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Alfred North Whitehead

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Alfred North Whitehead
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Alfred North Whitehead

Alfred North Whitehead (February 15 1861, Ramsgate, Kent, UKDecember 30 1947, Cambridge, MA) was a British-American philosopher, physicist and mathematician who worked in logic, mathematics, philosophy of science and metaphysics. His best known work in mathematics is the Principia Mathematica which he wrote with Bertrand Russell.

Whitehead did most of his work in mathematics while at Cambridge (UK) from 1884 to 1910. The next phase of his career, at London from 1910 to 1924, dealt with philosophies of science and education. In 1924 he moved to Harvard University for the last phase. While there, Whitehead is perhaps most well known for conceiving process philosophy. He was invited to give the Gifford Lectures for 1927 at the University of Edinburgh, which resulted in the formidable but respected book Process and Reality. Process philosophy was later developed into process theology by theologian/philosophers Charles Hartshorne, John B Cobb, Jr, and David Ray Griffin. Process theology is a way of understanding God and the universe found to be fruitful by some in Christian and Jewish faiths. It has been found compatible by others as well. Whitehead's rejection of mind-body dualism is similar to elements in oriental faith traditions such as Buddhism.

In physics his best known work was a theory of gravity that competed with Einstein's general relativity for many decades. Whitehead's theory received less attention than Einstein's, and was generally discredited by 1972 with a comparison of experimental and predicted variability of the gravitational constant G. See A Comparison with Einstein's Theory (http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~sn2y-tnk/tanaka_4_4.htm), or Clifford Will's book, Theory and Experiment in Gravitational Physics, Cambridge University Press 1993 (ISBN 0521439736 ).

Whitehead's political views were, roughly, libertarian without the label. He wrote: "Now the intercourse between individuals and between social groups takes one of two forms, force or persuasion. Commerce is the great example of intercourse by way of persuasion. War, slavery, and governmental compulsion exemplify the reign of force." Template:Wikiquote

Further reading

  • Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell, Principia Mathematica to 56, Cambridge University Press (http://www.cup.org/), 2002 (originally 1910), trade paperback, ISBN 0521626064
  • Alfred North Whitehead, Introduction To Mathematics, Oxford University Press, 1990, (orig. 1911), trade paperback, 191 pages, ISBN 0195002113
  • Alfred North Whitehead, The Concept of Nature(The Tarner Lectures Delivered in Tinity College November 1919), 1964 (orig. 1920), hardcover, 202 pages, Cambridge University Press
  • Alfred North Whitehead and Talcott Parsons, Science and the Modern World, Simon & Schuster, 1997 (orig. 1925), trade paperback, 212 pages, ISBN 0684836394
  • Alfred North Whitehead and Judith A. Jones, Religion in the Making, Fordham University Press (http://www.fordhampress.com/), 1996 (orig. 1926), hardcover, ISBN 0823216454; trade paperback, ISBN 0823216462
  • Alfred North Whitehead, Symbolism, Its Meaning and Effect: Barbour-Page Lectures, University of Virginia, 1927, Fordham University Press (http://www.fordhampress.com/), 1985, trade paperback, 88 pages, ISBN 082321138x
  • Alfred North Whitehead, The Aims of Education and Other Essays, Free Press, 1985 (orig. 1929), trade paperback, ISBN 0029351804
  • Alfred North Whitehead, Alfred North Griffin, David Ray and Donald W. Sherburne, Process and Reality: An Essay in Cosmology, Free Press, 1979 (orig. 1929), trade paperback, ISBN 0029345707
  • Alfred North Whitehead, Function of Reason, Beacon Press (http://www.beacon.org/), 1971, (orig. 1929), trade paperback, ISBN 0807015733
  • Alfred North Whitehead, Adventures of Ideas, Free Press, 1985 (orig. 1933), trade paperback, 307 pages, ISBN 0029351707
  • Alfred North Whitehead, Modes of Thought, Simon & Schuster, 1985 (orig. 1938), trade paperback, 179 pages, ISBN 002935210X
  • Alfred North Whitehead, Lucien Price, Caldwell Titcomb, Sir Ross David, Dialogues of Alfred North Whitehead (A Nonpareil Book), David R. Godine (http://www.godine.com/main.html), 2001, trade paperback, 400 pages, ISBN 1567921299
  • Search on ABE for earlier writings (http://dogbert.abebooks.com/abe/BookSearch?an=Alfred+North+Whitehead&sortby=2)

External links

de:Alfred North Whitehead fr:Alfred North Whitehead it:Alfred North Whitehead ja:アルフレッド・ノース・ホワイトヘッド ko:앨프리드 노스 화이트헤드 nl:Alfred North Whitehead pl:Alfred North Whitehead pt:Alfred North Whitehead sk:Alfred North Whitehead

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