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One, Two, or Three Concepts of God in Alfred North Whitehead’s Process and Reality?

by Denis Hurtubise

Denis Hurtubise is Lecturer in Systematic Theology at Saint Paul University, 223 Main Street, Ottawa, Canada, K1S 1C4. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on the concepts of God in Whitehead’s Process and Reality. The following article appeared in Process Studies, pp.78-100, Vol. 30, Number 1, Spring-Summer, 2001. Process Studies is published quarterly by the Center for Process Studies, 1325 N. College Ave., Claremont, CA 91711. Used by permission. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.


For a number of years now, a debate has been underway in the Whiteheadian academy about the method we should adopt to interpret Alfred North Whitehead’s metaphysical writings. Many specialists, if not most, contend that those writings express a single point of view, that is, the same metaphysical system. It is their claim, consequently, that each of those writings provides data for the reconstruction of Whitehead’s metaphysical system and that all of them should be used for that purpose. William A. Christian’s landmark work, An Interpretation of Whitehead’s Metaphysics, may be the quintessential exemplification of that approach to Whitehead’s metaphysical writings.1 For a number of years, however, those writings have been approached from a radically different method by Lewis S. Ford. His genetic approach, characterized by the practice of compositional analysis,2 led him to propose a quite different set of views about Whitehead’s metaphysical writings which he presents as having evolved over time. According to Ford, there have been significant conceptual shifts not only between the various books expressing Whitehead’s philosophy of organism but also during the very composition of some of them individually. In The Emergence of Whitehead’s Metaphysics (1923-1929), Ford claims that Whitehead’s magnum opus, Process and Reality, is the end result of ten revisions of an initial draft.

It goes without saying that for those who believe Whitehead always proposed the same metaphysical system, the Anglo-American metaphysician held the same concept of God from Science and the Modern World (1925) to Modes of Thought (1938). According to Victor Lowe, for example, the distinction between two divine natures may have been made explicit only in Process and Reality but was nevertheless already present in Religion in the Making (1926): "The distinction of God’s primordial nature from the ‘consequent’ nature is introduced in Process and Reality, but the corresponding ideas can be discerned in Religion in the Making" (100). Lowe actually traces the primordial nature as far back as in Science and the Modern World.3 Ford, quite to the opposite, claims that, in Process and Reality alone, Whitehead successively held three different concepts of God.4

The position that I will defend here lies between Ford’s and that of his opponents. It is my claim that not only one, and not as many as three -- but at least two concepts of God can be found in Process and Reality. In effect, there is strong evidence that in an earlier stage in the composition of that book Whitehead conceptualized God without distinguishing between two divine natures, the primordial and the consequent. More precisely, there was no such thing as a consequent nature of God in an earlier conceptual stage manifest in some passages in Process and Reality. The problem is that these particular passages have been either neglected by Whitehead’s main exegetes or interpreted from the standpoint of a matrix or grid based on the last chapter in Whitehead’s magnum opus. A careful reading of those passages, with particular attention given to the divine attributes that are mentioned in them, leads to the conclusion that these passages are traces of an earlier, more basic concept of God which Whitehead eventually sought to replace by the concept of God in two natures, as found in the published version of Process and Reality.

I will consider first an initial set of three passages from Process and Reality in order to show the presence, in that book, of another concept of God. Then, using three other passages from the same book, I will demonstrate that this other concept is earlier than the concept of God in two natures. I will propose next a reconstruction of that earlier concept of God. In a final section, I will address Lewis S. Ford’s proposal of a third, even earlier concept of God in Process and Reality.

I. Another concept of God in Process and Reality

As surprising as it may seem, at least twenty-two passages where God is mentioned in Whitehead’s magnum opus have been written from a different conceptual standpoint than the one expressed in the passages where God is presented as having a primordial and a consequent nature. Of these twenty-two passages, three stand out as particularly clear manifestations of this particular conception of God. The first is actually the passage where Whitehead mentions God for the very first time in Process and Reality:

In all philosophic theory there is an ultimate which is actual in virtue of its accidents. It is only then capable of characterization through its accidental embodiments, and apart from these accidents is devoid of actuality. In the philosophy of organism this ultimate is termed ‘creativity’; and God is its primordial, non-temporal accident. (7)

The key feature of this short passage is, for present purposes, the relationship established between God and time. Whitehead writes that "God is [the] non-temporal accident of creativity]" (Process 7). There is no qualification here, no restriction as to the scope of the attribution of non-temporality to God: it is God as such, not an aspect or a side of God nor only a nature of the divine actual entity, that is non-temporal.

Such a statement is problematic, at least inasmuch as it is incompatible with the concept of God as primordial and consequent natures that appears at other places in Process and Reality, particularly in the last part of the book. Indeed, what is proposed by Whitehead in those other places is the concept of a God that is non-temporal in the primordial nature, but temporal in the consequent nature. The latter, in effect, is ontologically, and relationally temporal. God, conceived according to the distinction between a primordial and a consequent nature, as ontologically temporal is required by the following passage:

The truth itself is nothing else than how the composite natures of the organic actualities of the world obtain adequate representation in the divine nature. Such representations compose the ‘consequent nature’ of God, which evolves in its relationship to the evolving world without derogation to the eternal completion of its primordial conceptual nature. (12)

What is stated here is that the consequent nature evolves. Given the parallel drawn in the passage by Whitehead between the consequent nature’s evolution and the evolution of the world, and given the contrast he made there between the consequent nature’s evolution and the completeness of the primordial nature, we can only conclude that since the consequent nature evolves it is incomplete, it grows, and it changes. Whitehead actually claims that the consequent nature "is ever enlarging itself" (Process 349). It should be understood, at this juncture, that Whitehead conceptualizes change as "the difference between actual occasions is some determinate event" (Process 73), thus as involving and requiring more than a single act. The consequent nature, then, precisely because it changes, has to be a series of acts. The consequent nature evolves: in Whitehead’s metaphysical system, this means that God in God’s own self-creative process, is temporal.

Besides being ontologically temporal, the consequent nature is also relationally temporal. This at least is suggested by a few passages, such as the one from Process 12 quoted above.6 It is actually required by Whitehead’s technical statement about the kind of objectification that takes place in the consequent nature. About the latter, he writes that "[t]his element in God’s nature inherits from the temporal counterpart according to the same principle as m the temporal world the future inherits from the past" (Process 350). In Whitehead’s philosophy of organism expounded in Process and Reality, the principle according to which in the temporal world the future inherits from the past is causal objectification, a temporal relationship that takes place between non-contemporary acts? Through the consequent nature, in sum, God is relationally temporal in the sense of being involved in temporal relationships with the actual entities of the world.

Since the consequent nature is ontologically and relationally temporal, the statement that "God is [the] non-temporal accident [of creativity]" (Process 7) is incompatible with the concept of God in two natures developed in the last chapter of that book. Indeed, the statement excludes any temporality in God.

Therefore, it could not have been written from the conceptual standpoint that underlies the concept of God in two natures. This leads to the conclusion that there is another concept of God being proposed in Process 7, namely, that of a God devoid of any temporal side.

A very similar manifestation of that concept of a non-temporal God can be found in this passage:

The things which are temporal arise by their participation in the things which are eternal. The two sets are mediated by a thing which combines the actuality of what is temporal with the timelessness of what is potential. This final entity is the divine element in the world, by which the barren inefficient disjunction of abstract potentialities obtains primordially the efficient conjunction of ideal realization. (Process 40)

Here, Whitehead writes that the divine element in the world "combines the actuality of what is temporal with the timelessness of what is potential." God, in other words, is actual and timeless. As was the case with the passage from Process 7 above, neither in Process 40, nor in its immediate context provided by section 11.1.1, is the timelessness of God restricted to an aspect, side, or nature of the divine actual entity. It is God as such, integrally, that is timeless according to that passage, which cannot in any way be interpreted as allowing for a temporal aspect, side, or nature in God. Therefore, the statement that God "combines the actuality of what is temporal with the timelessness of what is potential" is incompatible with the concept of God in two natures developed in the last chapter of that book where, as we have seen above, God is temporal in the consequent nature. Since, however, the statement is identified with the one made in Process 7, it has to be interpreted as a second manifestation in Process and Reality of a concept of God, namely, one devoid of any temporal side.

The third passage that witnesses to a concept of God that differs from the concept of God in two natures is located in section II.III.3:

This is the form of the cosmological argument, now generally abandoned as invalid; because our notion of causation concerns the relations of stares of things within the actual world, and can only be illegitimately extended to a transcendent derivation. The notion of God, which will be discussed later (cf. Part V), is that of an actual entity immanent in the actual world, but transcending any finite cosmic epoch -- a being at once actual, eternal, immanent, and transcendent. The transcendence of God is nor peculiar to him. Every actual entity, in virtue of its novelty, transcends its universe, God included. (Process 93-94)

The second sentence, especially its last part, is of particular relevance for this discussion. God is presented there as "a being at once actual, eternal, immanent, and transcendent." The divine attributes of actuality, immanence and transcendence are not problematic in any way: all of them characterize the God in two natures for which Whitehead is so well known. The same cannot be said, however, of the attribution of eternity to God, or, better, of the way eternity is attributed to God in Process 94. In effect, it is without any qualification or limitation of its scope that the attribution of ‘eternal’ is applied to God in that passage. Other qualifications are not thereby excluded, of course, and, as we noted earlier, Whitehead says that, besides being eternal, God is also actual, immanent, and transcendent. However, the logical consequence of such a non-restrictive attribution of the qualification ‘eternity’ to God is that, thereby, contrary qualifications are excluded. That God is temporal is one of those excluded attributes. As a result, it is God integrally, and not an aspect, side, or nature of God, that is said to be eternal in Process 94.

Such a statement is incompatible with the concept of God as having primordial and consequent natures that appears at other places in Process and Reality, particularly in the last part of the book. That incompatible concept is one that holds God is eternal, but also everlasting. It is a concept in which the attributions of eternity and everlastingness are made in a differentiated fashion: God is eternal in the primordial nature, but everlasting in the consequent nature. Everlastingness, besides, is defined and applied to the consequent nature in a way such that the latter cannot in any way be even remotely considered eternal. Quite the contrary, that the consequent nature is everlasting means that in its own process there is creative advance: Whitehead writes that the consequent nature has "[t]he property of combining creative advance with the retention of . . . immediacy" (Process 346). A technical expression in Whitehead’s philosophy of organism, ‘creative advance’ is the fundamental dynamic of the universe. It is, on the one hand, the unification process that takes place where and whenever there is an actual entity. It is, on the other hand, the never ending emergence of new unification processes.8 Since Whitehead contends that there is always novel creative advance in the consequent nature, this means that there are always new unification processes, new acts of unification that take place in the consequent nature. This confirms what I had noted earlier, namely, that God, in the consequent nature at least, is a series of acts, thus temporal.

Since it excludes the possibility of a temporal aspect in God, the presentation of God as "a being at once actual, eternal, immanent, and transcendent" (Process 94) could not have been written from the standpoint of the concept of God in two natures developed in the last chapter of that book. In relationship to the latter, it amounts to a false statement. The only possible conclusion is that this passage is yet another manifestation of the presence in Process and Reality of a another concept of God in addition to the concept of God in two natures. Otherwise, we would have to cling to the a priori notion that Whitehead wrote Process and Reality from the standpoint of the concept of God developed in the last part of the book, and posit that he would have written true statements in some places in the book and false statements in others.

Needless to say, the interpretation proposed here of the references to God in Process 7, 40 and 93 differs in a major way from views held by traditional and systematic interpreters of Whitehead. Actually, a survey of some of the most important works devoted to Whitehead’s metaphysics suggests that the current interpretations of the concept of God are based on the last ten pages of the book, and shows that the three passages featured here in this present paper have been, at best, neglected in the elaboration of those interpretations. For example, the passage from Process 7 is mentioned by William A. Christian in An Interpretation of Whitehead’s Metaphysics (311, 403), by John B. Cobb in A Christian Natural Theology (168,206), by Ivor Leclerc in Whitehead’s Metaphysics (83 and 84), by Donald W. Sherburne in A Key to Whitehead’s Process and Reality (32), and by Elizabeth M. Kraus in The Metaph3sics of Experience (39). The passage from Process 7 is not used in these citations, however, as material or data for the interpretation of Whitehead’s concept of God. Apart from Cobb, who sees in that passage evidence that God is subordinated to creativity, the aforementioned scholars limit themselves to general comments, mostly on the notion of the "Ultimate." As for the important description made of God as "the non-temporal accident [of creativity]" (Process 7), only Cobb mentions it, and this in a quotation meant to illustrate God’s subordination to creativity.

The passage from Process 93 is neglected even more: it is mentioned only three times in the books listed above (An Interpretation of Whitehead’s Metaphysics 9, 48, and A Key to Process and Reality 160), and barely commented upon.

The passage from Process 40 is more substantial, and it receives, correspondingly, more attention from the Whitehead exegetes mentioned above. However, and somewhat similar to the case with the passages from Process 7 and 93, it is not so much its doctrinal content on God that draws the scholars’ attention, as other aspects of that passage. In effect, most of Christian’s comments bear on the doctrine of eternal objects discussed there. The same can be said about Sherburne’s comments, and Leclerc uses Process 40 mostly as a source of data for understanding the ontological principle. The very few comments that concern Whitehead’s concept of God remain superficial. For example, in light of Process 40, God is seen by Christian as the source of the togetherness (269) and of the order (271) of eternal objects; as the source of the relevance of eternal objects (27) and of novelty (25) by Sherburne; and as the provider of subjective aims by Leclerc (201). At the same time, some of those comments are quite instructive as to the method followed by at least some of the exegetes referred to here. Indeed, in An Interpretation of Whitehead’s Metaphysics, Christian assimilates the passage from Process 40 to a discussion of the primordial nature of God (271). In a similar way, but with even more insistence and clarity; Kraus does the same (61 and 63). Considering the absence of any mention of the primordial nature of God in Process 40, it is quite obvious that both Christian and Kraus interpret that passage from a conceptual framework based on the interpretation of other passages, namely, those in Process and Reality where the concept of God in two natures is developed. As we have seen, however, the conceptual content of Process 40 on God is incompatible with that concept of God in two natures.

Is it because Christian and Kraus did not pay enough attention to the implications of the attribution of God as timeless in Process 40 that they were able to interpret the word "God" in that passage as meaning "primordial nature of God," or is it because they glossed over the conceptual difficulty that I pointed out earlier in this paper? The fact of the matter is that their interpretation of Process 40 amounts to an unwarranted importation of meaning from other passages in which a different concept of God from the one that appears in Process 40 is expounded.

Coming back to the concept of God that manifests itself in Process 7,40 and 93, we can find more evidence of its presence in Process 31, 32, and 46. Besides providing more data for the reconstruction of that concept, these passages (the former triad) hear witness to the relationship between the latter triad and the concept of God as primordial and consequent natures that is usually seen as the only concept of God in Process and Reality.

II. The Second Concept of God in Process and Reality: An Earlier Concept of God

One of the most important manifestations of the concept referred to so far as the "second concept of God" in Process and Reality appears in the following passage:

In what sense can unrealized abstract form be relevant? What is its basis of relevance? ‘Relevance’ must express some real fact of togetherness among forms. The ontological principle can be expressed as: All real togetherness is togetherness in the formal constitution of an actuality So if there be a relevance of what in the temporal world is unrealized, the relevance must express a fact of togetherness in the formal constitution of a non-temporal actuality. But by the principle of relativity there can only be one non-derivative actuality, unbounded by its prehensions of an actual world. Such a primordial superject of creativity achieves, in its unity of satisfaction, the complete conceptual valuation of all eternal objects. This is the ultimate, basic adjustment of the togetherness of eternal objects on which creative order depends. It is the conceptual adjustment of all appetites in the form of aversions and adversions. It constitutes the meaning of relevance. Its status as an actual efficient fact is recognized by terming it the ‘primordial nature of God.’ (32)

This passage ends with the following remark: "Its status as an actual efficient fact is recognized by terming it the ‘primordial nature of God’." Wouldn’t that be sufficient for one to conclude that the whole passage describes the primordial nature of God? Many scholars did so conclude and others still do.10 However, the presence of two particular elements in that passage invalidates such a conclusion. There is, on the one hand and once again, the qualification -- non-restricted in its scope -- of God as non-temporal, which, as such, is sufficient to ground the conclusion that there is, in Process 32, a manifestation of a concept of God that differs from the usual concept of God in two natures. On the other hand, the passage quoted above also includes the following remark: "By the principle of relativity there can only be one non-derivative actuality, unbounded by its prehensions of an actual world" (32). The key expression here is "non-derivative actuality" The word "actuality" is particularly important since it allows one to determine the referent of that expression and, by the same token, of the surrounding description. Indeed, in light of its use in Process 32 (that is, in the context of a statement of the ontological principle) "actuality" means more than simply "something which is actual." It means "actual entity"11 Thereby; the primordial nature of God is excluded as the referent of the description made in Process 32. The referent can only be God.12 Furthermore, the referent can only be God as conceived without the distinction between a primordial nature and a consequent nature. Indeed, as we noted in Process 32, God is said to be the "non-derivative actuality." The absence of any restriction as to the scope of the attribute ‘non-derivative’ is significant. It means that it is God, as such, not a side or a nature of God, that is non-derivative. Any derivative aspect in God is thereby excluded here. The incompatibility between the description made, in Process 32, of God as the non-derivative actuality and the concept of God in two natures is blatant. Indeed, is it not one of the main characteristics of God, thus conceived, to be free in the primordial nature, but determined in the consequent nature (345)? Does Whitehead not say about the consequent nature that "the completion of God’s nature into a fullness of physical feeling is derived from the objectification of the world in God," and that "his derivative nature [the consequent nature] is consequent upon the creative advance of the world" (345)? Obviously, God was not described, in Process 32, from the same conceptual perspective as in Process 345. God, as conceptualized in Process 32, did not have a consequent nature -- the very possibility of the latter is negated by the qualification of God as non-derivative.

Given that the basic description of God as a non-temporal actual entity found in Process 7, 40 and 93 appears again in Process 32, it is safe to conclude that this last text, with the exception of its last sentence where the primordial nature of God is mentioned, manifests the same concept of God as the three former texts. That concept is barely mentioned in Process 7 and 93, but developed in a fuller way in Process 32 and 40. However, before moving on to a reconstruction of that concept of God, the question of the relation between it and the concept of God characterized by the distinction between two divine natures should be addressed. More precisely the question remains as to the chronological order in which Whitehead introduced these concepts into Process and Reality.

The passage from Process 32 is helpful in this respect. Indeed, as the analysis above implies, there is in this passage an interface between two sub-passages that express two different concepts of God. The bulk of Process 32 has been written from the standpoint of the concept of a non-temporal God, whereas the last sentence is an expression of the concept of God in two natures, primordial and consequent. As a result, the two sub-passages are not contemporary, neither conceptually nor compositionally. Which concept is earlier, and which is later? The interface is quite telling in this regard. It seems quite clear, in effect, that the last sentence in Process 32 was written specifically an order to modify the meaning of the overall passage, more precisely, in order to assimilate what was a description of God as such into a description of the primordial nature of God. The two concepts of God expressed in the bulk of Process 32, for one, and in the last sentence, for the other, being non-contemporary, that the last sentence is later, compositionally, than the rest of Process 32 (because of this assimilative role) entails that the content of that last sentence is later, conceptually speaking.

There are at least two other interfaces between passages written from different conceptual standpoints on the topic of God that we should consider. One of them is on pages 31 and 32 of Process and Reality. The interface here is between the bulk of the passage quoted below and sentence 3, the latter printed in italic:

[1] The non-temporal act of all-inclusive unfettered valuation is at once a creature of creativity and a condition for creativity [2] II shares this double character with all creatures. [3] By reason of its character as a creature, always in concrescence and never in the past, it receives a reaction from the world; this reaction is its consequent nature. [4] It is here termed ‘God’; because the contemplation of our natures, as enjoying real feelings derived from the timeless source of all order, acquires that ‘subjective form’ of refreshment and companionship at which religions aim. (31-32, emphasis added)

What should be noted are the shifts that take place from one sentence to the next in terms of their respective topics, and the faulty references that are thereby created. In sentences 1 and 2, the grammatical subject, and, as it should, the topic under discussion is the non-temporal act of all inclusive unfettered valuation. In sentence 3, because it is referred to by the pronoun "it," the grammatical subject remains the non-temporal act of all inclusive unfettered valuation. However, the topic under discussion does not correspond to the grammatical subject, since the former becomes God as primordial and consequent natures. A faulty reference is thereby created at the beginning of sentence 3, where it is said that "By reason of its character as a creature, . . . it receives a reaction from the world." That reference is here said to be faulty since what is referred to by "its" and "it," that is, the non-temporal act of all inclusive unfettered valuation, cannot receive a reaction from the world.

Another difficulty concerns the actual subject of sentence 4. This subject remains the non-temporal act of all-inclusive unfettered valuation, that is, God considered as such in light of the identification made at the outset of sentence 4 with "It is here termed God." However, it is clear that, grammatically speaking, the real subject of sentence 4, in other words the topic being discussed, is God, considered as primordial and consequent natures.

The topical shifts and faulty references are caused by sentence 3. As it causes the topic under discussion to shift, it operates a reorganization of meaning such that a passage devoted -- in its first two sentences -- to God as the non-temporal act of all-inclusive unfettered valuation becomes, with the third sentence, a passage whose subject is God understood as primordial and consequent natures. The fact that ambiguities and contradictions can be found in the resulting text, especially at the juncture of sentences 2 and 3, suggests that the latter has been added in Process 31-32. This is actually confirmed by the continuity between sentences 2 and 4, and by the internal coherence of the text made of sentences 1,2 and 4 when sentence 3 is removed. In light of the passages where the concept of a non-temporal God has been found, it would have been appropriate for Whitehead to declare that the non-temporal act of all-inclusive unfettered valuation is God, and to characterize it as the timeless source of all order, as he does in the text in sentences 1, 2 and 4.

A similar phenomenon to the one observed in Process 32 appears, then, at the juncture of Process 31 and 32. A sentence expressing the concept of God as having primordial and consequent natures has been added to a passage that had been written from the standpoint of a different concept of God, namely, the concept of a non-temporal God found in Process 7, 32, 40 and 93. Once again, that inserted sentence reinterprets its context, this time by transforming what was a description of God conceived as the non-temporal act of valuation into a description of God conceived as having primordial and consequent natures.

A third interface between a passage written from the standpoint of the concept of God in two natures, on the one hand, and, on the other, an expression of the concept of a non-temporal God can be found in here:

The scope of the ontological principle is not exhausted by the corollary that ‘decision’ must be referable tn an actual entity. Everything must be somewhere; and here ‘somewhere’ means ‘some actual entity.’ Accordingly the general potentiality of the universe must be somewhere; since it retains its proximate relevance to actual entities for which it is unrealized. This ‘proximate relevance’ reappears in subsequent concrescence as final causation regulative of the emergence of novelty. This ‘somewhere’ is the non-temporal actual entity. Thus ‘proximate relevance’ means ‘relevance as in the primordial mind of God’.

It is a contradiction in terms to assume that some explanatory fact can float into the actual world out of nonentity. Nonentity is nothingness. Every explanatory fact refers to the decision and to the efficacy of an actual thing. The notion of "subsistence" is merely the notion of how eternal objects can be components of the primordial nature of God. This is a question for subsequent discussion (cf. Process Part V). But eternal objects, as in God’s primordial nature, constitute the Platonic world of ideas. (Process 46)

Quite obviously, given the two mentions of the primordial nature, the second paragraph in the quote above is an expression of the concept of God as having primordial and consequent natures. Moreover, since that whole paragraph presents a unified discussion of the relationship between the primordial nature and eternal objects, it should be considered as having been written as a whole from the standpoint of this concept of God with two natures.

The same cannot be said, however, about the first paragraph. Implicitly Whitehead identities the non-temporal actual entity and God: "This ‘somewhere’ is the non-temporal actual entity Thus ‘proximate relevance’ means ‘relevance as in the primordial mind of God."’ The consequence drawn there -- that is, that "relevance" is in God -- can be drawn from the premise -- that is, the localization of the general potentiality of the universe in the non-temporal actual entity -- only if that actual entity is God. Given considerations entertained earlier in this article, the fact that God is conceived as the non-temporal actual entity in the first paragraph of Process 46 is sufficient to conclude that the latter has been written from a different conceptual standpoint from the second paragraph, where God is conceived as having a primordial and a consequent nature.

There is, then, in Process 46, an interface between passages written from different conceptual perspectives on the topic of God. And again, the passage that has been added is the one that expresses the concept of God as having primordial and consequent natures. Indeed, although grammatically speaking the second paragraph does not refer to the discussion that took place in the first paragraph, the former nevertheless is continuous with the latter in topic, as it furthers the reflection on the intradivine localization of eternal objects while modifying an aspect of the problematic. When the second paragraph is taken into account, it is no longer the non-temporal actual entity that is the locus of eternal objects and relevance, but the primordial nature of God. That kind of relationship between two passages that are not conceptually contemporary, a relationship such that one reinterprets the other on a topic discussed in both passages, tells of the compositional ulteriority of the passage that performs the reinterpretation, namely, in this case, the second paragraph of Process 46.

Thus, the interfaces in Process and Reality between passages written from the perspective of the concept of a non-temporal God and other passages stemming from the perspective of the concept of God in two natures reveal that the former is an earlier concept of God that came to be replaced by the latter in the published version of the book. They also provide supplementary data for the reconstruction of that earlier concept, to which we now move.

III. Process and Reality’s Earlier Concept of God: A Reconstruction

It is a much simpler concept of God that Whitehead held at an earlier stage In the composition of Process and Reality before he developed his later concept of God as having primordial and consequent natures. God was, at that earlier stage, the primordial (7), non-temporal actual entity (7, 31, 32, 40, 46, 93). In that concept, God was devoid of any physical dimension, being rather an entirely conceptual act of valuation of pure eternal objects, that is, of eternal objects in themselves, rather than as actualized in temporal actual entities. For example, Whitehead describes God as "the non-temporal act of all-inclusive unfettered valuation" (Process 31)13 All-inclusive (Process 32) in the sense that all eternal oh jets are valued in it, so that the divine actual entity is non-derivative (Process 32). Its objects are not received from other actual entities but, rather, from the realm of potentiality For the same reason, God thus conceived is free ("unfettered," in Process 31).

Since feelings give rise to actualization, the non-temporal actual entity is the ideal actualization of all eternal objects, including all those that are not yet actualized in temporal actual entities. In this way, God gives to each and every eternal object an access to actualization, thereby making them available for objectification by temporal actual entities. Indeed, it is because of this actualization in God that eternal objects exist from the standpoint of those temporal actual entities and become available to be actualized physically in their concrescences. As Whitehead writes in Process 40, it is because of God that "the barren inefficient disjunction of abstract potentialities obtain primordially the efficient conjunction of ideal realization," and, as a consequence, "each eternal object has a definite, effective relevance to each concrescent process. Without God, in sum, "there would be a complete disjunction of eternal objects unrealized in the temporal world" (40). Quite clearly, mediating "things which are temporal" and "things which are eternal"(40) is God’s main role, and accounting for that mediation was probably the reason why Whitehead mentioned and conceptualized God the way he did at an earlier stage in the composition of Process and Reality. Even at that early time, as Process 40 and 46 make clear, it was actually an exigency of Whitehead’s metaphysical system that all reasons reside in one or many actual entities. Because of that principle, the "ontological," Whitehead had to put forth the concept of an actual entity that would account for the mediation between eternal objects and actual entities. The solution consisted, it seems, in conceiving God as he did in the passages referred to in this reconstruction of the first (chronologically speaking concept of God of Process and Reality. The fact that the ontological principle is mentioned in two of the most important passages that express the early concept of God in Process and Reality suggests that extending the application of that process and principle was what brought Whitehead to include a non-temporal actual entity (that is, God) in his metaphysical system. As a matter of fact, he insists in Process 40 that "[b]y this recognition of the divine element the general Aristotelian principle is maintained that, apart form things that are actual, there is nothing -- nothing either in fact or efficacy."

The divine valuation of eternal objects is made according to all the degrees of adversion and aversion. As Whitehead writes in Process and Reality, God operates the "basic adjustment of the togetherness of eternal objects on which creative order depends," in other words, the "conceptual adjustment of all appetites in the form of aversions and adversions" (32). Accordingly; each eternal object is conceptually actualized at every degree of intensity in the divine actual entity Since the relevance of an eternal object for a concrescence is in proportion with the intensity of its actualization in the actual occasions given as data for that concrescence,14 God, as the conceptual actualization of all eternal objects at every degree of intensity; is the reason not only for the relevance,15 but also for the graduated relevance of eternal objects for the concrescences:

By reason of the actuality of this primordial valuation of pure potentials, each eternal object has a definite, effective relevance to each concrescent process. Apart from such orderings, there would be a complete disjunction of eternal objects unrealized in the temporal world." (Process 4-0)

Precisely because God is the conceptual adjustment of all appetites, God actually incites the actual occasions to physically actualize the eternal objects whose valuation God is.

Finally, God is the source of both order and novelty in the actual process. In Process and Reality Whitehead proposes that "the contemplation of our natures, as enjoying real feelings derived from the timeless source of all order, acquires that ‘subjective form’ of refreshment and companionship at which religions aims"(31).16 As for the relationship between the divine non-temporal actual entity and novelty, Whitehead claims that without God "novelty would be meaningless, and inconceivable." (Process 40)17

Obviously, there is a partial resemblance between the early concept of God as the non-temporal actual entity and the later concept of God as primordial and consequent natures. Indeed, is there not a correspondence between the former and the primordial nature of the later concept? Was God, as conceptualized in the early stages of the composition of Process and Reality, limited to what was to become the primordial nature in a later, expanded concept of God? That this is the case is actually confirmed by the dynamic observed in the three interfaces analyzed in the previous section. On each occasion, Whitehead inserted a passage written from the standpoint of the later concept of God in order to reinterpret a passage initially written from the standpoint of his earlier concept such that the subject of the resulting passage would shift from God as the non-temporal actual entity to the primordial nature and, more widely, to God as primordial and consequent natures.

It seems, then, that late in the composition of Process and Reality, Whitehead became dissatisfied with his concept of God. Was this due to his interest for new considerations, perhaps more theological than philosophical, such as the problem of everlastingness? Or (and?) was his intention to secure the universal application of principles other than the ontological principle, for example, the dipolar character of actual entities? One thing is clear. Whitehead added a new dimension to his concept of God, a dimension of such magnitude that, as a result, a new concept of God emerged, one that superseded the concept of God as the non-temporal actual entity in both his metaphysical system and in Process and Reality. That new concept of God is the concept of a God with two natures, primordial and consequent, and it is that concept that remained in the final version of the book.

IV. Lewis S. Ford’s Proposal: Three Concepts of God in Process and Reality

(a) Ford’s Views

In 1984, Lewis S. Ford proposed that two concepts of God can be found in Process and Reality.18 His views have evolved since then, however, and quite significantly. In 1999, he proposed that before developing the earlier concept of God that I reconstructed in the previous section of the present article, Whitehead did hold yet another, even more basic, concept of God. Expressed in an article titled "Whitehead’s Intellectual Adventure," Ford’s new position is more fully explained in Transforming Process Theism and "The Growth of Whitehead’s Theism." He claims that the passages in which he and I recognize an earlier concept of God in Process and Reality should actually be divided in two groups.19 Some of those passages, including the passage from Process 7 examined above would belong to an early stage in the composition of Process and Reality. They would manifest a concept of God that Ford considers the initial concept of God in Process and Reality.20 Other passages would stem from revisions that Whitehead would have brought later, before actually publishing the book, and would then pertain to what Ford considers an intermediate concept of God. Among the relatively numerous passages (26, according to Ford) that would harbor this second concept of God, Ford sees Process 31, 32, 40, and 46, all of which were discussed above in sections I and II.21

Mutatis mutandis, the reconstruction, proposed in the section III, of what I consider the only early concept of God in Whitehead’s magnum opus could be taken as an appropriate description of the intermediate concept of God found in Ford’s classification. This is so because the passages that Ford isolates as manifestations of an even earlier concept of God (Process 7, 18, etc.) are conceptually compatible with the passages that he links to what he calls the intermediate concept of God (Process 31, 32, 40, and 46, among others).22 Besides, both Ford and I use, in general, the main key passages as data for our respective reconstructions, namely, Process 32, 40, and 46. It is not surprising, then, that his intermediate concept of God and the concept that I consider the only early concept of God in Process and Reality are identical. Both are reconstructed on the basis of the same set of passages.23

What, then, is that initial concept of God that Ford distinguishes from another concept that he considers as intermediate? As Ford himself suggests in "The Growth of Whitehead’s Theism," there was not very much content in that concept. Because Whitehead wanted to complete his cosmological reflection in order to entertain more fully the topic of God, as Ford claims ("Growth" 12), the most recurrent, and main, statement about God in the passages expressing the initial concept of God is that God is the non-temporal actual entity (e.g., Process 7, 18, 222). Almost nothing else is said about God in these references (which are generally made in passing) other than God is primordial (e.g., Process 7) and, Ford adds, "transcendent, immanent, eternal, cause of itself, the basis for reasons of the highest absoluteness, and possibly the source of the eternal principles of value" (Transforming 57)24

As I mentioned earlier, the passages in which God is presented as the non-temporal actual entity and those where God is described as the conceptual valuation of eternal objects are conceptually compatible. If Ford still distinguishes between two non-temporal concepts of God, it is because he believes that the passages that harbor the intermediate concept are later insertions. According to him, indeed, the fact that the passages in which God is conceptualized as the conceptual valuation of eternal objects are insertions is sufficient to ground the conclusion that this concept of God has been proposed later than the simpler concept of God to be found in the original text:

The pattern of insertions offers independent evidence that there is an objective distinction between the two non-temporal concepts of God. If Whitehead began with a more traditional (non-concrescent) view of God, then the first version of Process and Reality would reflect that view; as it does. If his reconception of a non-temporal concrescence occurred after that draft was completed, any passages expressing this reconception could not be part of the original text but would be later interpolations. This appears to be the case: mentions of the non-concrescent concept appear to be part of the original text, while mentions of the concrescent concept appear to be inserted. ("Growth" 10)

At first glance, Ford’s proposal seems well-founded. Indeed, if all the passages in which God is presented as the conceptual valuation of eternal objects have been inserted in an already existing text where God is always described in much more general terms, the logical conclusion is that the views expressed in the insertions must be conceptually later than those expressed in the text where they have been inserted. Such an inference, of course, is valid only if all the passages where God is presented as the conceptual valuation of eternal objects are in fact insertions. It also requires that those passages are actually expressions of that notion of God. On closer analysis, however, it seems that among those passages, many cannot be interpreted as such expressions of the above mentioned notion of God. Moreover, it will become clear that, for those passages where God is in fact described as the conceptual valuation of eternal objects, the "pattern of insertions" is not as clear as Ford contends it is.

(b) Critique

I had mentioned earlier that Ford finds no less than twenty-six different passages expressing an intermediate concept of God, that is, passages in which God is presented as the conceptual valuation of eternal objects. I would argue that this number should be revised, and lowered in a substantial way. Among these twenty-six passages in question, some are actually manifestations of what both Ford and I agree as referring to the final concept of God in Process and Reality. This is the case with the passages from Process 105, 108,25 189, 278, 344, and 34926 Other passages are what I term "limit cases" in Relive Whitehead. Those passages that appear in Process 3l, 164, and 257,27 are so named because they max, but only may, include a component written from the standpoint of the concept of God as conceptual valuation of eternal objects, although the concept of God as primordial and consequent natures is obviously present in them.28 As a result of this, their compositional and conceptual status is too ambiguous for any solid conclusions to be based on them.

In addition, two passages among those considered by Ford as manifestations of the intermediate concept of God do not mention God, and, therefore, must be left aside in this discussion, namely, Process 69 and 277. Finally, there are those passages that have either been written in the final stages of the composition of Process and Reality, or at least late in the period when Whitehead did conceive God as non-temporal. Those passages, that appear in Process 87, 224, 244, 246-47, 247, and 249,29 are indeed insertions, but the fact that they may be expressions of either the concept of God with two natures in the final version of Process and Reality or an earlier concept makes it impossible for us to use them in the present discussion.

As a result, of the twenty-six passages Ford considers manifestations of the intermediate concept of God, only a handful can actually be considered as such. These are Process 32, 40, and 46, provided of course that these passages are insertions, as Ford contends. But are these passages insertions? Let us consider the passage from Process 32 first. In this case, I agree with Ford to a certain extent. In effect, there are indications that the fourth full paragraph of Process 32 has been inserted in its current position in Process and Reality. More precisely, it seems that the third chapter of the first part of Process and Reality, while having been written late during the composition of the book, incorporates earlier materials that have been displaced from their initial location in the book.30 The passage from Process 32 discussed here would belong to that category.31 However, one should not, and cannot, conclude, on the sole basis that the fourth full paragraph from Process 32 is an insertion, that this paragraph of has to be considered an expression of a second -- chronologically speaking -- concept of God as non-temporal. Such an inference would only be possible in the case of an insertion located in a context where God is conceived as the non-temporal actual entity, according to Ford’s distinction outlined above. The lateness of the concept of God as conceptual valuation of eternal objects vis-à-vis the concept of God as the non-temporal actual entity would have then been suggested by the interplay between the context and the insertion. It is not the case with the passage from Process 32, however, inasmuch as the context of the insertion is, somewhat oddly, later with respect to its composition, than the insertion of the fourth full paragraph of Process 32, or, rather, and more accurately, later in the above mentioned sense than those materials that have been included in it to form the fourth full paragraph of Process 32.

Let us move to the passage from Process 40. In this case, Ford considers lines 40.6b-17 as being made of two insertions, one at 40.6b-15c, and the other at 40.15d-17.32 Both would be manifestations of the intermediate concept of God. However, when those lines are read in context, no strong indications suggesting that they have been inserted can be found. Quite to the contrary, their content is conceptually and rhetorically continuous with their context. Indeed, the development from 40.6b onwards, that is based on the notion of God as the conceptual valuation of eternal objects, can be seen as expanding on the notion of the timeless but actual entity of Process 40.3b-6a. On the rhetorical plane, no textual irregularities that suggest, and eventually prove, the existence of one or many insertions, such as digressions, unwarranted topical shifts, or grammatical irregularities, appear in Process 40. In a word, the application to Process 40 of the criteria that Ford has devised to determine the existence of insertions33 actually shows that there are no insertions there.

Similar conclusions can be drawn from the compositional analysis of the first full paragraph of Process 46. Indeed, that kind of analysis shows that the section in which it is located -- the third section of the first chapter in the second part of Process and Reality (II.I.3) -- is mostly made of insertions.34 However, given its thematic continuity with materials that belong to the original version of that same section and of the previous section (II.I.2), the first full paragraph of Process 46 appears to belong to that original version.35 More precisely, Whitehead had clearly stated, in section II.I.2, his option for a "theory embracing the notions of ‘actual entity’, ‘giveness’, and ‘process"’ (Process 43), a theory in which "the ontological principle is the first stage" (Process 43). As it turns out, the introduction of the development of such a theory can be found in the original version of section II.I.3, pages 44, 45 and 46. The first full paragraph of Process 46, considered an insertion by Ford, fits quite nicely as the part of this introduction that deals with the ontological principle, and should, for that very reason, be considered as part of the original version of Process and Reality.

In sum, three passages from Process and Reality had to be shown as insertions in order for Ford’s proposal of an intermediate concept of God to be warranted. These passages are those from Process 32, 40 and 46. As it turns out, compositional analysis shows that all of them belong to the original version of Whitehead’s magnum opus. Thereby, and furthermore, this kind of analysis shows that the concept of God as conceptual valuation of eternal objects has been developed in that same original version of Process and Reality wherein references to God as the non-temporal actual entity abound. Consequently, there seems to be no other alternative than to consider these references to God as the non-temporal actual entity and developments concerning God as the conceptual valuation of eternal objects as mutually contemporar3; that is, in the sense that they must have been composed from the same conceptual perspective. In other words, those references and developments must point to and manifest only one concept of God, the concept of God that, given its chronological relationship with the concept of God as primordial and consequent natures, has been termed the "early concept of God of Process and Reality" in the first sections of this article.

Such a conclusion is also called for by external evidence. Indeed, as Ford himself admits, the concept of God as the conceptual valuation of eternal objects was already present in Religion in the Making, Whitehead’s previous book.36 There Whitehead wrote about God that "[t]his ideal world of conceptual harmonization is merely a description of God himself," then added that "the nature of God is the complete conceptual realization of the realm of ideal forms" (154). Ford’s proposal implies that Whitehead had abandoned such views between the publication of Religion in the Making and the composition of Process and Reality, and that he then had reverted to the concept of God as formative element that he had developed in the first three parts of Religion in the Making. In other words, Whitehead had moved back and forth between two concepts of God. His views would have shifted during the composition of Religion in the Making in 1926 from the concept of God as formative element to God as the conceptual valuation of eternal objects, then back in 1927 to the former concept when writing the original version of Process and Reality, but back again, sometime in early 1928, to the latter concept of God of Religion in the Making in a revised version of Process and Reality.

This is quite unlikely,37 and, actually, the interpretation that I proposed above of Process 32, 40 and 46 suggests that such wavering did not take place. Assuming that Ford’s analysis of Religion in the Making is accurate, Whitehead would have moved, during the composition of that book, from conceiving God as a formative element to God as the conceptual valuation of eternal objects. Contrary to Ford’s claims, however, the new, more developed concept of a non-temporal God was held by Whitehead until and through the composition of the original version of Process and Reality. More precisely, that concept lasted until Whitehead developed the distinction between a primordial and a consequent nature in God. As we have seen, indeed, all the passages where God is conceived as non-temporal are in terms of their composition contemporary and, as a result, express the same concept of God; and that concept, where God is presented as the conceptual valuation of eternal objects, is the very same concept that Whitehead held in the final version of Religion in the Making.

In sum, a compositional analysis of the passages where God is conceptualized by Whitehead in Process and Reality shows that, contrary to views commonly held by traditional and systematic interpreters, two concepts of God have been successively held by Whitehead during the composition of his Process and Reality. Passages from Process 7, 31, 32, 40, 46, and 93, among others, reveal that Whitehead had not developed the distinction between a primordial and a consequent nature at an earlier stage in the composition of the book. These passages manifest another concept of God, more basic and simple, where God was restricted to what eventually became the primordial nature in a revised -- actually, a new -- concept of God. However, more evidence would be needed in order to show that at an even earlier stage in the composition of his magnum opus, Whitehead did conceive God as nothing more than a formative element, as Lewis S. Ford claims.

Notes

 

l. A distinction has been established between two groups in the camp of those who contend that Whitehead always held the same metaphysical system. Jorge Luis Nobo claims that there is, on the one hand, a traditional approach. Its defining assumption is that "the whole of Whitehead’s metaphysical system finds complete expression between the covers of Process and Reality" (48). The preceding books in Whitehead’s metaphysical period, namely, Science and the Modern World, Religion and the Making, and Symbolism, express the same system "at least in its general outline and perhaps in a less mature form" (48). On the other hand there is, according to Nobo, a systematic approach. It rejects the assumption made by the traditional approach, that Whitehead’s whole metaphysical system is found in Process and Reality. The other books, including the later books, are essential for an accurate interpretation of Whitehead’s metaphysical system, because they include applications, even doctrines that are absent from Process and Reality (49).

2. Created by Ford, the method of compositional analysis aims, essentially, at the identification of insertions m Whitehead texts, and eventually at the reconstruction of the successive redactional layers of those texts. Ford’s most complete explanation of that method may be found on pages 42 and 43 in Transforming. See also the introduction of "Growth."

3. After commenting on the necessity of a principle of limitation and of its identification with God in Science and the Modern World, Lowe concludes that "the actual entity that is needed to order the possibilities is called the primordial nature of God" (101). A similar interpretation is proposed by Abraham Zvie Bar-On:

An interesting allusion to this ‘final interpretation’ (Process and Reality) is found in Science and the Modern World, in the consideration that serves as a characteristic Whiteheadian proof of the existence of God. The claim is that, in order for the process of actualization to be possible at all, ‘antecedent limitations’ must be applied to the multiplicity of possibilities, and these are carried out in the ‘conceptual envisagement’ of the total multiplicity of eternal objects, or ideal forms, by God. The conceptual envisagement is, as it were, the primordial nature of God. (175)

4. See, for example, Transforming xvi, 46 and 59.

5. Those passages appear on pages 7, 18, 31, 32, 40, 46, 49, 65, 74-75, 87, 93, 95, 110, 111, 220, 222, 224, 244, 246, 247, 249-50, and 316 in Process and Reality.

6. Especially the following phrase: "The ‘consequent nature’ evolves with its relationship to the evolving world." See also Process and Reality, where Whitehead states that in the consequent nature there is "fullness of physical feeling . . . . derived from the objectification of the world in God."

7. See Process and Reality, the definition of causal objectification as the transmission, by a subject, of what it objectifies to the future actual entities: "In ‘causal objectification’ what is felt subjectively by the objectified actual entity is transmitted objectively to the concrescent actualities that supersede it" (58).

8. As Whitehead writes in Process and Reality, "the universe is . . . a creative advance into novelty" (222).

9. Whitehead writes:

The wisdom of subjective aim prehends every actuality for what it can be in such a perfected system -- its sufferings, its sorrows, its failures, its triumphs, its immediacies of joy -- woven by rightness of feeling into the harmony of the universal feeling, which is always immediate, always many, always one, always with novel advance, moving onward and never perishing. (Process 346)

He reiterates those views in the very last section of Process and Reality.

Thus the consequent nature of God is composed of a multiplicity of elements with individual self-realization. It is just as much a multiplicity as it is a unity; it is just as much one immediate fact as it is an unresting advance beyond itself. (350)

10. See, for example, Christian 269, 274,323; also Leclerc 169.

11. According to the Ontological Principle, every reason lies in an actual entity:

The notion of ‘subsistence’ is transformed into that of ‘actual entity’; and the notion of ‘power’ is transformed into the principle that the reasons for things are always to be found in the composite nature of definite actual entities -- in the nature of God for reasons of the highest absoluteness, and In the nature of definite temporal actual entities for reasons which refer to a particular environment. The ontological principle can be summarized as: no actual entity, no reason. (Process 18)

12. The primordial nature is actual (though deficiently, as Whitehead noted in Process 345), and may be, consequently and in that sense, considered an actuality; however, it is certainly not an actual entity: in Process and Reality, it is God as such that is an actual entity (see 7, 88).

13. See also Process 40, where God is presented as the "ideal realization of potentialities," and Process 32, where Whitehead writes that "such a primordial superject of creativity (God, that is) achieves, m its unity of satisfaction, the complete conceptual valuation of all eternal objects."

14. The relationship of direct proportionality between intensity and relevance is established by Whitehead in Process and Reality

The principle of the graduated ‘intensive relevance’ of eternal objects to the primary physical data of experience expresses a real fact as to the preferential adaptation of selected eternal objects to novel occasions originating from an assigned environment. This principle expresses the prehension by every creature of the graduated order of appetitions constituting the primordial nature of God. (207)

15. On the divine non-temporal actual entity as ground for the relevance of eternal objects Whitehead contends that "if there be a relevance of what in the temporal world is unrealized, the relevance must express a fact of togetherness in the formal constitution of a non-temporal actuality" (Process 32).

16. See also Process 40.

17. See also Process 46.

18. See, for example, The Emergence 186 and 197.

19. See his critique of my views, especially in "Growth" 9-10.

20. See "Growth" 13. For a list of the passages considered by Ford as belonging to the first concept of God, see note 11 (page 84) in the same article.

21. The only passage discussed in this article that is not taken into account by Ford is Process 93. One would suppose that Ford would classify it as a manifestation of what he calls the initial concept of God in Process and Reality.

22. Ford acknowledges the conceptual compatibility between the passages he assigns to the early and intermediary concepts of God in "Growth," where he writes that "[b]ecause my two versions of divine nontemporality are not inconsistent with each other, both can be construed together as constituting a single initial concept" (9).

23. The other passages considered by Ford as expressions of the "intermediate" concept of God, and which I did not use in this article, witness, in my view, to internal developments or shifts undergone by that concept. Those shifts which apply to what I would see as the only early concept of God in Process and Reality are discussed in the fourth and fifth chapters of my Relive Whitehead. In chapter 4, the emergence of the notion of "subjective aim" in the early concept of God of Process and Reality is shown on the basis of passages from Process and Reality 224 and 244. In chapter 5, the application of the notion of ‘hybrid physical feelings to God is entertained through a study of passages from Process and Reality 246, 247, and 249. These may reveal a second internal shift in the conceptualization of God as the conceptual realization of eternal objects. Those two shifts, that is, the emergence of the notion of a divine providence of subjective aims and of the notion of hybrid physical feelings of God by actual entities, are also perceived by Ford, although interpreted differently ("Growth," Part B, sections 14, 15, 18, 19, 20).

24. In sum, according to Ford’s genetic reconstruction, God would have been conceived, at a very early stage in the composition of Process and Reality, as non-temporal and non-concrescent (the initial concept); then, at a later stage in the preparing his manuscript for publication, as non-temporal and concrescent (the intermediary concept); eventually, in the final version of Process and Reality, God would have been reconceived as temporal and concrescent (the final concept). See Transforming 59 for a summary statement, by Ford, of his findings on Whitehead’s concepts of God in Process and Reality.

25. The passages from Process 105 and 108 are not explicitly identified by Ford in "Growth." However, those are the two references to God in what Ford names the "living occasions" insertion on pages 36-39 in the same article, an insertion that he associates with the intermediate concept of God.

26. See my analysis of those passages in Relive Whitehead: 54-57 for Process 105, 108, and 189; 60-61 for Process 278; 31-33 for Process 344; 48-49 for Process 349.

27. Again, see my analysis of those passages in Relive Whitehead: pages 266-68 for Process 31, pages 272-73 for Process 164, pages 270-72 for Process 257.

28. These are cases similar to the passages from Process 31-32, 32 and 46 studied in section 2 of this article, but different insofar as it is not possible to ascertain the presence, in them, of a component that manifests a concept of God as non-temporal.

29. See note 32 above on those passages. Process and Reality 87 is analyzed on pages 87-97 in Relive Whitehead.

30. See "Growth," in particular note 45, wherein Ford asserts that "[t]his chapter (1.3) seems to have become Whitehead’s repository for materials that could not fit in otherwise."

31. The initial location of the fourth full paragraph of Process 32 (with the exception of the last sentence) may have been at the end of the paragraph on the Category of Subjective Harmony, Process 27.

32. See "Growth" 22.

33. For an exposition of those criteria by Ford, see "Growth" 7-8.

34. 1 propose that the following segments of section II.I.3 have been inserted: 43.37-44.30a; 44.34-45.41; 46.1 6b-28.

35. The original version of sections II.I.2 and II.I.3 would have been made of sections II.I.2 as a whole, followed by a few segments of section II.I.3, that is, 44.30b-33 and 45.42-46.16a.

36. See "Growth" 5 and 11.

37. To those who would find such conceptual wavering unlikely; Ford’s answer is that Whitehead never actually abandoned the concept of God as formative element in Religion in the Making, the fourth and last part of that book, where Whitehead writes about God as the conceptual valuation of the realm of ideal forms, is nothing else than the result of "a theistic projection based on the revelation of Western religions" ("Growth" 11).

 

Works Cited

Christian, William A. An Interpretation of Whitehead’s Metaphysics. New Haven, Conn.: Yale UP, 1959.

Cobb, John B., Jr. A Christian Natural Theology. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1965.

Ford, Lewis S. The Emergence of Whitehead’s Metaphysics (1925-1929). Albany: State U of New York P, 1984.

____"Whitehead’s Intellectual Adventure." Studies in Religion/Science’s Religions 28(1999): 63-75.

____"The Growth of Whitehead’s Theism." Process Studies Supplements 1.2 (1999): 1-99 <http://wwwctr4process.org/PSS/Growth.pdf>

____Transforming Process Theism. Albany: State U of New York P, 2000.

Hurtubise, Denis. Relive Whitehead. Les concepts de Dien dans Process and Reality. Sainte-Foy, Québec: Les Process and Realityesses de l’Université Laval, 2000.

Kraus, Elizabeth M. The Metaphysics of Experience. A Companion to Whitehead’s Process and Reality, New York: Fordham UP, 1998.

Leclerc, Ivor. Whitehead’s Metaphysics. London: Allen and Unwin, 1958.

Lowe, Victor. Understanding Whitehead. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins P, 1962.

Nobo, Jorge Luis. "The Approach to Whitehead: Traditional? Genetic? Or Systematic?" Process Studies 27(1998): 48-63.

Sherburne, Donald W. A Key to Whitehead’s Process and Reality Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1966.

Whitehead, Alfred North. Religion in the Making. New York: Macmillan, 1926.

____ Process and Reality. 1929. Corrected Edition. Ed. David Ray Griffin and Donald W Sherburne. New York: Free Press, 1978.

Zvie Bar-On, Abraham. The Categories and the Principle of Coherence: Whitehead’s Theory of Categories in Historical Perspective. Dordrecht: M. Nijhoff, 1987.

 


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