by Jeremy Fackenthal
Whitehead and Continental Philosophy in the 21st Century: Dislocations, the latest book in Contemporary Whitehead Studies, is now available from Lexington Books. Many thanks to the fine contributors for sharing their essays with us and for their work in advancing Whitehead scholarship in the twenty-first century.
This edited volume examines how the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead converses and entangles itself with continental philosophers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries around the question of a sustainable civilization in the present. Chapters are focused around economic and environmental sustainability, questions of how technology and systems relate to this sustainability, relationships between human and nonhuman entities, relationships among humans, and how larger philosophical questions lead one to think differently about what the terms “sustainable” and “civilization” mean. The book aims to uncover and explore ways in which the combination of these philosophies might provide the “dislocations” within thought that lead to novel ways of being and acting in the world.
The book provides a unique contribution by focusing less on comparisons between Whitehead and various continental philosophers and more on constructing alternatives, and on proposing creative responses to economic, ecological, and political crises. Rather than asking “How do Whitehead and continental philosophers think similarly?” we ask “How can Whitehead and others think together on the most pressing topics of the 21st century?” What ideas from European philosophy and Whitehead might enact change in the world? How can we rethink sustainability within a Whiteheadian and continental framework?
These chapters also take up the question of whether it is possible to arrive at concrete change from a system of ideas. If we heed Marx’s thesis that the goal of philosophy is not merely to describe the world, but to change it, then how do we move from speculative philosophy, theories of aesthetics, and descriptions of technology, society, and economics to meaningful action that fosters a sustainable future?
We hope that you’ll consider purchasing this book, using it in courses on contemporary continental philosophy, and of course including it in your library’s collection. Its chapters push scholarship beyond the normal comparison and analysis and toward constructive proposals for a creative and life-sustaining future. Contributors include William Hamrick, Bo Eberle, J.R. Hustwit, Carl Dyke, Jeremy Fackenthal, Deena Lin, Tano Posteraro, Kris Klotz, Elijah Prewitt-Davis, and Keith Robinson.