Thinking with Whitehead and Pragmatists


Thinking with Whitehead and the American Pragmatists: Experience & Reality 

Brian G. Henning, William T. Myers, Joseph D. John

Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield 2015
Despite there being deep lines of convergence between the philosophies of Alfred North Whitehead, C. S. Peirce, William James, John Dewey, and other classical American philosophers, it remains an open question whether Whitehead is a pragmatist, and conversation between pragmatists and Whitehead scholars have been limited. Indeed, it is difficult to find an anthology of classical American philosophy that includes Whitehead’s writings. These camps began separately, and so they remain. This volume questions the wisdom of that separation, exploring their connections, both historical and in application. The essays in this volume embody original and creative work by leading scholars that not only furthers the understanding of American philosophy, but seeks to advance it by working at the intersection of experience and reality to incite novel and creative thought. This exploration is long overdue. Specific questions that are addressed are: Is Whitehead a pragmatist? What contrasts and affinities exist between American pragmatism and Whitehead’s thought? What new questions, strategies, and critiques emerge by juxtaposing their distinct perspectives?

Endorsements & Reviews
"Welcome, indeed, is Thinking with Whitehead and the American Pragmatists, reinvigorating the presence, the depth, and the wide-ranging importance of the philosophy of A. N. Whitehead. Also wise and helpful is the forging of major connections between Whitehead and the rich traditions of the Classical American philosophers, especially with the philosophy of William James." 
--John J. McDermott, Distinguished Professor of philosophy and humanities, Texas A&M University

"The intellectual fortunes of the classical American pragmatism of Peirce, James, and Dewey and of the process philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead are on the upswing today, after a long period of neglect and then the invention of neo-pragmatism and the turn of process though to Hartshornean lines. This wonderful volume calls attention to the affinities, divergences, and often unnoticed mutual influences of pragmatism and Whitehead. Largely though not entirely the work of younger scholars, these chapters come at the process/pragmatism double-helix from many fascinating angles. It deserves to be read by anyone promoting pragmatism or process philosophy, as well as by their opponents!"
--Robert C. Neville, Boston University

"This book counters the growing silence between Whiteheadian process philosophy and pragmatism, seeking to liberate both from self-imposed narrowness. The chapters by fourteen scholars take on a range of probing topics and in so doing also also expose the richness of ideas yet to be explored. Each chapter opens up a conversation worth having. I hope this volume helps revive the speculative pulse in American philosophy." 
--Thomas M. Alexander, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

"[T]imely and well-executed Thinking with Whitehead and the American Pragmatists ... knock[s] down ill-conceived barriers separating these two quite compatible philosophical conversations."
--American Journal of Theology & Philosophy 2017

George Allan, Michael Brady, Maria Regina Brioschi, Vincent Colapietro, Nancy Frankenberry, Nicholas Gaskill, Brian G. Henning, Thomas M. Jeannot, Joseph D. John, Jude Jones, Steven Meyer, Eleonora Mingarelli, William T. Myers, and Scott Sinclair

Part 1: Is Whitehead a Pragmatist?    
1    Is Whitehead a Pragmatist? On the Pragmatic Elements in Whitehead’s Metaphysics, William T. Myers
2    Ultimate Good Sense: Whitehead’s Ontological Fallibilism, George Allan
3    Whitehead’s Pragmatic Epistemology, Joseph D. John
4    Prefiguring Whitehead: Reading Jamesian Pragmatism with Stengers and Latour, Steven Meyer
5    Whitehead’s Speculative Contribution to Praxis: Praxis and American Philosophy, Thomas M. Jeannot
6    Contingency All the Way Down: Whitehead Among the Pragmatists, Nancy Frankenberry
7    Whitehead’s “Rescue” of American Anti-Intellectualism: The Question of Pragmatism, Scott Sinclair

Part 2: Whitehead’s Contributions to Pragmatism
8    Surprise, Event, and the Problem of Novelty: A Comparison Between C. S. Peirce and A. N. Whitehead, Maria Regina Brioschi
9    Creative Love: Eros and Agape in Peirce and Whitehead, Brian G. Henning
10    DNA: A Process View, Michael Brady
11    The Habit of Art: Whitehead, Aesthetics, and Pragmatism, Nicholas Gaskill    
12    A Pragmatic Interpretation of Whitehead’s Analysis of Religious Experience, Eleonora Mingarelli
13    Transition, Transmutation, and Transfiguration: Notes for a Poetics of Experience, Vincent Colapietro
14    Feeling Forming Forward: Ecstasis and Experience in Process-Pragmatic Perspective, Jude Jones