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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser


The Concept of Nature

Alfred North Whitehead




I finished The Concept of Nature by Alfred North Whitehead, 1919. With Einstein's new theories as background, Whitehead makes some assertions about how science ought work. He looked at reality as being a sensory experience consisting of ideas, rejecting dichotomy of what is sensed and what scientists consider real objects. Everyone has a subjective time, subjective space, and subjective objects with subjective properties existing for subjective durations (or in series of events). His philosophy is sometimes know as process theory since it looks at change and development and does not admit to any timeless quality of materials.

Whitehead goes on to apply set theory to his ideas, and it's a bit beyond my education and the lecture series was not complete in explaining the mathematics. He seems to be trying to create a better framework than Einstein for explaining discrepancies in perceptions of space and time.