He Who Is: A Study in Traditional Theism

By E. L. B. D. Mascall | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XI
THE COSMOLOGY OF WHITEHEAD

THE outlook which has been adopted in this book has been, in the broad sense of the word, cosmological; that is to say, in considering the problem of the existence of God, we have taken as our starting-point the cosmos, the world or universe of which we ourselves are part. Recent years have seen two quite outstandingly portentous cosmological investigations, in the work of Dr. A. N. Whitehead and in that of Dr. F. R. Tennant. It will therefore be well to add to our discussion a comparison of the position at which we have arrived with those of these two distinguished thinkers, so that points of agreement may be registered and an attempt made to account for any differences that may appear.

The definitive statement of Dr. Whitehead's philosophy is to be found in his Gifford Lectures delivered at Edinburgh in 1927-8 and published in 1929 under the title Process and Reality: An Essay in Cosmology. Its groundwork was laid as far back as 1919, in two books entitled An Enquiry concerning the Principles of Natural Knowledge and The Concept of Nature, while it was immediately preceded by three other works which appeared between 1926 and 1928, namely, Science and the Modern World, Religion in the Making and Symbolism, its Meaning and Effect. No substantial development is apparent in the later works, Adventures of Ideas, which was published in 1933, and Modes of Thought, published in 1938.1

It is interesting to reflect that the cosmology of Whitehead and the work of the logical positivists both derive from the monumental work, Principia Mathematica, which appeared in three large volumes from 1910 to 1913 as the joint product of Dr. Whitehead and Mr. Bertrand Russell, although the final conclusions at which Whitehead has arrived are of the kind which every good logical positivist is in honour bound to reject as "metaphysical" and hence meaningless.

Like all other cosmologists, Whitehead is confronted with the problem of a universe in which multiplicity is interlocked with

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1
In the present chapter these books will be referred to in the footnotes by their initials. Attention may also be called to Miss D. M. Emmet valuable book, Whitehead's Philosophy of Organism and to the two articles by Mr. S. E. Hooper in Philosophy, July 1941 and January 1942.

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He Who Is: A Study in Traditional Theism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vi
  • Preface vii
  • ERRATA. xiv
  • Chapter I - INTRODUCTION 1
  • Chapter II - THE MEANING OF "GOD" 8
  • Chapter III - EXPERIENCE AND REVELATION 14
  • Chapter IV - THE TRADITIONAL APPROACH 30
  • Chapter V - THE TRADITIONAL APPROACH 40
  • Chapter VI - THE TRADITIONAL APPROACH 57
  • Chapter VII - INTELLECT AND INTUITION 83
  • Chapter VIII - GOD AND THE WORLD: ANALOGIA ENTIS 95
  • Chapter IX - THE DIVINE ATTRIBUTES 116
  • Chapter X - TRANSCENDENCE AND IMMANENCE 126
  • Chapter XI - THE COSMOLOGY OF WHITEHEAD 150
  • Chapter XII - THE COSMIC TELEOLOGY OF TENNANT 161
  • Chapter XIII - CONCLUSION 191
  • Bibliography 200
  • Index 208
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