The IdeaHow does the work of A.N. Whitehead help us to not just think differently, but also act, live, communicate, and learn differently? This question is the topic of WRP’s latest conference. A more specific way of putting this question is to ask: How Do We Make Ourselves a Proposition?
A proposition, for Whitehead, is not a logical assertion. It is "a matter of fact in potential" (Process and Reality, 22). Not confined in the interiority of a subject, it "awaits" in the world for "a subject to feel it" (259). "In fact, many subjects may feel it" (259). It is also potentially collective. A proposition is a "lure for feeling" for a collectivity to come (25). As such, it cannot be reduced to its verbal content or any judgment upon it (11). "It is more important that [it] be interesting than that it be true" (263). Directly experienced, it is "dominated by valuations, rather than consciousness" (PR 263).During the course of this conference, we will try to develop new approaches not by presenting completed ideas or arguments, but by activating propositions.
The ChallengeIf a proposition is a "lure for feeling" for a collectivity to come, what would a conference look like were it to take Whitehead's propositions about propositions seriously? It would look more like a laboratory of speculative thought, we propose, than a "marketplace" of ideas. A matter of fact in potential, directly experienced, is enacted, not exchanged. What would it mean to make the conference form "propositional" in the way that process philosophy understands it? We have invited the SenseLab to assist with experimenting with a more "propositional" form apt to produce more, and more intense, collective openings.
The FormatInstead of papers, we invite the participants to choose one of the following propositional forms to work on a problem that is either found in one of Whitehead's texts or inspired by his philosophy: