The Pardshaw Dialogues: Sense Awareness and the Passage of Nature

by Dorothy Emmet (ed.)

Dorothy Emmet was professor of philosophy in the University of Manchester from 1947-1966.

The following material appeared in Process Studies, pp. 83-145, Vol. 16, Number 2, Summer, 1987. 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.


(COMPLETE SYMPOSIUM) This special issue of Process Studies reproduces discussions conducted by the Ephiphany Philosophers group in Pardshaw, West Cumbria, England, and continued in Cambridge, during 1984. The concern of the participants was to see how philosophy might contribute to new developments in science.

The scholars listed in the section on "The Participants" discuss various aspects of Whiteheadian concepts, particularly those from his Process and Reality.


  • The Participants
  • Introduction, by Dorothy Emmet

    The gathering of scholars is concerned to see how philosophy, with an emphasis on Whitehead, might contribute to new developments in science. Dr. Emmet gives her personal impression of the ways in which these Dialogues fasten on some features of Whitehead’s thought during his middle period.

  • Chapter 1: An Attempt To Get Back To Whitehead’s Earlier Stance

    Whitehead’s criticism of the existing scientific view is not that it is pragmatic, or empirical, or based on sense-data, but that it is based on a kind of theory about the nature of the world that has imparted a mistaken view of time and space and how the mind works.

  • Chapter 2: Events And Durations

    This discussion concerns Whitehead’s “extensive connection,” “duration,” “ingress,” “percipient event,” “the immediate,” “event particle,” “extending over,” and other abstractions.

  • Chapter 3: Space and Time

    Thinking homogeneously, Whitehead’s development concerns space and time. presumably he thought one could pursue the same sort of analysis in other fields. One cannot embark on any sort of Whiteheadian scheme if one as no idea of how you are going to get space and time out of it.

  • Chapter 4: Causal Efficacy

    This discussion concerns Whitehead’s "Casual efficacy:" How does an earlier stage in this process get carried over into a later stage thereby producing continuity and the possibility of recognition?

  • Chapter 5: Sense Awareness in the Flow of Language and the Flow of Nature

    How does one get from bare sense-awareness to the idea of process? Events are abstractions, and what is concrete is the passage of nature. The grounds for thinking this has rich properties are because of what we get from direct sense-awareness.