By James O. Bennett (auth.), Professor Robert C. Whittemore (eds.)
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Additional info for Studies in Process Philosophy I
3 Since the modern notion of the atom has been "dematerialized," then the formal atoms of modern theory will not find their ontological locus in the notion of an enduring substantial underpinning to the elementary forms. Instead, the concept of action, associated with "energy," suggests itself as a likely ontological category. Compare the following passages; first Whitehead: In the language of physical science the change from materialism to 'organic realism' - as the new outlook may be termed - is the displacement of the notion of a static stuff by the notion of fluent energy.
What is presupposed is a domain of eternal objects and a domain of actual entities and a set of permanent interconnections. Those who advocate a "process" interpretation of Whitehead's metaphysics overlook his repeated insistence that he was a Platonist. " He reinforced the sensible objects, which he called "actual entities," by granting them a reality equal to that of the eternal objects. His analysis of actual entities showed them to be in a state of continual flux, in which, however, he was able to discern elements of permanence.
Given that present prephilosophical experience is, within the life of Western culture, more than usually characterized by rapid change and reversals -by the 'warfare' Heraclitus saw everywhere - process metaphysics would seem ideally suited for derivation from, and application to the understanding of, such an experience, provided it were partially diverted from preoccupation with cosmology and theology to the contemplation of everyday experience and the forms of culture. I do not wish to suggest that philosophers should change 1 I have briefly characterized this change in "Plato and Protagoras: Two Ideals of Culture," Akten des XIV.