Whitehead Conference, May 10, 2006
Reality in Process: The Philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead in Dialogue with Physics, Biology, Neuroscience and Theology
Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) is seen in the Anglo-American context as an important revisionist of natural philosophy and metaphysics and interest in his work has draw increasing attention in Germany of late. Whitehead began his career as a physicist and mathematician, but his interests increasingly turned to questions of natural philosophy and metaphysics. In contrast to substance metaphysics, he developed a process oriented philosophical cosmology, which attempts to do justice to science as well as aesthetic, religious and ethical experience.
Since the heyday of German idealism, whose goal was to provide a comprehensive grasp of reality, philosophy has been increasingly interested in particular questions that are no longer embedded in a philosophical system. The success of the methods of the empirical sciences certainly plays an important role in this enormous expansion of knowledge of particulars which has nevertheless has resulted in a loss of a view for the whole.
Alfred N. Whitehead´s own comprehensive metaphysics is an exception to this general trend. In contrast to idealism, however, Whitehead´s views can be described as pragmatic. The goal of speculative philosophy, according to Whitehead, is to comprehend all areas of experience by developing a system of categories that allow for the interpretation of reality. This methodological procedure implies a dialogical relation of philosophy to other disciplines. Another contrast with idealism is that Whitehead was inspired by the material results of natural science, which were taken into account in his development of a universal cosmology.
Goal of this Conference:
The goal of this conference is to explore the relevance of the Whitehead´s thinking for in various areas of philosophy as well as the dialogue between science and religion. Of special interest is the dialogue between physics, biology, neuroscience and theology.
Begrüßung und Einführung
09.30 – 10.15 Uhr: Hermann Schrödter
Zur Bedeutung und Aktualität der ‘deskriptiven Verallgemeinerung’ als
Methode der spekulativen Philosophie Alfred North Whiteheads
10.30 – 11.15 Uhr: Hans Günter Scheuer
Das prozesshafte Universum:
Die Prozessphilosophie Whiteheads und die Physik des 20. Jahrhunderts
14.00 – 14.45 Uhr: Bernhard Dörr
Kosmos und Bios:
‘Leben’ im Rahmen von Whiteheads organismischer Kosmologie
15.00 – 15.45 Uhr: Philip Clayton
Prozess und Emergenz.
Evolutionsbiologie und Metaphysik im Dialog
16.15 – 17.00 Uhr: Tobias Müller
Whiteheads Philosophie im Dialog mit der Theologie.
Chancen – Perspektiven – Probleme