The Method of Speculative Philosophy

An Essay on the Foundations of Whitehead''s Metaphysics

Siebers, Johan

kassel university press, ISBN: 978-3-933146-79-3, 2002, 196 Pages

URN: urn:nbn:de:0002-797

Zugl.: Leiden, Univ., Diss. 1998

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Content: In this study, a radically new interpretation of the metaphysics of A.N. Whitehead, one of the founders of analytic philosophy, is presented and defended against received views. In a careful close-reading the methodological foundation of Whitehead's ontology of events, or 'occasions' is reconstructed. The guiding notion is that, in Whitehead's philosophy, ontological talk is not about the ontic inventory of the world; rather it is a way of eliciting the dimensions constituting the meaning of 'being'. When seen in this light, Whitehead's philosophy looses its taint of the bizarre and becomes a powerful voice amid contemporary debates about metaphysics, rationality and philosophical method, both in analytic as well as continental circles.

With his interpretation in hand, the author looks at several rivalling accounts of the question of being and the ontology of events, and he applies his reading in a reconstruction of the influence Whitehead's thought has had on one of the great figures of modernist literature, Edmund Wilson.

This book, though demanding in form of exposition and content, will be stimulating and challenging to philosophers with a metaphysical bent and, specifically, to those studying Whitehead or the origins of analytic philosophy. To all those interested in the fate, and future, of first philosphy, it affords a fresh look at a great, unduly neglected, thinker.

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