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The Metaphysics of Experience: A Companion to Whitehead's Process and Reality (American Philosophy) 2 Sub Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0823217953
ISBN-10: 0823217957
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Editorial Reviews


aExtremely well donea] will universally be referred to, not by its title, but as aKrausas Companiona. . . .a

About the Author

Elizabeth M. Kraus is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Fordham University

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Product Details

  • Series: American Philosophy (Book 8)
  • Hardcover: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press; 2 Sub edition (January 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823217957
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823217953
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.9 x 6.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,799,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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At the outset of the lectures collected in Process and Reality, the mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead states, in effect, that his texts abstract a discovery process rather than present a linear argument. Each lecture may be thought of as a mapping of Whitehead's core insights onto a particular philosophical topic in much the way a span of wheel rim maps the wheel hub with a range described by two or more of the radiating spokes.

It's an admirable pedagogical technique that becomes considerably less effective when the unique source of those core insights, Whitehead, is not around to nudge the individual student, struggling to master a new terminology and fill in gaps, in a productive direction. What to do?

For those wanting help with Whitehead's difficult magnum opus, two different approaches to Parnassus are available in published form from those who have previously ascended its slopes. The first, taken by Donald Sherburne in A Key to Whitehead's Process and Reality, reshuffles Whitehead's discourse to create the linear argument Whitehead deliberately avoids but that scholars since the time of Aristotle have been accustomed to consuming. Many, including Elizabeth Kraus, have praised Sherburne's achievement.

The second approach, taken in the book under review, comes closer to Whitehead's own pedagogy. Kraus's text accompanies the reader, step by step, on their journey through Whitehead, acting as an experienced, indeed wise guide. Her first chapter provides an overview of Whitehead's terminology and key insights; her second, an explanation of how one "does" process philosophy, inevitably drawing on the fruits of her own journeys into Process and Reality. Chapter 3 provides an overview of Whitehead's philosophy of organism.
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