Whitehead's concept of subjectivity.
Logan, Robert Lee
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The history of philosophy has manifested diverse considerations of the subject of experience and the subject as the primary metaphysical entity or substance. Two positions have been prevalent: the Aristotelian aubstance philosophies, and the philosophies of subjective phenomenalism. Whitehhead's philosophy does not seem to fit either. The concept of subjectivity as employed and formulated by Whitehead is available for analysis only through a preliminary analysis of the Categorial Scheme. Thus, an analysis of the categorial scheme in its relevance to the concept of subjectivity precedes the analysis of the subject in Whitehead's philosophy. The method Whitehead employs is speculative, but it is firmly founded on scientific knowledge. Whitehead justifies speculative philosophy on the grounds that it is only through the free play of imagination grounded in fact that interpretive knowledge is possible. Interpretive knowledge is the province of philosophy, and thus philosophy is never divorced from the other branches of knowledge. Further, the categ ories which are evolved in philosophy must be applicable to all areas of experience. The primary category of existence is actual entities. They are the res verae. An actual entity is an act of experience arising out of data. This is contrary to the traditional substance philosophies. Every actual entity has a definite referential relation with all other actual entities. This relation is prehension, which may be either positive or negative. The coming of actual entities is a concrescent process whereby many things achieve individual unity. Qualities are the result of prehensions of eternal objects or pure potentials. The ingression of eternal objects into actual entities provides definiteness to the actual entities. Actual entities are both the subjects of experience and the "substance" of the universe. [Truncated]
Thesis (M.A.)--Boston University
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