New Books

The Mind of Whitehead

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Roland Faber
Publication Date: February 2023

If one believes the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze, Alfred North Whitehead’s work is one of the most important events in the exploration of the universes of thought in recent times. Whitehead’s text confronts us with the feeling of existing in a world that cannot be defined by any creed or method, but offers us unexpected friends: ideas–ideas that unleash and alleviate, play and mitigate despair, swim in the rough waters, but without effort let go of us if we cannot fathom them. For adventurers who risk the encounter with Whitehead’s text, its treasures feel like balm on the overheated, burning sensation of wounds of division. A way out. A new way. A revolution–not of violent overturning, but of gentle reorientation in which compassionate thinking breathes. It is not about systems, but permeated with musical rhythms and harmonics, composing significance with impermanence. It does not arrive at a promised land, but perhaps is a harbinger of things to come, sensing a universe that will surprise our descendants. It does not reveal a mind in which we can live, but one that challenges all rest.

“The mind of Faber pours forth its own genius in this munificent engagement with Whitehead’s—and thereby with all that is.”

—Catherine Keller, Drew University

“Alfred North Whitehead is one of the most original thinkers of the past century, but also one of the most difficult. In this lucidly argued book, Roland Faber cuts the Gordian knot of Whitehead’s thought, pulling strands apart and then carefully following all their convolutions and interrelations. Faber makes Whitehead newly available to us in the twenty-first century.”

—Steven Shaviro, Wayne State University

“Roland Faber . . . is the first to offer us a comprehensive picture of the mind of Whitehead. He understands Whitehead deeply and comprehensively and combines first-rate scholarship with great skill in explanation. In a time when Whitehead is still excluded from all the academic disciplines but interest in his integrating thinking is exploding, this may be the breakthrough we need to have his voice appreciated in our educational system.”

—John B. Cobb Jr., Claremont School of Theology, emeritus