Mission & Vision

The Whitehead Research Project (WRP) is dedicated to research and scholarship on the texts, philosophy and life of Alfred North Whitehead. It explores and analyzes the relevance of Whitehead’s thought in dialogue with contemporary philosophies in order to unfold his philosophy of organism and its consequences for our time and in relation to emerging philosophical thought. Of particular interest is the investigation into the emergence of Whitehead’s philosophy in the context of British and American pragmatism, its complicated relation to Continental philosophy and the analytic tradition, the relevance of his thought in the discourse of post-modern paradigms of deconstruction and post-structuralism, and its creative impulse for developing process philosophies. Additionally, following Whitehead’s own inclination to reach beyond European modes of thought, WRP seeks to extend its horizon of research by fostering similar conversations with strains of Indian and East Asian thought, thereby exhibiting de facto mutual influence–e.g., with the Kyoto School of Buddhist philosophy.

In encouraging a fresh and bold approach towards the ever-expanding possibility suggested by Whitehead’s written material, both published and unpublished, WRP is committed to the continuing adventures of his ideas across disciplines. In doing so, the mission of WRP follows Whitehead’s impulse to understand the distinct endeavor of philosophy “to conceive the infinite variety of specific instances which rest unrealized in the womb of nature” (Process and Reality, 17) and “to maintain an active novelty of fundamental ideas illuminating the social system.” (Modes of Thought, 174) In its broader aim to understand and further civilization, philosophy “is seeking, amid the dim recesses of [our] ape-like consciousness and beyond the reach of dictionary language, for the premises implicit in all reasoning.” This endeavour is “dangerous, easily perverted. So is all Adventure; but Adventure belongs to the essence of civilization.” (Adventures of Ideas, 295)