Creative Experiencing

A Philosophy of Freedom

By Charles Hartshorne
Edited by Donald W. Viney & Jincheol O

Subjects: Process Philosophy, Metaphysics, Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Philosophy
Paperback : 9781438436661, 176 pages, July 2012
Hardcover : 9781438436654, 176 pages, September 2011

Table of contents

Editors’ Preface
Hartshorne’s Preface
1. Some Formal Criteria of Good Metaphysics
2. My Eclectic Approach to Phenomenology
3. Negative Facts and the Analogical Inference to ‘Other’ Mind
4. Perception and the Concrete Abstractness of Science
5. Metaphysical Truth by Systematic Elimination of Absurdities
6. The Case for Metaphysical Idealism
7. Creativity and the Deductive Logic of Causality
8. The Meaning of ‘Is Going to Be’
9. Theism and Dual Transcendence
10. The Ontological Argument and the Meaning of Modal Terms
11. Categories, Transcendentals, and Creative Experiencing
12. The Higher Levels of Creativity: Wieman’s Theory
13. Politics and the Metaphysics of Freedom

A vigorous and wide-ranging defense of Hartshorne’s “neoclassical metaphysics” of creative freedom.


Charles Hartshorne, one of the premier metaphysicians of the twentieth century, surmised that Creative Experiencing: A Philosophy of Freedom made his contribution to technical philosophy essentially complete. Found among his papers, this book combines five chapters published here for the first time with revisions and expansions of previously published material. Hartshorne articulates and defends his "neoclassical metaphysics" as an enterprise related to but independent of empirical science, addressing a variety of topics, including the problem of other minds (including nonhuman ones), the competencies of science, the nature of God, the meaning of modal terms, the ontological status of universals, and the metaphysical grounding of political freedom. While Hartshorne is widely known as a process philosopher, Creative Experiencing also shows him in dialogue with the wider currents of both analytic philosophy and phenomenology. The book includes his clearest account of his appropriation of phenomenology, the most succinct presentation of his analysis of time's asymmetry and its relation to causality, and his fullest statement concerning the meaning of future tense statements.

Charles Hartshorne (1897–2000) is considered by many to be one of the greatest philosophers of religion and metaphysics of the twentieth century. He is the author of several books, including The Darkness and the Light: A Philosopher Reflects Upon His Fortunate Career and Those Who Made It Possible; Wisdom as Moderation: A Philosophy of the Middle Way; and Creativity in American Philosophy, all published by SUNY Press. Donald Wayne Viney is Professor of Philosophy at Pittsburg State University and the author of Charles Hartshorne and the Existence of God, also published by SUNY Press. Jincheol O is Minister at the Seoul Memorial Baptist Church in Seoul, South Korea. Previously, he served as the Archives Director at the Center for Process Studies in Claremont, California.


"This book truly is a testament to Hartshorne's metaphysical genius … I would recommend this book … to those looking to expand their knowledge of process philosophy vis-à-vis studies in Whitehead, or more generally to anyone simply looking to master the essentials of Hartshorne. " — Leon Niemoczynski, American Journal of Theology and Philosophy

"Although this book is addressed to other philosophers, it is written in clear and lucid prose, accessible to non-technical readers. " — Literature and Theology

"One does not have to be a follower of Hartshorne, nor even a process philosopher, to benefit from reading this last metaphysical testament by one of America's most distinguished thinkers. " — George Allan, author of Higher Education in the Making: Pragmatism, Whitehead, and the Canon