Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Why I am not a Whiteheadian

To see some of the technical reasons why I am not a process philosopher, please go to my home page:  www.users.drew.edu/rcorring/  Go to the publications section and under articles download the following: An Appraisal and Critique of Alfred North Whitehead's Process and Reality and Justus Buchler's Metaphysics of Natural Complexes.  The file also contains pictures of me with Charles and Dorthy Hartshorne and with Justus Buchler.


  1. My approach to process theology or philosophy takes two forms. In the first mode I think Whithead's system simply doesn't get the basics right (hence my lengthly critique). I have critiqued Hartshorne in print but not until I had spent many hours in dialogue with him.
    However,in the second mode I have seen many seminary students transformed in their ministry by their encounter with process theology. In this latter sense I am a pragmatist ala William James; namely, don't attempt to fix something that is doing an important job for thoughtful people.

  2. Some specifics:

    1) Whitehead softens Darwinian concepts with too strong a role for teleology
    2) The concept of negative prehensions is close to being incoherent
    3) In spite of strong rhetoric to the contrary, humanocentric categories drive the theoretical architecture
    4) The issue of the evolution of the archetypes remains an open-ended discussion
    5) Contrary to appearances, panentheism may be a flight away from nature in its primal naturing, whereas a deep pantheism may provide access to depth-structures outside of the limited scope of process accounts of divinity.
    6) While some current process thinkers are doing some exciting things with "chaos" and the "deep," for the most part panentheism cleans up nature to the point of creating a fantasy version of the "how" of nature naturing.