Critical Edition Update

Critical Edition of Whitehead quarterly update, spring 2023

The Old Mill House in Grantchester, 2023. Photo by Gordon L. Miller.

We’ll start this blog off with a fun photo comparison. The above featured photo of the Old Mill House in Grantchester was sent to us by Gordon Miller, emeritus professor of environmental studies at Seattle University, just a few days ago. The Whiteheads lived in this house for eight years, from 1899 to 1907. There was a mill in continuous operation here from the year 1280 until 1928, when it burned down. The house dated from the 16th century.

As it happens, we have a postcard of the same house from about a century ago, circa 1912 or earlier, apparently taken from exactly the same spot:

Meanwhile, we continue to make steady progress on several fronts. We have submitted a proposal to contract the second volume of Whitehead’s Essays and Articles to Edinburgh University Press; it is currently being reviewed. Dr. Valenza continues to work on the complex mathematical articles of the first volume while we finish verifying transcriptions for the second volume and do the further painstaking work of noting all changes between different versions of each essay, both large and small. The plan is to have a back-of-book record for even the minutest changes between any versions published when Whitehead was still alive. In some cases this is a large undertaking—e.g., his 1916 essay “The Organisation of Thought” was actually published in eight different places, most of them within a year of one another.

We are well on our way toward unveiling the new free online “Whitehead Encyclopedia,” based on the two-volume 2008 Handbook of Whiteheadian Process Thought. All of the existing articles have already been staged for the web. However, we are continuing to work to make them a little more consistent and user-friendly in format. Look for an announcement of this exciting new resources around mid-year!

We are still working on publishing both a special issue of Process Studies and a collection of essays on the significance of the second volume of Harvard Lectures (HL2), based on papers delivered at the conference this past September. We’ve received almost all essays for it and will seek to contract with a publisher soon.

Lastly, we continue to pursue federal support for our work through the NEH Scholarly Editions and Translations Grant. If funded, the award would provide more than $100,000 for each of three years, starting in 2024. During this three-year period, grant support would be used to transcribe the handwritten materials for the sixth volume of the Harvard Lectures (HL6), edit the third volume (HL3), and transcribe and edit a monograph volume that would include Science and the Modern World, Religion in the Making, and Symbolism. We will know by August 2023 whether our application has been successful.

The work of searching for, transcribing, and editing archival materials is time-consuming and costly. If you are able to support our work with a donation, it would be much appreciated. Just follow this link.

Brian Henning, Executive Editor
Critical Edition of Whitehead
Professor of Philosophy,
Gonzaga University
Joseph Petek, Associate Editor
Critical Edition of Whitehead

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