David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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International Philosophical Quarterly 45 (4):447-465 (2005)
While most scholars readily recognize that Alfred North Whitehead had deep and penetrating misgivings about the substantial view of individuality, fewer note that these misgivings stem as much from axiological considerations as ontological ones. I contend that, taken in the context of the “classical interpretation” of his metaphysics, Whitehead’s bold affirmation that actuality and value are coextensive introduces a potentially serious problem for the adequacy and applicability of his axiology. For if actuality is coextensive with valuebut actuality is itself limited to subjects of experience, then the objective world can have no intrinsic value. My aim is to demonstrate that, in order to respond to the very serious challenge which the problem of subjectivism represents and save Whitehead’s intendeduniverse of value, we must seek an alternative to the classical interpretation of Whitehead’s metaphysics. I refer to this alternative as the “ecstatic interpretation.”
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