Philosophers of Process

Philosophers of Process

Philosophers of Process

Philosophers of Process

Synopsis

Process philosophy is fundamentally a metaphysical position. Its doctrine is that the universe is essentially to be understood not as substance and causality, as in the Cartesian tradition, but as process and creativity. Since the publication of the first edition of Philosophers of Process,interest in American Pragmatism - particularly Peirce and Dewey - has continued to grow. In addition, there is another group whose interest is more straightforwardly metaphysical. The interests of this group tend toward the works of Whitehead, Hartshorne, and sometimes Bergson and James. Betweenthese two groups there are quite a number of philosophers interested in teaching process metaphysics on both the undergraduate and graduate level. This book is intended to fill the need for a single volume of primary texts in this area.

Excerpt

The first edition of Philosophers of Process has been out of print for just over twenty years. During that time, process metaphysics has continued to grow in importance and in popularity. A second edition of this book seems especially timely right now, given the continued revival of interest in American Pragmatism and the process metaphysics which serves as its grounding. Indeed, the strength of this movement is shown by several factors: 1) There is the growth of interest in the works of both Peirce and Dewey. That this growth is significant is shown by the fact that their respective complete works have either been published (in the case of Dewey) or are in the process of being published (in the case of Peirce). In addition to this, two of the most successful Internet discussion groups focus on their works. 2) The Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy has a vigorously growing membership and influence. Each year, the group sees substantial growth. 3) The rise of neo-pragmatism, under the influence of Richard Rorty and Hilary Putnam, has contributed to this growth. The authors included in this book are either right in the middle of that tradition or are at least important influences on it.

But this is only one side of the story. In addition to the rise of pragmatism, there is another group whose interest is more straightforwardly metaphysical, as opposed to the more varied interests of the pragmatists. The philosophical interests of this group tend to be the works of Whitehead, Hartshorne, and sometimes Bergson and James. The growing importance of this school is shown both by the activities of the Center for Process Studies, especially its publication of the journal Process Studies, and by another vigorous Internet discussion list focusing on process philosophy.

Between these two groups, there are quite a number of philosophers who are interested in teaching process metaphysics on both the undergraduate and graduate level. Up until now, there has been no good single text to use in such a course. In order to teach a course on process metaphysics from primary sources, one either has to buy numerous . . .

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