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Whitehead, Alfred North

(775 words)

Author(s): Kather, Regine
[German Version] (Feb 15, 1861, Ramsgate, Kent – Dec 30, 1947, Cambridge, MA) developed one of the most important blueprints of 20th-century natural philosophy, with critical stimuli leading to a revision of the modern dualism of the human and natural worlds. After an early education in the humanities he turned to the study of mathematics. The Principia Mathematica, which he wrote with B. Russell, was published between 1910 and 1913; it fundamentally influenced the development of mathematical logic. As the occupant of the chair of applied physics at t…

Order

(2,247 words)

Author(s): Kather, Regine | Sieckmann, Jan-R. | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Law – III. Dogmatics – IV. Ethics I. Philosophy The concept of order (Gk τάξις/ táxis, κόσμος/ kosmos; Lat. ordo) is employed in natural philosophy, epistemology, and cultural anthropology. It refers to an arrangement of elements that stand in a particular relationship to one other and form the structure of a larger whole. The concept of order is particularly fundamental to cosmology: for Hesiod, the genesis of the cosmos takes place within “theogony,” and for Plato ( Tim.) through the transition from an undifferentiated primal state to a w…

Process

(1,190 words)

Author(s): Kather, Regine | Huxel, Kirsten
[German Version] I. Philosophy The term process denotes a directed course of events in nature, history, or the life of an individual that can run its causally determined course teleologically, as a self-organizing dynamic and, in the case of living creatures, on the basis of intentions and meanings. In antiquity and the Middle Ages, it was assumed that everything existing is determined by its nature and possesses an immanent tendency to actualize its potentialities. The understanding of process chang…

Process Philosophy

(531 words)

Author(s): Kather, Regine
[German Version] was developed by H. Bergson, W. James, C.S. Peirce, and A.N. Whitehead in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Their new horizons extended to investigation of the genesis of new forms in nature, progress beyond a substance-ontological interpretation of the concept of matter, and emphasis on the creative dynamic of the human spirit. Methodologically, process philosophy sets itself the task of transcending the boundaries of empirical science through phenomena-oriented analysis, t…