideal. This conception of God as exhibited in Whitehead's thought fits in with all the other process concepts. God is within the creativity, which remains the category of the ultimate, and he is wholly immanent, with the result t h a t the ontological principle is maintained. He has no separate existential status, and, in terms of the Categories of Being set f o r t h in P a r t I, chapter ii, of Process and Reality, he should have none. In this view of God, none of the problems raised in P a r t V of Process and Reality are to be found. God is simply the most important aspect of the hypothesis of life. If this is the true conception of God in Whitehead's thought, it can be concluded t h a t much of the last section of Process and Reality is inexplicable in terms of the central tenets of the philosEly emphasizes a religious point of view rather than a metaphysical point of view.

ISO

Some Concluding Interpretations

ophy of organism. P a r t V gives voice to a beautifully written, stimulating point of view, but it is not an outgrowth of the broad view of experience, and it does not clarify the process concept of God.

Bibliography ALFRED

NORTH

WHITEHEAD'S

WORKS

The following, listed in the order of their completion, have been directly referred to in this book. An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Natural Knowledge. 2d ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1925. The Concept of Nature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1920. The Principle of Relativity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1922. Science and the Modern World. New York: The Macmillan Co., 1925. Religion in the Making. New York: The Macmillan Co., 1926. Symbolism, Its Meaning and Effect. New York: The Macmillan Co., 1927. Process and Reality. New York: The Macmillan Co., 1929. The Function of Reason. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1929. Adventures of Ideas. New York: The Macmillan Co., 1933. Nature and Life. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1934. Reprinted as chaps, vi and vii of Mode» of Thought. "Remarks," Philosophical Review, X L V I (1937), 178. Read before the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association, Cambridge, Mass., Dec. 29, 1936. Reprinted under title "Analysis of Meaning" in Essay» in Science and Philosophy, p. 122. Modes of Thought. New York: The Macmillan Co., 1938. "Mathematics and the Good," in P. A. Schilpp (ed.), The Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, p. 666. Reprinted in Ettays in Science and Philosophy, p. 97. Essays in Science and Philosophy. New York: Philosophical Library, Inc., 1947.

Bibliography

132 SECONDARY

SOURCES—BOOKS

Blyth, J o h n W. Whitehead's Theory of Knowledge. Providence, Brown University, 1941. D M , R. T h e Philosophy of Whitehead. London: J . Clarke & Co., Ltd., 1938. E l y , Stephen Lee. The Religions Availability of Whitehead's God. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 1942. Emmet, Dorothy M. Whitehead's Philosophy of Organism. London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., 1982. Johnson, A. H . (ed.). The Wit and Wisdom of Whitehead. New York: Beacon Press, 1947. Mack, Robert D. The Appeal to Immediate Experience. New York: King's Crown Press, 1945. Miller, David L., and George V. Gentry. The Philosophy of A. N. Whitehead. Minneapolis: Burgess Publishing Co., 1938. Schilpp, P. A. (ed.). The Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. ( T h e Library of Living Philosophers, Vol. I I I . ) Evanston: The Library of Living Philosophers, Inc., 1941. SECONDARY

SOURCES—ARTICLES

AND

REVIEWS

Bidney, D. " T h e Problem of Substance in Spinoza and Whitehead," Philosophical Review, XLV (1936), 574. Coolidge, Mary L. "Purposiveness without Purpose in a New Context," Philosophy and Pkenomenological Research, IV (19431944), 85. Cory, D. " D r . Whitehead on Perception," Journal of Philosophy, XXX (1933), 29. De Burgh, W. G. "Professor Whitehead's Modes of Thought," Philosophy, X I V (1939), 205. D e Laguna, T . Review of Whitehead's An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Natural Knowledge in the Philosophical Review, X X I X (1920), 269. Dewey, John. "Whitehead's Philosophy," Philosophical Review, X L V I (1937), 170. Read before the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association, Cambridge, Mass., Dec. 29, 1936.

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" T h e Philosophy of Whitehead," in P. A. Schilpp (ed.), The Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, p. 643. " T h e Objectivism-Subjectivism of Modern Philosophy," Journal of Philosophy, X X X V I I I (1941), 533. Gentry, George V. " T h e Subject in Whitehead's Philosophy," Philosophy of Science, X I (1944), 222. " E t e r n a l Objects and the Philosophy of Organism," Philosophy of Science, X I I I ( 1 9 4 6 ) , 252. Gross, Mason W. "Whitehead's Philosophy of Adventure," American Scholar, IX (1940), 361. "Whitehead's Answer to Hume," Journal of Philosophy, X X X V I I I (1941), 95. Review of J o h n W. Blyth's Whitehead's Theory of Knowledge, in the Journal of Philosophy, X X X I X (1942), 419. Review of P . A. Schilpp (ed.) The Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, in the Journal of Philosophy, X L (1943), 271. Hall, E . W. "Of What Use Are Whitehead's E t e r n a l Objects," Journal of Philosophy, X X V I I (1930), 29. Harris, M a r j o r i e S. "Symbolic Logic and Esthetics," Journal of Philosophy, X X X V I I (1940), 533. Hartshorne, Charles. "On Some Criticisms of Whitehead's Philosophy," Philosophical Review, X L I V (1935), 323. " I s Whitehead's God the God of Religion?" Ethics, LIII (1942-1943), 219. H o c k i n g , W. E . "Whitehead on Mind and Nature," in P . A. Schilpp (ed.), The Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, p. 383. Hooper, Sydney E . "Whitehead's Philosophy: Actual Entities," Philosophy, X V I (1941), 285. "Whitehead's Philosophy: E t e r n a l Objects and God," Philosophy, X V I I (1942), 47. "Whitehead's Philosophy: Space, Time and Things," Philosophy, X V I I I (1943), 204 "Whitehead's Philosophy: Theory of Perception," Philosophy, X I X (1944), 136. "Whitehead's Philosophy: Propositions and Consciousness," Philosophy, XX (1945), 59. "Whitehead's Philosophy: the Higher Phases of Experience," Philosophy, X X I (1946), 57.

13 A

Bibliography

Hughes, Percy. " I s Whitehead's Psychology Adequate?" in P. A. Schilpp (ed.), The Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, p. 275. Johnson, A. H . "A Criticism of D. Bidney's 'Spinoza and Whiteh e a d , ' " Philosophical Review, X L V I I (1938), 410. "The Intelligibility of Whitehead's Philosophy," Philotophy of Science, X (1943), 47. " T h e Social Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead," Journal of Philosophy, X L (1943), 261. " 'Truth, Beauty and Goodness' in the Philosophy of A. N. W h i t e h e a d , " Philosophy

of Science,

XI

( 1 9 4 4 ) , 9.

"Whitehead and the Making of Tomorrow," Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, V (1944-1945), 398. "Whitehead's Theory of Actual Entities: Defense and Criticism," Philosophy of Science, X I I (1945), 237. "The Psychology of Alfred North Whitehead," Journal of General Psychology, X X X I I (1945), 175. " T h e Wit and Wisdom of Whitehead," Philosophy of Science, X I I I (1946), 223. "Whitehead's Philosophy of History," Journal of the History of Ideas, V I I (1946), 234. King, Hugh Rodney. "Whitehead's Doctrine of Causal Efficacy," Journal of Philosophy, X L V I (1949), 85. Litman, Alexander. "Prehension as Relation," Journal of Philosophy, X L I V (1947), 234. Lowe, Victor. "William James and Whitehead's Doctrine of Prehensions," Journal of Philosophy, X X X V I I I (1941), 113. " T h e Development of Whitehead's Philosophy," in P. A. Schilpp (ed.) The Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, P- 17. "Empirical Method in Metaphysics," Journal of Philosophy, X L I V (1947), 225. Read in original form before the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association, New Haven, Conn., Dec. 28, 1946. McGilvarv, E. B. Review of Whitehead's The Concept of Nature in the Philosophical Review, XXX (1921), 500. "Space-Time, Simple Location, and Prehension," in P . A. Schilpp (ed.), The Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, p. 211. Miller, David L. "Whitehead's Extensive Continuum," Philosophy of Science, X I I I (1946), 144.

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Morgan, G., J r . "Whitehead's Theory of Value," International Journal of Ethics, X L V I I (1936-1937), 308. Morris, Bertram. "The Art-Process and the Aesthetic Fact in Whitehead's Philosophy," in P. A. Schilpp (ed.), The Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, p. 463. Murphy, A. E . "Objective Relativism in Dewey and Whitehead," Philosophical Review, XXXVI (1927), 121. "What is an Event?" Philosophical Review, X X X V I I (1928), 574. "The Anticopernican Revolution," Journal of Philosophy, XXVI (1929), 281. Review of Whitehead's Symbolism, Its Meaning and Effect in the Journal of Philosophy, XXVI (1929), 489. "Whitehead and the Method of Speculative Philosophy," in P. A. Schilpp (ed.), The Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, p. 353. Nagel, Ernest. Review of Whitehead's Process and Reality in Symposium, I (1930), 396. Northrop, F. S. C. "Whitehead's Philosophy of Science," in P. A. Schilpp (ed.), The Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, p. 167. Robinson, D. S. " D r . Whitehead's Theory of Events," Philosophical Review, XXX (1921), 41. Robson, J . W. "Whitehead's Answer to Hume," Journal of Philosophy, X X X V I I I (1941), 85. Read before the Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association, Seattle, Wash., Dec. 28, 1939. Schilpp, P. A. "Whitehead's Moral Philosophy," in P. A. Schilpp (ed.), The Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, p. 563. Stebbing, L. Susan. "Universals and Prof. Whitehead's Theory of Universals," Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, XXV, 325. Review of Whitehead's Process and Reality in Mind, X X X I X (1930), 466. Taylor, Harold. "Hume's Answer to Whitehead," Journal of Philosophy, X X X V I I I (1941), 409. Turner, J . E. " D r . A. N. Whitehead's Scientific Realism," Journal of Philosophy, X I X (1922), 146. Urban, W. M. "Whitehead's Philosophy of Language and its Relation to his Metaphysics," in P. A. Schilpp (ed.), The Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead, p. 303.

1S6

Bibliography

Ushenko, A. P. "Negative Prehension," Journal of Philotophy, X X X I V (1937), 263. Read before the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association, Cambridge, Mass., Dec. 29, 1936.

Index Actual entities, 88, 40-42; differentiated from events, 88-39; autonomy of, 01-06; contemporary, 74, 82-84; grades of, 90-100 Adventure» of Ideas (Whitehead), doctrines of beauty and truth, 47n ; theory of experience, 102-103; tee alto Later works Aesthetic supplementation, 47; defined, 84; ««« alto Aesthetic unity Aesthetic unity, role in experience, 44, 4«, 64, 94; and logical compatibility, 47; and knowledge, in later works, 69-70; and God, 129180 Affirmation-negation contrast, 63 British empiricism, in Whitehead's works, 18-21,37, 74 Broad view of experience, general character and occurrence in Whitehead's thought, 1-3, 42-47, 71-72, 107-108, 110-111, 112-113; applied to human beings, 9-10, 59-70, 109; and spatio-temporal relations, 31, 56-09, 89-91 ; subjectivity of, 48-50; and God, 50-52, 128-130; universality of, 53-56 Categoreal Obligations, 42-47, 51-52 Categories of Existence, 38» Category of the Ultimate, tee Creativity Causal efficacy, character and functions, 72-76, 79-80, 96-100; role of spatio-temporal relations in, 91-96; in Modet of Thought, 103-105; relation to sense perception, 118-121

Comparative feelings, definition and types, 64-05; role in knowledge, 6670 Concept of Nature, The (Whitehead), tee Early works Conceptual feelings, defined, 41; role in propositions, 60-64; role in comparative feelings, 64-65; tee alto Reversion, Supplementary stage Concretion, Principle of, tee God Conditioning events, definition and types, 27-28 Consciousness, 62-64, 98-99, 103, 105107, 106 Conscious perceptions, 64-66 Constants of externality, 33-34 Contrast, defined, 46 Cosmic epochs, 55, 124, 126 Creativity, 1, 3-6, 114»; relation to life, 5,90; relation to extensive continuum, 5-4,114-118; differentiated from extension, 38; and God, 52-53, 126-130 Diversification, 20, 49, 76, 110, 122; defined, 17 Early works (Whitehead's), defined, 1-2; general doctrine of, 1-3, 9, 11, 18-21,37-38, 110-111 Empiricism, tee British empiricism Enquiry concerning the Principlet of Natural Knowledge, An (Whitehead), tee Early works Entity, technical meaning, in Whitehead's early works, 17-18 Epistemology, tee Hypotheses, Knowledge, Observer

138 E r r o r , in propositions, 61-62, 66-68; in comparative feelings, 66; in perception, 17-78 Eternal objects, character and functions, 39; differentiated f r o m objects, 39; and God, 62-53, 128-127; and life, 90; criticised, 121-124 Events, 12-15, 28, 36; apprehension of, 12; special types of, 27-28; related to process analysis, 38-39 Experience, tee Broad view of experience, Human experience, Narrow view of experience Extension analysis, character and occurrence in Whitehead's thought, 2, 11-15, 71-72,111-113; differentiated from proceSF analysis^ 2, 9, f 8 ; contribution of, 15 ; relation to limited view of experience, 29; relation to presentational immediacy, 85-88 Extensive continuum, 6-6; and causal efficacy, 93-94; criticised, 114-118 Fact, technical meaning, in Whitehead's early works, 17-18 Factor, technical meaning, in Whitehead's early works, 17-18 Feelings, definition and basic types, 41 ; subjective aspects of, 48-49 ; tee alto Comparative feelings, Conceptual feelings, Physical feelings, Propositions, Transmuted feelings Force and vivacity (of impressions), 66-68

Function of Reaton, The (Whitehead), 56n, 99; tee alto Later works General view of experience, tee Broad view of experience God, character and functions in Whitehead's thought, 50-53, 114n, 125; role in human knowledge, 6970; criticism of Whitehead's concept of, 124-130 H u m a n experience, 15-34, 89-91, 94, 108-109; objective character of, 20, 26, 101-102; and spatio-temporal

Index relations, 29-30, 94-96, 96-100; tee alto Consciousness, Knowledge, Perception Hume, David, 67, 73 Hypotheses, epistemology of, in Whitehead's thought, 20, 26, 69-70 Imaginative feelings, defined, 61 Indicative feelings, defined, 60 Induction, Whitehead's later theory of, 66-70 Initial data (of a feeling), 48-49, 08 Intellectual feelings, definition and types, 64-65 Intellectual supplementation, defined, 64 Internal relations, 5,13 Intuitive judgments, definition and types, 64-65 Knowledge, Whitehead's philosophy of, 19-20, 37, 59-70, 102-103; tee alto Hypotheses I-ater works (Whitehead's), general doctrine of, 1-3, 9, 37-38, 111-113; defined, 2 L i f e : hypothesis of, in Whitehead's thought, 1-2, 6-9; relation to creativity, 5, 90; relation to God, 52; and the analysis of perception, 75; relation to eternal objects, 90 Limited view of experience, tee Narrow view of experience Logical subject (of a proposition), defined, 60 Meaning, tee Significance Measurement, in Whitehead's theory of knowledge, 68 Mental pole, tee Supplementary stage Metaphysical generalization, Whitehead's conception of, 11 Modet of Thought (Whitehead), doctrine of eternal objects, 53n; theory of experience, 103-109; doctrine of God, 127»; tee alto Later work*

Index Narrow view of experience, general character and occurrence in Whitehead's thought, 1-2, 110-111, 112113; in Whitehead's early works, 20, 26-27, 31, 34-35; in Whitehead's later works, 78-79, 88, 91, 96-97, 102-109 ; related to extension analysis, 2, 29; and presentational immediacy, 78-96 ; and causal efficacy, 92 Natural science, Whitehead's philosophy of: and perception, 16-17, 119; role of spatio-temporal relations in, 29,100-101 ; and life, 31m, 112-113; and subjective aim, 70; see also Extension analysis Nature: conception of, in Whitehead's thought, 11, 37-38, 71-72; heterogeneous and homogeneous discussions of, 16; closed to mind, 16-17, 49 Nature and Life (Whitehead), 6, 31m; see also Later works Negative prehensions, defined, 41; criticized, 121-124 Newtonian cosmology, 3-4, 9, 55 Nexus, 39, 68 Objective datum (of a feeling), 4849,58 Objects, 12-15, 28, 35-36; recognition of, 12; differentiated from eternal objects, 39; definition in Process and Reality, 39»; special use in Adventures of Ideas, 102-103; see also Scientific objects Observer, epistemological role in Whitehead's thought, 16-18, 20, 27, 32-34, 102 Ontological principle, 53,91,117,129; defined, 90 Perception, character in Whitehead's early works, 16, 32-33; role in narrow view of experience, 20-27; character in Whitehead's later works, 48-49, 72-78, 105-107; rela-

139 tion to presentational immediacy, 74, 84-85, 118-121; relation to causal efficacy, 118-121; see also Causal efficacy, Presentational immediacy, Symbolic reference Perceptive feelings, definition and types, 61-62 Percepts, see Sense data Percipient event, 32, 34 Perspective, technical use in Whitehead's later works, 34, 58-59, 105 Physical feelings, defined, 41; and subjective aim, 42-43; logical compatibility of, 44; simple, 50; hybrid, 50; role in propositions, 60-64; role in comparative feelings, 64-65; see also Responsive stage Physical pole, see Responsive stage Physical purposes, defined, 64 Physical recognition, defined, 60 Plato, 115 Positive prehensions, see Feelings Predicate (of a proposition), defined, 60 Pre-established harmony, 45 Prehensions, definition and basic types, 41; and spatio-temporal relations, 57, 71-72; see also Feelings, Negative prehensions Presentational immediacy, 74-96; character and functions, 74-76, 96100; and the contemporary world, 74, 82-84, 86-88; functional relation to causal efficacy, 79-80; relation to sense perception, 84-85, 97n, 118121; relation to extension analysis, 85-88; in non-living organisms, 100m; in Modes of Thought, 103105; Principle of Relativity, The (Whitehead), 14, 22n, 26, 26n, 3233; see also Early works Process analysis, character and occurrence in Whitehead's thought, 2, 9-10,111-113; differentiated from extension analysis, 2,9; significance of entities in, 31; role of spatiotemporal relations in, 56-59; and causal efficacy, 73

140 Procett and Reality (Whitehead), methodology of, 87, 11 I n ; events and objects in, 89; a n d the concept of God, 52-63, 124-130; perspective in, 68; togetherness in, 68; spatio-temporal relations in, 69,88; and the higher phases of experience, 69-70; metaphysical ideal of, 113 ; tee alto L a t e r works Propositional feelings, tee Propositions Propositions, 60-64; defined, 41, 60; types of, 61 ; and consciousness, 6264; role in knowledge, 64-70 Psychic additions, 19 Realism, eplstemalogiccl, in Whitehead's thought, 19, 66 Receptacle ( P l a t o ' s ) , 116 Religion in the Making ( W h i t e h e a d ) , 61, 66n, 72; tee alto L a t e r works Responsive stage, 42-44; defined, 40; role of subjective aim in, 42-43, 4849; and spatio-temporal relations, 67-68; and causal efficacy, 73, 8081, 98; and error, 77 Reversion, 44-46, 80, 122; and God, 60-61, 129-130; in propositions, 6064; in knowledge, 69-70 Reverted conceptual feelings, tee Reversion Science, tee N a t u r a l Science Science and the Modern World ( W h i t e h e a d ) , and eternal objects, 53n; theory of experience, 71-72; prehension in, 72; and the doctrine of God, 114n; and the extensive continuum, 118n; tee alto L a t e r works Scientific objects, 22, 24-26, 29 Secondary qualities, 83-84 Sensa, tee Sense d a t a

Index Sense data, 12,19, 73,81; role in p r e s entational immediacy, 74, 86-86; p r o j e c t i o n of, 80, 87 Sense perception, tee Perception Significance: concept of, In Whitehead's thought, 21-23, 27n, 46, 111; and spatio-temporal relations, 2731, 66, 98, 97; a n d the analysis of perception, in Whitehead's l a t e r works, 74-77, 83-84, 101-102, 104106; givenness of, in Whitehead's l a t e r works, 101-102, 108, 108 Spatio-temporal relations, and the extension analysis, 14-16; in the early works, 19-20, 27-34, 111-113; and n a t u r a l science, 29, 100-101, U S ; ia the later works, 66-69, 91100 ; and prehension, in Seitnce and the Modem World, 71-72 ; and presentational immediacy, 76, 85-88, 120; in Modet of Thought, 104 Subjective aim, 7-9, 42-46,48-49; a n d God, 50-52, 126; and human knowledge, 70 Subjective form, defined, 41 ; of p r o p ositions, 62 Supplementary stage, 42,44-46,55-56, 80; defined, 40; and perception, 7677, 80-82, 98; tee alto Aesthetic supplementation, Intellectual supplementation Symbolic reference, 76-78, 92-93 Symbolism, Itt Meaning and Efect ( W h i t e h e a d ) , and causal efficacy, 73 ; and the doctrine of significance, 101-102; tee alto L a t e r works Theories, tee Hypotheses T r a n s m u t e d feelings, 45, 63 T r u t h , tee E r r o r Understanding, tee Significance