chapter  6
13 Pages

Fichte and the system of freedom

Alfred North Whitehead was, like Einstein, a mathematician. He was, with Russell, the author of the three-volume Principia Mathematica. Whitehead's philosophy of organism can, in large part, is understood as an attempt to provide metaphysics appropriate to relativity. Whitehead calls his metaphysics an "atomic philosophy", because actual occasions are the true atoms of existence. Existence is process and actual occasions are the atoms of this process, each having no significant temporal endurance. Another contextual factor that is worth noting is the state of the physical sciences at the time of Whitehead's writing. Newtonian mechanical materialism is rooted in this conviction that the existence of the universe is expressed through the distinction between persistent substances and their accidental forms. Eternal objects must have active formative force if there is to be any passage of form from one event to another. The universe is entirely connected temporally by "societies" and spatially by "nexus", all mediated by experience.