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In 1862 the English literary critic and poet Matthew Arnold described Marcus Aurelius as "the most beautiful figure in history." The Stoicism of Aurelius is grounded in rationality and rests solidly on an ethical approach rooted in nature. Stoicism promises real happiness and joy in this life and a serenity that can never be soured by personal misfortune. This philosophy has universal appeal with practical implications on problems ranging from climate change and terrorism to the personal management of sickness, aging, depression and addiction. I truly believe that the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius has much to offer us now...(Click on book cover for more)
|Name:||Alfred North Whitehead - Math, Philosophy|
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Blog Alfred North Whitehead
Process philosophy is a metaphysical system developed by Alfred North Whitehead, and described in his book Process and Reality. Process philosophy believes that fundamental elements of the universe are occasions of experience. According to this notion, what people commonly think of as concrete objects are actually just successions of these occasions of experience. Occasions of experience can be collected into groupings; something complex such as a human being is thus a grouping of many smaller occasions of experience. According to Whitehead, everything in the universe is characterized by experience (which is not to be confused with consciousness); there is no mind-body duality under this system, because "mind" is simply seen as a very developed kind of experienceing.
Whitehead's philosophy resembles in some ways the concept of monads first proposed by Leibniz. However, unlike Leibniz's monads, Whiteheads occasions of experience are interrelated with every other occasion of experience that has ever occurred before. Inherent to Whitehead's conception is the notion of time; all experiences are influenced by prior experiences, and will experience all future experiences. This process of influencing is never deterministic; an occasion of experience consists of a process of prehending other experiences, and then a reaction to it. This is the process in process philosophy. Because no process is ever deterministic, free will is considered essential to the nature of the universe.
Whitehead gives God a special place in the universe of occasions of experience. God encompasses all the other occasions of experience but also transcends them; thus Whitehead embraces panentheism. Because free will is inherent to the nature of the universe, God is not omnipotent in Whitehead's metaphysics. God's role is to offer enhanced occasions of experience. God participates in the evolution of the universe by offering possibilities, which may be accepted or rejected. Whitehead was influenced by the ideas developed in the early 1900s by French Jewish philosopher Henri-Louis Bergson. Bergson was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1927.
Process theology is a school of thought influenced by the metaphysical process philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead. The concepts of process theology include:
The Great Books: Alfred North Whitehead
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This web page is part of a biographical database on Great Ideas. These are living ideas that have shaped, defined and directed world culture for over 2,500 years. By definition the Great Ideas are radical. As such they are sometimes misread, or distorted by popular simplifications. Understanding a Great Idea demands personal engagement. Our selection of Great Ideas is drawn from literature and philosophy, science, art, music, theatre, and cinema. We also include biographies of pivotal historical and religious figures, as well as contributions from women and other historically under-represented minorities. The result is an integrated multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary database built upon the framework of the always controversial Great Books Core List published in 1940 by the late Great Books Pioneer Mortimer Adler (1902-2001). Most of the works on that list are available in the 60 volume Great Books of the Western World.