Whitehead‘s Conception of the Cosmos as an Organic Unity

Martina Chalupská


The aim of this paper is to present and evaluate A. N. Whitehead’s philosophical position, according to which the dualism is a fatal fallacy at the heart of the modern scientific cosmology, and thus it should be considered as one of the causes of modern environmental and socio-economic crisis. First Whitehead’s criticism of mechanistic materialism in which dualistic feature of Western thought, called the bifurcation of nature, is rooted is summarized. It is shown that such division of the human mind and the cosmos does not leave any space for the self-being consciousness and life and that the attribute of independence of spirit results in the private worlds of experience and morality. Further it is argued that central motivation of Whitehead’s cosmology is to build up a system in which the aesthetic, religious and moral interests are in accordance with the natural science conceptions of the world. Whitehead's cosmology is interpreted as the transition from materialism to organicismu and at the same time as shift from the static conception of cosmos to the dynamic one.


Whitehead, cosmology, organicism, dualism, mechanistic materialism, bifurcation


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Published by the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.
ISSN: 1212-9097