Call for Papers
We are pleased to announce that the 12th International Whitehead Conference, under the topic
“Process as Creativity–Process as Concern”, will take place between August 27-30, 2019.
The conference will take place in University of Brasília
Invited key speakers:
KURIAN KACHAPPILLY - Holocoenotic’ View of Ecology: An Indian Process Model
KEITH ROBINSON -
JOHN B. COBB Jr. -
MARIA-TERESA TEIXEIRA - The Ontology of Ecology
HERMAN GREENE - The History and Future of the International Process Network
You are cordially invited to attend this conference and submit your abstracts (400 words and a short bio of at most 200 words) for presentations before 30th of June, 2019 (01:00am UTC+00:00 London) in any on the following sections:
Conference sections include:
5. Whitehead, Mathematics, Logic, and Natural Sciences (Informatics/Cosmology/Physics/Biology/Chemistry, etc.)
6. Process Thought and Feminism
7. Whitehead, Continental Philosophy, and Theology
9. Amerindian Animism and Process Thought
10. Process Philosophy in Latin America
17. Whitehead and Post-Structural Philosophies
12. Whitehead and Education
Presentations should be no longer than 30 minutes including discussion (e.g. - 20 min presentation +10 min discussion);
sections may overlap and participants should specify which section or sections they would like their paper to be included in. Conference languages are English and Portuguese. Portuguese-speaking presenters should provide a full translation of their texts at least 30 days in advance of giving their papers. We may accept more than one presentation from senior scholars. Abstracts should be all sent to heads of the sections (see below).
CALL FOR PAPERS
for the Young Scholars Award (under 35 years old)
The Board of the International Process Network opens a call for papers for the Young Scholars Award. There will be two Young Scholars Awards. The deadline for submission of papers: 1st of April, 2019 (01:00am UTC+00:00 London).
The winners will be announced on the IPN website. The award includes airfare and conference fee for the 12th International Whitehead Conference in Brazil, as well as publication of papers in the conference proceedings. The papers should be prepared for anonymous evaluation (with the data about the author on a separate sheet) and should be submitted electronically at the following e-mail address: .
Criteria for the evaluation of the paper (pdf)
Evaluation of papers submitted for Young Scholars Award
1. Relevance to the conference theme
2. Comprehension of the process philosophy / philosopher employed
3. Novelty of the application
4. Accuracy of the application
5. Extent of new knowledge arrived at
Evaluation: 1 to 5 (5 is the highest mark)
1 corresponds to 1-35 marks (failed)
2 corresponds to 36-59 marks (failed but allowed to correct and re-submit paper)
3 corresponds to 60-63 marks (satisfactory)
3+ corresponds to 64-73 marks (satisfactory)
4 corresponds to 74-82 marks (good)
4+ corresponds to 83-90 marks (good)
5 corresponds to 90-100 marks (excellent)
Style: font 14, Times New Roman, space 1,5 up to 14 pages (title and reference including) or 400 words for abstract (if not submitted for Young Scholars Award)
1. Whitehead, Speculation and Contemporary Metaphysics - Hilan and JP Caron
For Whitehead, speculative philosophy is the endeavour to frame a coherent, logical, necessary system of general ideas in terms of which every element of our experience can be interpreted” (Process and Reality, p. 3). It is an effort to build a complex method that combines rationalistic insights with applicable qualities. In recent years, speculation has, in a great extent as conceived and explored by Whitehead, become a central method in metaphysics and has propelled the speculative realist movement in its many branches and developments. Speculation has been used in different ways by philosophers as different as Graham Harman, Steven Shaviro, Quentin Meillassoux, Ray Brassier, Levi Bryant and Luciana Parisi. Therefore, it is becoming a crucial element in the toolkit of a contemporary metaphysician. This section welcomes explorations into the origins and history of speculation, as well recent uses of the method in contemporary metaphysics - but also its shortcomings, limits, and possibilities.
Suggested topics: Whitehead and speculation, Whitehead and contemporary process metaphysics, Speculation and the solidarity of the universe, Whitehead and speculative realism, Whitehead and Harman, Whitehead under the light of Meillassoux's analysis of correlation, Limits and shortcomings of speculation, Whitehead and his speculative precursors.
Contact: Hilan Bensusan - email@example.com
2. Whitehead, Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Creativity – Rodrigo Petronio, Martin Kaplicky
For Whitehead, aesthetics and ontology are much closer to each other than other 20th century philosophers would admit. In his book Modes of Thought (1938), he claims that ordinary experience of infants, animals and some other beings are immersed in immediate interests that baulks abstraction. This happens for their lack of ability to produce isolated facts, which disconnects things from their environment and places them in isolation. This is something that functions as a necessary myth due to the fact that finite thought cannot fully embrace totality. However, there is an ontological essence, that of the intricate connectedness of things, that can be shown through aesthetics. For Whitehead, “the penetration of literature and art at their height arises from our dumb sense that we have passed beyond mythology; namely, beyond the myth of isolation” (MT, p. 9). The environmental coordination that is requisite for the existence of an actual entity is shown by its perspective, which is “the outcome of feeling”, graded in senses of interests, differentiations and many other aesthetical topics. Aesthetics can function as a peek, an indirect method of speculation, into the creativity of things. Indirect philosophy is a hot topic for object-oriented philosophies such as Harman’s and Bryant’s , which led Harman to claim that aesthetics is the first philosophy. Moreover, the connection between feeling and ontology goes up to creativity, Whitehead’s ultimate category. Aesthetics and ontology can be connected by the category of creativity’s principle of novelty, which arises from the universal experience widespread in nature.
Suggested Topics: Whitehead, ontology and aesthetics; Whitehead and literature; Whitehead and plastic arts; Whitehead and dramaturgy; philosophy of creativity and novelty; Whitehead and history of art.
Contact: Rodrigo Petrônio - firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Whitehead and Ecological Civilization: Ecology, Ethics, Economics, and Law - Herman Greene, Kurian Kachappilly
Ecological civilization, a phrase now used by a number of process thinkers, denotes a worldview in which we recognize the value of all entities; indeed, it is one in which humans show concern for other humans and non-human entities alike. Forming such an ecological civilization requires rethinking the philosophical grounding of societies and how they are organized and function. Imagining and patterning an ecological civilization involves both concern and creativity—concern for all forms of life, and creativity in the ways we shape societies. More particularly, this section is interested in examining how the two themes of concern and creativity contribute to Whiteheadian understandings of ecology, ethics, economics, and law as they are manifest in an emerging ecological civilization.
Suggested topics: How does process philosophy:
· Inform ecology, Earth systems science, and evolution?
· Inform environmental humanities and ethics?
· Provide a basis for reforming economics and law?
· Aid in understanding and bringing about civilizational change?
In what ways does ecological civilization facilitate the teaching of process philosophy?
How may or does ecological civilization provide an overarching context for the development of process philosophy?
Contact: Herman Greene - email@example.com
5. Whitehead, Mathematics, Logic, and Natural Sciences (Informatics/Cosmology/Physics/Biology/Chemistry, etc.) – Vesselin Petrov, Tatiana Roque
It is widely accepted that the first period of Alfred North Whitehead’s intellectual development is closely connected with his interest in mathematics and logic during his Cambridge years. It is true also that the next period of his life is connected with philosophy of science and finally his last mature metaphysical period is definitely influenced by these previous periods of his intellectual development. Thus, to understand properly Whitehead’s philosophical ideas it is necessary to have a good understanding of his two previous periods. On the other hand, a number of Whitehead’s discoveries in mathematics, logic, and natural sciences are important even in our days and have not only historical meaning, but are fruitful for some present days development of these areas.
The aim of this section is to discuss the above mentioned aspects of Whitehead’s own development and his influence on contemporary science and philosophy in the light of the understanding of process as creativity and as concern and the novel approaches to science and metaphysics.
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
Whitehead’s discoveries in pure mathematics and their influence on the next development of mathematics (, )
Whitehead and Russell: the period of cooperation on and next disagreements
Whitehead’s theory of extension in : transformation of some mathematical ideas into metaphysical ones.
Whitehead’s last writings: – a connection between modern mathematics and metaphysics
The connection of mathematics and logic with other non-Whiteheadian process philosophical ideas
Whitehead’s investigations in applied mathematics and mathematical physics.
Whitehead and Einstein: a comparison of their theories of relativity.
Whitehead’s investigations in life sciences: methodological relevance of his investigations to the development of biology.
Whitehead’s understanding of evolution: the role of creativity.
The influence of Whitehead’s ideas of creativity on the development of other natural sciences.
The role of the idea of creativity in the contemporary development of natural sciences.
Contact: Vesselin Petrov - firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Process Thought and Feminism – Alice de Barros Gabriel and Gigliola Mendes
“One is not born, but rather become a woman” this sentence from Simone de Beauvoir is often used as reference to feminist endeavors in philosophy. In that sentence, the process of becoming precedes any essence that could be evoked. Since the Second Sex, some feminists have engaged with an ontology of events or the idea that the things are in the making. The very idea of gender as a verb (as Judith Butler puts it) may be understood to be close to process thought. The same could be said about the ecofeminist reinvention of nature made by Donna Haraway. Luce Irigaray, Mary Daly, Rosi Braidotti, Elizabeth Grosz, to name a few, are also committed to think bodies and worlds in the process of becoming. Since feminism is a emergent subject in Latin America, both philosophically and politically, the present session will engage in the overlaps between feminisms and process thought.
Suggested topics: ecofeminism, queer ecologies and process philosophy; process ontologies and feminism; creativity, feminist theory and process; process as concern and feminist ethics; feminist epistemologies and process; transfeminism and process thought.
Contact: Alice de Barros Gabriel - email@example.com
7. Whitehead, Continental Philosophy, and Theology – Helmut Maassen and Denys Zhadiaiev
For a long time, Whitehead’s philosophy has been thought of as a white elephant. For many scholars, it was not evident, to which philosophic or scientific tradition his thinking was related. Of course, there are reasons for this form of reception and rejection. These were apparent even at the beginning of Whitehead’s magnum opus.
Initially, like Sir Arthur Eddington, who attracted a large audience to his Gifford Lectures in Edinburgh in 1926/1927, Whitehead received a similar response to his first Gifford Lecture in 1927. However, after the first lecture, Whitehead’s audience shrank to just a handful of listeners.
In order to avoid ‘the chief danger to philosophy’, which, according to Whitehead, ‘ is narrowness in the selection of evidence’ (PR 337), it is necessary to relate Whitehead’s thought to European philosophy and its history.
A major topic in Adventures of Ideas is immanence (AI 168ff), immanence of past and present actual occasions, past and present developments, e.g. cosmologies. In fact, we would suggest rephrasing Adventures of Ideas as Adventures of Immanence, because Whitehead claims interdependence in the laws of nature, social developments and cosmologies. In order to grasp Whitehead’s insistence on the immanence of the past and the present and to avoid narrowness in the selection of evidence, we would welcome papers related to the European philosophical tradition from Plato, Aristotle, Leibniz, Spinoza, Kant, Hegel or Schelling to Bergson and Deleuze.
A genuinely Whiteheadian (or neo-Whiteheadian) theology cannot merely be a theology that borrows elements from Whitehead's metaphysical and ontological schema, in service of updating some traditional theological agenda. Such a theology must also embody the open ended and ideologically unrestricted critical-analytic stance toward inherited concepts and patterns of thought, and the willingness to confront all forthcoming evidence across all relevant spheres of human inquiry and activity, that defined Whitehead's approach to questions of theological concern. Whitehead viewed the ongoing project of human reason in terms of the harmonization of belief and commitment across the various registers of human thought and activity -- including the harmonization of our religious and our scientific beliefs and commitments. Contemporary theologians who claim association with Whitehead tend to think of themselves as science-friendly, leaning heavily on the fact that there is a shared, global focus on environmental and climate issues among 'process theologians' today. But there are other contemporary scientific developments that have not been so widely or substantively engaged by process theologians, and which may present real challenges for many theological perspectives that continue to orient around traditional religious understandings or agendas, even as they revise traditional concepts in a Whiteheadian direction. In cutting edge scientific fields like astrobiology, machine learning, prebiotic chemistry, and human origins, among others, developments are currently underway that promise to radically unsettle human self-conceptions and transform the conditions of our future existence.
Suggested topics: Anthropomorphism and anthropocentric orientations in Whiteheadian theology, what might real theological creativity look like, and how should we frame and prioritize our theological concerns, if we think in terms of successful responses to the even more radical disruptions of human intellectual, cultural, and material conditions that we are likely to experience over the next several decades and centuries?
Contact: Helmut Maassen - firstname.lastname@example.org
8. Whitehead and Eastern philosophies – Co-chairs: Meijun Fan and Zhihe Wang
Whitehead’s process-oriented, organic approach to life has many areas of overlap with numerous philosophies from South and East Asia: Buddhist, Confucian, Daoist, Hindu, and Jain. It can be enriched by those philosophies and also add to them. One of the aims of this section is to explore areas of overlap and difference between Whitehead and Eastern ways or thinking. Another is to explore the possibility that, with help from Whiteheadian ways of thinking, a truly global philosophy might be evolving that partakes of Eastern and Western outlooks on life, and that can help contribute to the world sorely needs - ecological civilizations that are good for people, other animals, and the Earth. Suggested topics include:
Karma and Creativity
Whitehead and Integral Yoga
Whitehead and Vedanta
Whitehead and Reincarnation
Whitehead and Jainism
Whitehead and Non-Violence
Whitehead and Confucianism
Whitehead and Daoism
Whitehead and Buddhism
Divinity East and West
Ecological Civilization East and West
Process Philosophy and the Book of Changes (I Ching)
Whitehead’s idea of civilization and Confucian Junzi
Solidarity of the Cosmos and Buddhism’s Pratyitya-samutpada (Co-emergence)
Process philosophy, Centres of experience and Anekantavada (many-sidedness).
Contact: Zhihe Wang - email@example.com
9. Amerindian Animism and Process Thought – Zsofia Frei, Hilan Bensusan
Whitehead has championed both a criticism and a consistent departure from what he diagnosed as the bifurcation of nature into experience and what is experienced. Process though rejects the idea that nature is a realm of fixed structures that account for what is concrete. Recent work by anthropologists like Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Philippe Descola, Tania Stolze Lima and Roy Wagner have shown how animism and perspectivism of the sort practiced in Lower Amazon entertain a notion of nature with no room for bifurcation. Their philosophical formulation of animism and perspectivism was thoroughly influenced by philosophers in the line of Leibniz, Whitehead and Deleuze. Further, they are extensively based on Lévi-Strauss' remarks on philosophy needed to do proper anthropology that the Lower Amazon not only had a philosophical system but one that interestingly contrasts with what Descola calls naturalism (and Bruno Latour, for instance, prefers to associate with the modern constitution). Roy Wagner famously paraphrased the well-known verse of Marianne Moore and wrote: "anthropology is philosophy with people inside". Viveiros de Castro has insisted that perspectivism as a method and as an ontology is an Amerindian philosophy and a tool to decolonize thought. His ideas, thoroughly influenced by Lévi-Strauss and by post-structuralists, are greatly indebted to process philosophy and to the idea that perception is constitutive of the concrete - as much as they are in dialogue with current speculative currents. Current work in anthropology sees itself in a continuous with philosophical endeavor (Latour talks about ontographies, Kohn about anthropology as a way of doing ontology after non-human turn, Descola about ontological dispositions towards the non-human that include naturalism and animism but equally analogism and totemism). This section intends to bridge between post-naturalist post-human anthropology on the one hand and process philosophy on the other.
Additionally, there is much more to Amerindian process though than Lower Amazon animism and perspectivism. In higher áreas of the South American continent there are interesting relations to entities like the Pachamama which has recently been ascribed with constitutional rights in countries like Ecuador and Bolívia. Further, there is much to be explored in the beliefs of North American native peoples.
Suggested topics include shamanism, animism and naturalism, Whitehead and anthropology, Whitehead and the decolonization of though, Levi-Straussian anthropology as lure for feelings, criticisms of naturalism, the rights of the non-human, Latour and Whitehead, the notion of non-human agency.
Contact: Zsofia Frei firstname.lastname@example.org
10. Process Philosophy in Latin America – Evandro Vieira Ouriques and Lilia Marianno
Whitehead is a philosopher not so well known by Latin American researchers, outsiders to Mathematics, Physics and Philosophy. Since 2013 an effort to join Whitehead’s researches and researchers in Latin America has been done, and we find few scholar production mentioning or investigating specifically Whitehead thought. But looking further we could find many Brazilian and Latin American researchers using Whiteheadian thoughts on their investigations. For mention some of the fields we find papers, thesis, dissertations produced by Latin researchers on: Sciences of Religion, History of Sciences, Theology, History, Sociology, Social Theory, etc. This session is about how Process Thought has feed, and can feed, different epistemologies from Latin American perspective or applied to Latin American topics. On this session we would like to privilege transdisciplinary approaches on the use of Process Thought. This session will welcome all Latin-American researchers and we will have Portuguese and Spanish support.
Contact: Lilia Marianno - email@example.com
17. Whitehead and Post-Structural Philosophies – Fernando Silva e Silva
Whitehead’s orientation towards the novel, the processual and the concrete influenced several philosophers of the second half of the 20th century chiefly through the works and teachings of Henri Bergson and Jean Wahl. Bergson shared several doctrines with Whitehead, while Wahl introduced process philosophy in France. Many philosophers have displayed convergences with process philosophy and with the general orientation towards the concrete in experience. From Étienne Souriau’s modes of existence, Gilbert Simondon’s pre-individuation philosophy, Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s late phenomenological philosophy of nature to Bruno Latour’s networks and Jacques Derrida’s deconstruction, Whitehead’s influence on post-structural philosophy is widespread. Even among authors focused on novelty and excess, such as Maurice Blanchot and Georges Bataille, Whitehead is present. Gilles Deleuze (and Félix Guattari) developed a metaphysics of process that was closely influenced by the main doctrines of Whitehead who was an inspiration for Deleuze’s transcendental empiricism, for his focus on immanence and creativity and for his notion of becoming.
This section welcomes all contributions to explore the rich influences of process philosophy on all forms of post-structural philosophies.
Whitehead and transcendental empiricism;
Process philosophy and (post-)structural theories;
Pragmatism and (post-)structuralism;
Differential and processual ontologies;
Deconstruction, speculation and the adventures of ideas;
Whitehead, vitalisms and organicisms;
Organism, environment and non-atomistic metaphysics;
The many historical and theoretical connections between Whitehead and authors such as Deleuze, Guattari, Simondon, Bergson, Bataille, Souriau, Wahl, Blanchot, Bataille.
This section on Whitehead and Education will explore the cutting edge of educational philosophy and science, methodology, and pedagogy in conversation with Whiteheadian perspectives. From early childhood education to higher education, from best practices in teaching to cycles of learning, the aim of this section is to advance discourse on process thought and education (broadly construed).
14. Process Philosophy and the Future of Democracy – Rodrigo Nunes
Process philosophy, as developed from Alfred N. Whitehead’s oeuvres, is a matrix for renewals of political theory. His new approach to social order, to cosmic solidarity, and aspects of his works that approach him to flat ontology have many interesting applications in understanding power, democracy and ecological politics. Authors such as Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Bruno Latour and Isabelle Stengers have applied Whitehead’s cosmology into new ways of redefining (or greatly suspending) the boundaries between natural and the cultural, which brought new light to ecological problems that can are urged to be solved in our times. Despite that, Whitehead’s own political positions, although never too explicit, may have placed him next to New Liberalism or Social Liberalism traditions, especially stemming from of British Idealist Thomas Hill Green, who also is an influence on Whitehead’s metaphysical works. While rejecting pure force of impositions and valuing persuasion, Whitehead’s proximity to this sort of liberalism is also undeniable. From ecological politics to new/social liberalism, Process philosophy has much to say and to present to the world for us to find solutions for the future of democracy.
Suggested Topics: Process philosophy and political theory; political implications of Whitehead's concept of society; process philosophy and democracy; process philosophy and liberalism; Whitehead and T.H. Green’s political philosophy; Whitehead and New Liberalism/Social Liberalism; Process philosophy and ecological politics.
Contact: Rodrigo Nunes firstname.lastname@example.org
16. Process Thought and African Philosophy – Wanderson Flor and Renato Noguera
The problematic of process at the context of African philosophy has a long historical flair. From Bantu ontology, described by Belgian priest Placide Tempels, to current investigations of ontologies connected to Ubuntu perspective, the perspectives of realities that arise from an approach of the real as expression of a mobile and living structure – or even a force – has been going through not only the field of metaphysical discussions, but also epistemology, politics, aesthetics and environmental concerns regarding African thought. This session will welcome approaches to African thought interfaces that converse or not with other approaches from different regions of the world, that emphasize dimensions of process at what it impacts or identifies with the diverse expressions of concern at contemporary world and at the history of African philosophy.
Suggested topics: African relational ontologies and process thought; Ubuntu and process thought; African metaphysics and environmental projections; African epistemologies and the real as process; history of African process thought; ancestrality as process thinking; Afroperspectivism and process thought.
Contact: Wanderson Flor – email@example.com