For many philosophical thinkers down through the centuries, the notion of a creation out of sheer nothing has been found to be quite unintelligible. Nevertheless the idea of creation preserves an important insight and needs to be freed from the difficulties of this traditional formulation. Alfred North Whitehead has offered an alternative theory of creation worth exploring: each individual actuality creates itself out of prior creative acts. God then serves to direct this creative process.
WHILE THERE ARE MANY AFFINITIES between classical and process theism, the differences are more startling and more difficult to cope with. Process thought departs from received wisdom in at least three principal ways.
All the authors of the sixteen essays gathered in this volume are concerned, in their different ways, to clarify, criticize, and develop key ideas and insights of Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947), one of the towering figures of twentieth-century speculative thought, whose "process philosophy" has, in recent decades, aroused intense intellectual interest both in this country and abroad. The present volume is intended to complement, but not to duplicate, an earlier selection of important Whitehead studies, Alfred North Whitehead: Essays on His (...) Philosophy, ed. G. L. Kline (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1963). (shrink)
Kuntz's long-standing interest in order provides him with a good organizing principle with which to introduce Whitehead, since it fits such a range of Whitehead's interests: education, mathematics, the order of nature, metaphysics, and the order of civilization. In this respect the book contrasts sharply with the other Twayne book on Whitehead by Nathaniel Lawrence, whose strength lies in its concentration upon a cluster of problems concerning causality, perception, and consciousness.