Critical Edition of Whitehead Conference: Whitehead’s Harvard Lectures, 1925–1927

Virtual conference: Friday and Saturday,
16–17 September 2022, 8:00am–1:00pm PDT (UTC-7)

This free, two-day virtual conference, co-hosted by WRP and Gonzaga University, examined the significance of the second volume of the Edinburgh Critical Edition of the Complete Works of Alfred North Whitehead.


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Conference video recordings


All times are Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).

Friday, September 16

8–8:30amOpening Session and Welcome
8:30–9amSilvia Zanelli – Coalescence and Concrescence: Between Eternal Objects and Actual Occasions
9–9:30amChristian Frigerio – Tackling the Concrete: Whitehead’s Organic Empiricism and the Role of Practice
9:30–10amMaria Regina Brioschi – Reason in Action: The Place of Dewey in Whitehead’s Harvard Lectures
10–10:30amEnrico Monacelli – Transcendence and Concreteness: Jean Wahl’s Reception of Whitehead’s Philosophy of Experience
11–11:30amJoan D. Caywood – Indexing Whitehead
11:30–NoonPaul Bogaard – From a Philosophy of Evolution to a Philosophy of Organism
Noon–12:30pmPhilippe Gagnon – Assessing Whitehead’s ‘Biological Turn’
12:30–1pmDaniel Bella & Milan Stürmer – Fill in the Blanks: Social Ethics between Environment and Inheritance

Saturday, September 17

8–8:30amMatthew David Segall – Standing Firm in the Flux: On Whitehead’s Eternal Objects
8:30–9amLandon D. C. Elkind – Using HL2 to Connect the Dots between Symbolism and Principia Mathematica
9–9:30amAlessia Giacone – The Path to Understanding: Relation and Solidarity in Whitehead’s Metaphysics
9:30–10amGeorge R. Lucas, Jr. – Reappraising Whitehead’s Engagement with Other Modern Philosophers
10:30–11amDaniel Dombrowski – The Dipolar Character of Being in Plato and Whitehead
11–11:30amMichael Heather & Nick Rossiter – Whitehead’s ‘Big Science’ of Process
(Note: this paper was not presented due to illness)
11:30–NoonRonny Desmet – Whitehead’s 1925 View of Function and Time
Noon–1:00pmConcluding Discussion

Questions? Contact Joe Petek at .


The first volume of Whitehead’s Harvard lectures, published in early 2017 as The Harvard Lectures of Alfred North Whitehead, 1924–1925: Philosophical Presuppositions of Science (HL1), established that Whitehead used his Harvard classroom to test out his philosophical ideas, a conclusion supported by the fact that Whitehead would later write in the preface to Process and Reality that “In the expansion of these lectures to the dimensions of the present book, I have been greatly indebted to the critical difficulties suggested by the members of my Harvard classes” (xiv–xv).

Through a careful reading of this first year of Whitehead’s lectures, the anthology Whitehead at Harvard: 1924–1925—based on the ninth WRP conference “Whitehead Revealed: Examining Whitehead’s First Year of Harvard Lectures”—showed Whitehead’s indebtedness to Harvard colleague Lawrence J. Henderson, explored his ventures into cutting-edge quantum theory, re-examined his relationship with Plato, Kant, and Hartshorne, and challenged longstanding theories about the development of his thought, such as Lewis Ford’s “temporal atomism” thesis.

With the January 2021 publication of the second volume of Whitehead’s Harvard lectures as The Harvard Lectures of Alfred North Whitehead, 1925–1927: General Metaphysical Problems of Science (HL2), scholars now have access to the laboratory of Whitehead’s classroom for his second and third years in America, from the time just after the publication of his Science and the Modern World, through his delivery of the 1926 Lowell lectures that would become Religion in the Making, and up to his delivery of the Barbour-Page lectures that would become Symbolism: Its Meaning and Effect.