Whitehead's Metaphysics of Extension and Solidarity

By Jorge Luis Nobo

Subjects: Philosophy, Metaphysics
Paperback : 9780887062629, 437 pages, June 1986
Hardcover : 9780887062612, 437 pages, June 1986

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Table of contents


ONE: Solidarity and the Categories


1. Solidarity and the organic categoreal scheme
2. Concerns, limitations, and plan of this essay
3. Memory: a key to the relevant categories
4. Becoming and being: the actual entity as subject-superject
5. Repetition and immediacy: objectification and subjective form
6. Objectification, immanence, and the extensive continuum
7. Repetition and immediacy: some relevant categoreal terms
8. Repetition and immediacy: transition and concrescence
9. The principles of creativity, relativity, ontology, and process
10. Becoming and being: 'actuality' and the principle of process
11. Succession and anticipation: supersession and the future
12. Solidarity, the extensive continuum, and the formative elements
13. Brief preview of remaining chapters

TWO: The Principle of Relativity

1. To be is to be repeatable
2. Repetition in experience
3. Repetition in the dative phase
4. Repetition in the conformal phase
5. Repetition and novelty in the mental phases
6. Conceptual novelty and God's primordial nature
7. Autonomy, physical novelty, and the integrative phases
8. The ubiquity of repetition
9. Causal objectification, conformation, and self-formation
10. Causal objectification as the reproduction of particulars


THREE: The Principles of Ontology and Creativity


1. The Principle of efficient, and final, causation
2. Causal objectifications as efficient causes
3. The subjective aim as final cause
4. Causation, autonomy, and the arbitrariness of history
5. The free initiation and free conclusion of each concrescence
6. The primordial counterpart of the initial subjective aim
7. Causes, causation, and creativity
8. The Category of the Ultimate
9. Solidarity, the Ultimate, and the Categoreal Scheme
10. Transition and the principles of ontology and creativity
11. Transition distinguished from concrescence
12. Threefold causation, decision, and the ontological principle
13. Decision, objectification, and actuality
14. Summary


FOUR: Creativity, Eternal Objects, and God


1. Creativity: its reality as a potentiality for the becoming of actualities
2. Eternal objects: their individual and relational essences
3. Eternal objects: abstractive hierarchies and connexity
4. God: abstractive hierarchies and his primordial nature
5. God: his consequent and superhective natures
6. Eternal objects: novelty and contrasts, or particular modes of ingression
7. Eternal objects: their general modes of functioning
8. Eternal objects: subjective and objective species
9. Eternal objects: their connectedness or ideal solidarity
10. Solidarity and the formative elements: a revealing review

FIVE: The Extensive Continuum

1. The metaphysical extensive continuum or receptacle
2. Extension contrasted with actualized extension
3. Extension and the spatio-temporal continuum
4. Extension and solidarity
5. The theory of organic extensive aspects
a. Separativeness
b. Modality
c. Prehensiveness
6. The theory of organic apsects in SMW
7. Modal presence and objectification
8. The extensive continuum: as one, and as many
9. A comment on the theory of extensive connection
10. Brief comment on physical space-time
11. Summary


SIX: Objectification, Position, and Self-Identity


1. Three objections refuted
2. The twofold reality of actual entities: intrinsic and extrinsic
3. The multiple location and unique position of an actual occasion
4. Position and the indicative scheme
5. Self-identity and positional uniqueness
6. Aboriginal position and acquired definiteness
7. From bare particular to fully-clothed individual
8. Self-identity and self-diversity
9. Summary

SEVEN: Extensional Solidarity and the Dative Phase

1. The relevance of attained actualities and extension
2. The relevance of creativity and envisagement
3. The relevance of eternal objects of the objective species
4. The relevance of eternal objects of the subjective species
5. The relevance of God's primordial nature
6. The occasion as internally related to a knowable universe
7. The dative phase as the real potentiality for subjective experience
8. The dative modal scheme as the real potentiality for aesthetic integration
9. The dative scheme's relevance to genetic and coordinate analyses
10. Extensional solidarity and the philosophy of organism

EIGHT: Solidarity and Individuality

1. The conformal phases: from objectivity to subjectivity
2. The integrative phases: extension and the modes of perception
3. Perception, knowledge, and objective solidarity
4. Functional solidarity and autonomous individuality
5. Autonomy and the evaporation of indeterminacy
6. Concluding remarks






At the base of Whitehead's philosophy of organism is a vision of the solidarity of all final actualities. Each actuality is a discrete individual enjoying autonomous self-determination, yet each also requires all other actualities as essential components and partial determinants of its own nature. This vision of universal solidarity, Nobo demonstrates, is the fundamental metaphysical thesis whose truth the categories and principles of Whitehead's philosophy were expressly designed to elucidate. The received interpretations of Whitehead's thought, Nobo shows, have ignored the mutual relevance of the solidarity thesis and the organic categoreal scheme and, for that reason, have grossly misrepresented many of Whitehead's most important metaphysical doctrines.

Contending that the difficult tasks of interpreting and developing Whitehead's metaphysics presuppose an understanding of the solidarity thesis, Nobo explores that thesis and the metaphysical categories and principles most relevant to its elucidation. In the process, he not only corrects many misinterpretations but also develops important metaphysical doctrines that Whitehead neglected to make sufficiently explicit in his published writings. It is precisely in terms of the neglected doctrine of eternal extensive continuity, Nobo demonstrates, that the more puzzling aspects of the solidarity thesis are satisfactorily explained. He then shows that the extensional solidarity of all final actualities is an essential ingredient of the generalized conception of experience on which Whitehead builds his ontology, cosmology, and epistemology.

Jorge Luis Nobo is Professor of Philosophy at Washburn University of Topeka.