Italian, b: 19 December 1911, Ancona, Italy. d: 21 July 1976, Milan. Cat: Existentialist; phenomenologist; critical Marxist. Ints: Philosophy of man. Educ: University of Milan. Infls: Antonio Banfi, Marx, Merleau-Ponty, Husserl and Whitehead, A.N. Appts: 1951-7, Professor of Philosophy, University of Pavia; 1958-76, Professor of Philosophy, University of Milan.
Paci's seminal work, Tempo e relazione (1954), sets forth a version of process philosophy which has some affinities with Whitehead. The universe consists, he argues, not of bounded objects in space, but of processes or events, of which objects are but the historical and temporary products. It is events, not objects, that are metaphysically primitive. Events are related to one another in a continual interweaving dialectic, which is governed and informed by a dynamic tendency to realize the values of truth, goodness and beauty. It is the relations among events which establish their identity, and this is true also of persons, who are focal points in particular networks of developing and changing processes. The 'stuff' of the universe is relation rather than substance; and time rather than space is the dimension which the universe inhabits. Paci's reputation in Italy was very high during his lifetime, but has declined since then.
Sources: DFN; EF
American, b: 19 March 1842, Boston, Masachusetts. d: 7 May 1933, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Cat: Idealist. Ints: Moral theory. Educ: Harvard; two years studying in Germany and visiting Paris were his only substantial breaks from Cambridge, Massachusetts; in 1870 he obtained a theological degree from Andover Theological Seminary. Appts: Instructor in Greek at Harvard in 1870; produced a translation of the Odyssey, but transferred to Philosophy two years later and continued to teach until 1913; built the philosophy department and served as Chairman when James, Royce, and Santayana were hired; he was, however, more a 'philosopher's philosopher' and less a public figure than James and Santayana, and his colleagues regarded him with respect; played a variety of roles in the administration of the university. He had a continuing interest in literature and wrote about George Herbert, Browning, and Shakespeare.