Freedom and Order

Download the PDF of Whitehead’s essay “Freedom and Order” here (click the thumbnail/link under “Files”). Note that the 42-page document contains two separate drafts of the same essay.


Video of Discussion

Whitehead Reading Group: 2021/03/12, Freedom and Order

Background on “Freedom and Order”

Very little is known about this essay.

Its presence in the papers donated by Whitehead’s grandson suggests that Whitehead may have been revising it for inclusion in a book of collected essays that never came to pass, as the other essays found in the papers that follow this double-spaced, typed format seem to have been saved for this purpose.

Nothing in the essay points to a precise date or occasion, though the fact that Whitehead says on page 2 that “Also another song brings in America in a complimentary fashion; so I will quote a verse” seems to imply that he delivered it to an American audience. Also, at the bottom of page 2, he writes “As the generations pass in seventy eighty years…” which may be referring to Whitehead’s rough age at time of delivery (struck out) and at time of revision (the handwritten insertion), but this is purely speculative.

Note that the second draft has an alternate title: “Wit and Humour.”