Subjective Becoming: Unwarranted Abstraction?

by Frank G. Kirkpatrick

Frank G. Kirkpatrick is Assistant Professor of Religion at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut 06106, having received his Ph.D. from Brown University in 1970.

The following article appeared in Process Studies, pp. 15-26, Vol. 3, Number 1, Spring, 1973. 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.


The process view has difficulty making sense out of the notion of a subject when the concepts appropriate to a subject are applied only to the becoming which produces a subject. The process view separates being and becoming to the extent that what is still becoming is not yet a being which is an abstraction.

The problem of the subject is a provocative one in the thought of Alfred North Whitehead. In an earlier paper1 I raised some objections to what I took to be some implications of his process or organic model for self-identity and agency. There I criticized the process model for its inability to provide an abiding self-same subject, able to determine freely its own destiny (within limits) and able to initiate action and respond to the actions of others over time. The burden of my argument rested upon the subject-predicate form of language employed by Whitehead when talking about the unity of an actual occasion even while he avoids the notion that the actual occasion is a subject which exists and then decides what it will be.

Here I would like to push that criticism further by exploring some basic notions regarding being and becoming which inform the process model of the self. I will try to show that the process view has difficulty making sense out of the notion of a subject when the concepts appropriate to a subject are applied only to the becoming which produces a subject.

If it is possible to locate the fundamental issue which divides process from nonprocess models of the self, it would be, I think, the understanding of the relation between change and permanence. Both process and nonprocess thinkers agree that any adequate metaphysics must satisfactorily explain, without recourse to incoherence or dualism, both the self-identity of entities and their alteration in an obviously changing universe. Things clearly change and things remain the same. The problem is to explain the relationship between change and permanence in a single entity without denying the reality of either.

The traditional explanation generally has been some variant of the substance doctrine. Behind, every series of changes an entity undergoes there is assumed to be some unchanging substance which is the subject of the changes. This substance does not itself change, remaining "numerically one amidst the changes of accidental relations and of accidental qualities" (PR 120). The problem with this explanation, according to the process view, is that it "solves" the reconciliation between change and permanence at the price of incoherence, in this case dualism. The substance does not change while its attributes do. But this entails that the substance and its attributes are two different realities, which in turn requires us to explain their relation to each other. We do not solve the problem of reconciling permanence and change; we merely recast it into different terms: substance and attributes. But we still need to explain their relation to each other. And that proves as impossible as explaining the relation of change and permanence.

What the substance thinker is really forced to look for is that subject or entity which stands behind the various "acts of becoming" through which it endures without itself changing or becoming. But if we apply Zeno’s argument to this search for something which becomes, we will discover that there is nothing which becomes. As Whitehead argues:

Consider, for example, an act of becoming during one second. The act is divisible into two acts, one during the earlier half of the second, the other during the later half of the second. Thus that which becomes during the whole second presupposes that which becomes during the first half-second. Analogously, that which becomes during the first half-second presupposes that which becomes during the first quarter-second, and so on indefinitely. Thus if we consider the process of becoming up to the beginning of the second in question, and ask what then becomes, no answer can be given. For, whatever creature we indicate presupposes an earlier creature which became after the beginning of the second and antecedently to the earlier creature. Therefore there is nothing which becomes, so as to effect a transition into the second in question. (PR 106)

We cannot, in effect, cut up the acts of becoming so as to reach something which exists behind or prior to them. We cannot divide up becoming in order to reach being, as it were. If we are committed to a substance view, however, it appears to be the case that we must find our substance or being in this way. Since we cannot so find it, we must give up the substance view.

One of the essential problems in the substance view, as revealed by the above dilemma, is its difficulty in claiming that a being (substance) is both a being and also becoming. That is, it wants to hold simultaneously the reality of substance or being which, as Whitehead and process thinkers understand it, connotes determinateness, completeness, concreteness, and the reality of becoming, which connotes indeterminateness, incompleteness, not-yet-concreteness. But how can that which is determinate be still becoming (i.e., indeterminate)?

Now if the problem is put into the language of being and becoming, the impossibility of the substance view is evident, provided that we accept the following assumptions: (1) to be a being is to be determinate, complete, concrete -- i.e., to be an object which is not still changing; (2) to have reached being (note that being is the goal, the outcome of becoming) is to have ceased becoming. A being, to be a being, must no longer be in the process of becoming a being. Being is the completion of becoming, the goal of becoming. The incoherence of the substance view resides in its insistence that a being can still become; that a substance which does not change (accepting the assumption that beings do not change or engage in any further becoming) can be somehow involved in its own further becoming. But if the becoming of a being is real and not just illusory or unessential, then the being is not really yet a being. Either the further becoming is essential, in which case the being which becomes is not yet really a being; or the becoming is not essential, in which case it does not really affect the being and hence there remains the problem of explaining what the relationship is between being and becoming (is the becoming even related to the being if it is nonessential to it?).

The alternative which Whitehead offers to this apparently incoherent substance view accepts the reality of being as determinate, complete, concrete. The process view does not have to account for the further becoming of a completed being because the role such a being plays in the ongoingness of the universe does not depend upon its own further alteration. In fact, the process of the world depends precisely upon completed beings remaining completed or objectified so as to be able to be prehended or available for concrescence. Rather than looking to the further becoming of already completed beings (which would be a contradiction in terms), the process model looks to the becoming which creates or produces these beings.

If one accepts the process view, then there seems to be no longer a problem of explaining how a being can continue to become while remaining a self-same being. For beings, having become beings, simply no longer become. They can participate in the becoming of other beings but they themselves are completed, finished, determinate. If one should object that it certainly seems to be the case that some beings at any rate appear to be still becoming while remaining essentially the same being, it would be replied that what is becoming is either a new being in process or else a society or route of beings, not a single, self-same being.

To the objection that this process view threatens the notion of a subject as a self-same identical entity which is not entirely changeless, process can point to the becoming which produces this subject. This becoming is both creative and integrative as well as unifying in that it is the becoming of this particular subject. The becoming of the subject is accounted for since it is precisely by becoming that it is this subject, and being is accounted for since it is this particular subject which is the goal of the becoming. The subject which affects other subjects, i.e., the subject which acts, is really only the completed subject (or, strictly speaking, the object), the determinate being which is no longer becoming. The subject which is creative, intentional, and deciding is the becoming subject. And the latter is the presupposition for the former.

The crucial assumption behind this process view is that the notion of a being entails the notion of an entity which can no longer become or change. The key concept here is that of determinateness. To be determinate, to be incapable of further change, in short, simply to be, is what constitutes a being. To be indeterminate, to be capable of further alteration, to be processing toward completion, is what constitutes becoming. Thus it follows that once an entity is, or has become, a being it can no longer continue to become a being. Thus the essential implication of the process view is that the fundamental explanation of the universe is through the coming-to-be of beings. And what makes such coming-to-be possible, what provides the necessary realities which constitute the coming-together-to-form-a-being, are already existing (i.e., objectified, determinate) beings, which are then concresced in creative and novel ways to produce new beings.

One immediate advantage of this process view is that it makes it unnecessary to explain how it is that completed beings can continue to change and become. We are asking for something which simply cannot be if we ask how it is that this being can remain this determinate entity and yet still be indeterminate, still capable of becoming what it is not now. Our question is misguided. What we should ask for is an explanation as to how this completed entity can participate in the formation of new beings. Instead of looking for the becoming of completed beings we need to look at the actual process of becoming by which completed beings are produced. If such a process of becoming requires the reality of already completed beings in its past, then we will have satisfactorily accounted for both becoming and being with regard to the same entity, without denying the reality of either.

One of the advantages of assuming that being is equivalent to completeness is that one can claim the endurance through time (the condition for change) of a being without having to explain its further changes (becoming). One of the disadvantages, of course, is that the endurance of objects no longer becoming vitiates language about such objects or beings deciding what they will do, where and how they will act, etc., since as beings they are no longer self-determining (and self-determination would be essential for any conception of self-action). It is important to recognize that the possibility of talking about the self-determination of a being is closed off, as it were, from the point of view of its future as a unified or completed being. Once a being has become this particular being, then it can no longer change. To talk about such a being’s having purposes and the ability to enact them is impossible because change is of the very essence of action: change requires the alteration from one event or condition to another. Unless we would want to maintain that a purposive being is in no essential way affected or changed by the enaction of its intentions, we would have to agree that intentional action entails indetermination of some degree on the part of the agent. Since beings have been defined by the process model, however, as determinate, it seems inescapable that beings cannot be involved as purposive entities in further change. The importance of this point is that it drives the process model to find a satisfactory explanation of self-activity or subjecthood, not in the future activity of the being which has been created by the process but in the activity of the becoming or process itself. For it is only the process of becoming a being which is indeterminate, incomplete, and changing. Because one cannot, as it were, look into the future of beings to explicate their self-activity or subjectivity, one has to look back into their past. It is only by looking at the process of becoming-a-being that one can discover those elements which constitute subjectivity, self-determination, and action.

Now it is precisely at this point of attempting to explain the becoming which produces a being in terms which do not explain away the unity and subjecthood of the subject-in-process that difficulties occur for the process view. The basic question, from a nonprocess viewpoint, is how we can think the unity or subjectivity of that which is not-yet-a-being. If this process of coming-to-be takes time and time is the condition for change, how can we reconcile the becomingness requisite for the completion of being and the beingness requisite for the unity and determinateness of a subject?

As we know, Whitehead can be interpreted as arguing for a non-extensive duration of time within which the process of becoming a being takes place -- a genetic period of time. From the point of view of extensive time, the process of becoming does not "take time." In fact, extensive time is only created by the passage from one completed being to another. Lewis S. Ford has (re)interpreted Whitehead here and has argued that the process of becoming does take place through extensive time although the being produced by the process does not exist as a being at any genetic phase of the process prior to the completion of the act of becoming (PS 1:199-209). While the process of becoming is going on, the being toward which it is aiming does not yet exist as a being. Thus one is not forced to search for that being prior to or behind the various genetic phases through which the process which produces it must pass (a search which is required by those who uphold the traditional substance view).

My objection to the Whiteheadian-Ford attempt to establish a subject prior to the completion of becoming is that it appears to me impossible to talk of a subject without presupposing a fundamental, basic notion of a being and that it is from such a notion that the process view has abstracted the notion of a process of unification aiming at a being. By an abstraction I mean a conceptual notion which has been lifted out from a more basic reality the concept of which must be presupposed by the abstraction. We cannot conceive the notion of justice apart from the more fundamental notion of the basic reality of just deeds. My argument is that the process model has abstracted the notion of the process of becoming a being from the more fundamental notion of the basic reality of beings. Such an abstraction is justified if the process is regarded as the process of a subject (i.e., the subject being conceived as coterminous with and underlying the process). If the process is not so regarded -- if the process is claimed not to presuppose the concomitant and coterminous notion of a being underlying or directing it -- then the only alternative is to regard the process as completely determined or totally random. What I cannot regard as possible is the conception of a process which is both subjective and self-determining and not yet a being because any notion of self or subject already requires the notion of a being.

The process view admits that it is asking us to accept the notion of the subject, not as a being, but as a process of unification aiming at a being. As long as the process of unification is still incomplete, still becoming, it is not yet a being. As soon as completeness is reached, the process is over, the subject has reached determination, and has become an object, a being.

Process attempts to retain the unity of the subject by insisting that the process of unification cannot be such a process unless it terminates in some being that is unified. There is middle ground between being and nothing, it is claimed. The process of becoming is not yet a being but it is aiming at a particular being and can, therefore, legitimately be spoken of as unified in the sense that it is a process which is unifying toward unity (completeness). The process or subject lacks determinate unity in process, but it does not lack unifying "activity." And since each process aims at some particular determinate being, it cannot be said that the process is entirely random. It is this particular process of unification aiming at this particular unity.

My difficulty with this is that it appears to require us to think of becoming as an abstraction from being. Becoming requires the unification of already existing beings into a novel unity and it terminates in being. It is bounded, as it were, by being. What is required conceptually is the ability to think a process between beings which does not presuppose an already existing being underlying the process itself. The problem is whether it is possible to think a process without thinking it as the process of a being, not just the process toward a being.

It would be possible, of course, if we did not ascribe to the process those attributes or characteristics which seem to presuppose the unity and concreteness associated with beings. When we try to talk of the process as in any sense self-determining or self-purposive (as distinct from being totally determined or totally random), we introduce notions which, I believe, cannot be separated from the basic notion of a being having already reached unity and possessing some elemental sense of determinateness. Our whole notion of self is predicated on the assumption that the self is in some sense a determinate being, an object capable of having predicates ascribed to it as it endures over a period of extensive time (the same self is asleep now, was awake yesterday, etc.).

There would be no problem, as I see it, if we regard the process of unification as an abstraction from the acts of unification done by unified beings. It would certainly be possible to imagine a coming-together of various entities to form a new and novel entity. We could imagine a being who is the causal agent bringing the entities together (i.e., determining their concrescence). Or we could imagine a concrescence of entities arising randomly (i.e., not ascribable to the purposive intention of any agents). What I find impossible to imagine is the unification of entities which is neither solely the result of the intention of already existing beings nor entirely random. But what process is asking us to imagine is a unification which is neither random nor the willful action of already existing beings. We are asked, in effect, to imagine a process of unification as having, in effect, subjective unity prior to the achievement of subjective unity. If the unity, however, is really not achieved until the end of the process of unification, it seems illegitimate to smuggle back into the explanation of the process leading to unity the notion of a self or subject helping, in any way whatsoever, to decide or determine the unification because such a notion of self or subject already presupposes a basic idea of at least elemental unity and determinateness.

Of course, once the process is over and being has been achieved it can be claimed that a retrospective view of the unification process legitimates calling it the process of a unified being. But from the point of view of the process of unification itself, it appears to me impossible to say that this is a subject which is unifying itself toward determinate unity. If we want to talk in this way, it would seem necessary for us to abstract from the completed entity, the being, in order to refer to its role in its own creation. It, as this determinate being, was not, strictly speaking, there or active in its own creation except as final cause perhaps, which is also an abstraction of the process in and of itself since it does not exist as such until the process which creates it has reached completion. It is present in this process, therefore, only as goal or anticipation, and we must abstract from the completed being if we want to talk about that being’s presence of existence prior to its complete creation. The necessity for this abstraction is clear, of course, if one wants to avoid saying that the process of unification is either completely determined by some prior being or beings or is completely random. Unless we can talk in some way about the process of unification as being in some sense self-purposive or intentional, then we cannot talk about it as subjective (unless we use the word "subjective" simply as a synonym for incomplete). Subjectivity has always implied some sense of self -- self-determination, action, decision, etc -- which in turn requires some sense of completeness as a being.

This has, of course, been the thrust of much of Edward Pols’s objections to the process view. Lewis S. Ford has argued that the actual occasion not only requires some unifying factor (which could be accounted for simply by saying that there is an instantaneous coming-together-of all sorts of things into a determinate configuration, the unifying factor simply explaining that such a coming-together is possible) but that this unifying factor must control or guide the process of concrescence (1:211; WM 215). That clearly implies that it has some control over which feelings are concresced and which are not. But subjective agency, Pols contends, implies some agent or subject which is the determiner or decider whose active power brings about its own concreteness. The problem, as Pols sees it,

. . . is that Whitehead is so concerned to avoid the dangers of the notion of the substantial subject that he is trapped into many formulations in which the modifications of subjective aim (which for our present purposes we shall concede to be real) is understood in terms of the concrescence of feelings that are more fundamental than the subject they ‘aim at.’ The ‘subject’ in short, can be seen in terms of prehensions whose ultimate character and whose unification is ‘thrown up’ by creativity -- quite literally a superjective outcome. (2:147)

Pols’s argument forces home the point that unless there is some subject or agent actually bringing about, in an active, causal sense, the concrescences whose completion is the subject itself, then we cannot talk about the subject "causing" itself in any degree at all. At the very best the language of self-causation would be metaphorical; at worst, misleading and wrong. The most accurate thing that could be said about the act of becoming is that there is a coming-together in a determinate way and that such coming-together is the formation of this particular being. But to import language, even if seemingly justified by reference to "genetic division," which refers to a subject, or a subjective aim acting like a subject, i.e., enduring throughout the process and controlling it to some degree, is radically misleading.

Ford, it is true, counters this point by arguing that thcre is real unification taking place in the actual occasion and that this real unification "is subjectively felt from the standpoint of the concrescing occasion as a decision in which indeterminations are resolved" (1:220). But Ford admits that "this same process may be objectively viewed as the interplay among the transcendent decisions of all actual entities prehended, progressively modifying one another to eliminate incompatibilities" (1:220, italics mine ) "Objectively viewed," it seems there is no subject doing the modifying. The prehended actual entities modify each other.

Ford tries to get around the problem of the subject’s modifying itself by a distinction of perspectives. Subjectivity is a perspective from within the actual occasion, as it were, of its own concrescing. The objective perspective, on the other hand, views the conscrescing as the determinate coming-together-of actual entities. But Ford’s language about subjectivity manifests a decidedly passive subject. For example, "freedom is precisely the subjective experience of this interplay of physical and conceptual feelings. In a free decision, a given multiplicity of factors is reduced to determinateness by the adjustment of these factors to one another" (1:221, italics mine). But a subjective experience of unification does not necessarily imply that there is a subject doing the unifying, reducing, or adjusting. As Pols points out in his reply to Ford, the actual occasion is, strictly speaking, "unifying activity itself" and not the unifying activity of some causally effective power which unifies (2:148).2 Ford admits that from an objective point of view "unification simply happens’ in a purely arbitrary way, if we exclude the process itself from being a reason" (1:225).

It is clear that Ford feels that if the subject’s own point of view is taken into account, there is the feeling of free decision. The strength of Ford’s point depends upon our acceptance of the view that when a subject chooses to do something or decides some course of action that choice or decision has its ultimate explanation in the subject itself and not in some external power or condition. That particular view can well be accepted, but I do not see that it entails or depends upon the additional acceptance of the view that the actual occasion is a subject choosing or deciding. If deciding is what a subject does and if the subject has no being until the process of becoming ends, then the decisions within the process are not the decisions of a subject, but the decisions which produce a subject.

One other result of Ford’s recourse to perspectives is that a new dualism threatens to creep into Whitehead’s coherent metaphysical scheme. If one and the same process can be viewed both determinately and freely, one is tempted to ask which is the way it really is? If the perspectives were truly partial, then the)’ could be reconciled through a more comprehensive perspective which made clear their compatibility. But it seems to be the case that the objective and subjective perspectives both claim to be exhaustively true of the very same process. The problem here is similar to the one about the freedom of man, seen in a somewhat everyday sense. Science, so the unsophisticated argument runs, knows that we are totally determined by all the forces of the universe, including the psychological. We feel that we are free, however, and therefore both freedom and determinism are true depending upon which perspective one takes. But if we are determined by causal forces, then our feeling that we are free is a real feeling but is not a (realistic) true feeling, i.e., it is not truly representative of what is the case. Perspectives can be reconciled with each other only if they do not contradict each other with regard to the same facts. Ford’s perspectives, however, seem to contradict each other in explaining the same reality. The actual occasion may include as one of its feelings the feeling of subjective creativity, but this feeling, though essential as a feeling to the constitution of the actual occasion, may not in fact be accurate or realistic. The feeling of subjective agency in itself does not entail that the actual occasion is in fact free to determine itself. In order to make the case that there is truly a subject determining itself, more than the perspective of subjective feeling-of-self-causation is needed. It will have to be shown that there is, in fact, a subject determining itself, and this is what has been shown, I think, to be lacking in the process model.

The fundamental difficulty which the process model faces is trying to retain language appropriate only to a subject (decision, purpose intention, action) for a process which is not yet a subject but which is becoming a subject. I cannot get away from the conviction that language referring to beings is primordial: it justifies any reference to selves or subjects who intend and do things. If we want to talk about the process which creates those selves or subjects, then we have to abstract conceptually from the latter. One of the implications of such abstraction is that when we refer to the process of becoming, we have to leave out of such reference notions like self-decision, self-determination, self-intention, etc., since they presuppose that which is not yet achieved, a subject or being. The concrete reality is the being: the abstract reality is the process by which it came to be in the sense that conceptually we need the notion of the being before we can think about that which creates it.

It need not, of course, be denied that it is possible to think the abstraction of process. As we have already indicated, it is quite conceivable that a process of concrescence or unification be brought about by some directing (but already existing) subject or that it be brought about randomly (no agent or series of agents intending this particular unification). What is, to me, inconceivable is that a process of unification producing a subject be guided or determined by that same subject prior to its existence as a subject. The process can clearly be conceived as real, but not as the (even partial) self-creation of the very subject which it is producing. The only way in which such a conception is possible is for us to import back into the concept of process toward a being the very notion of a being itself. If I think a process of unification as the process of a particular but already existing being. I have no conceptual difficulty, but I have violated one of the imperatives of the process model.

From a nonprocess point of view it seems impossible to think the reality of anything except as the reality of a being. If we think it as not-yet-a-being, we do not think it as primordial but as abstract. Anything which is not a being is less real, or at least derivatively real as compared to a being. It is also an essential element in the being model that only beings are subjects: only that which has some determinate reality, some unity, some completion is able to act, intend, decide, etc. Thus from the model of being it is impossible to conceive of a process of becoming except as an abstraction from being and as either a process directed by some already existing agent or agents or as a process randomly and unintentionally occurring. If subjects are beings, therefore, we cannot describe the process which creates a being in language appropriate only to a subject, unless we use it metaphorically, abstractly, or in anticipation of what the process will produce. As long as we remain within extensive time and think in terms of before/after, we will have inordinate difficulty, from the being model, in talking coherently about a subject which does not exist as subject (as unified being) until after the process which creates it is over as existing in some sense before itself and as participating self-creatively in its own production. If we want to retain some notion of subjectivity in the process of becoming a subject, it would be far better to understand such subjectivity as one feeling among others waiting to be unified, this particular feeling’s having, as it were, a feeling of indeterminations becoming determinate. Such a feeling, however, need not entail that there is in fact a subject doing the determining unless it be a prior subject, existing before the process.

From the point of view of a being model there are beings who do things. One of the things they may do is to create new beings. The act of creation of a new being can be a process: the new being does not spring out of nowhere. The process by which the new being is created is a real process, but the subjecthood of the new being does not exist until the process of becoming (creation) is over. The process can be said to be determined by a subject (the prior, already existing subject) and to produce a subject (the later, second existing subject). But the subjects are distinct, and the newly created subject does not even begin to be self-creative, self-determining, until the prior subject has brought the process of becoming to a state of being which has enough requisite unity and determinateness to begin being a subject or agent. There would be no problem here with determinism since the determination by the prior agent applies only to the process by which the being is created. Since beings have to exist in order to even begin acting, the determination process which created their being does not imply further external determination of what can be their own self-originated actions. Whatever changes occur to that being through its intended actions occur precisely to a being which has been created with enough unity and determinateness to remain this particular being throughout its further actions. And it is only by use of what seems to be an absolutely basic notion of the distinctness of a being that we can even raise the notions of processes leading to the creation of such beings and the actions and decisions by which such beings further determine themselves.

The notion of being as determinate need only imply that whatever changes or becomes cannot become or change so drastically as to become a totally different being. Beings which become without annihilating the very being which makes becoming possible are the fundamental realities, and it is from them that we need to think all other realities.

My criticism of the process view of the subject can be summarized as follows. It separates being and becoming to the extent that what is still becoming is not yet a being (whether this becoming occurs over extensive or epochal time). A being is that which is unified, determinate. Only beings are complete or concrete enough to be called selves -- to choose, to intend, and to act. It is therefore illegitimate to talk about the process which produces such beings as having the qualities of a subject (such as self-determination or decision) - In order to use notions appropriate to subjects (beings) to describe the process which produces the subject, we must abstract such notions from the completed subject. Therefore, notions assuming self-creativity, self-determination, decision, and intention (since they presuppose rootage in a being) can be applied to the process producing a self only abstractly, i.e., only as lifted out from the completed subject. Before the minimal level of being has been reached, no language rooted in the concept of a being is literally applicable to the development of which such a minimal level of being is reached. From the perspective of the completed being, it may be possible to look back over the process leading to completion and declare that this process has a sufficient degree of unity (since it produced this unified being) to warrant using concepts of the subject to describe it, but it must be remembered that, strictly speaking, such usage is an abstraction from and, therefore, only derivatively real compared to the fundamental reality of the being on which the abstraction is based.



WM -- Edward Pols. Whitehead’s Metaphysics: A Critical Examination of Process and Reality. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1967.

1. Lewis S. Ford. "Can Whitehead Provide for Real Subjective Agency? A Reply to Edward Pols’s Critique." The Modern Schoolman, 47/2 (January, 1970), 209-25.

2. Edward Pols. "Whitehead on Subjective Agency: A Reply to Lewis S. Ford." The Modern Schoolman, 49/2 (January, 1972), 144-50.


1 "Process or Agent;" forthcoming in Thought. See also John B. Bennett; "Process or Agent: A Response." Philosophy of Religion and Theology: 1972 (Working Papers for the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, 1972), pp. 146-59.

2 This criticism of causal power does not touch, of course, the power the completed being has upon successive acts of becoming. It has to do only with the power which causes this particular being to become what it is.