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Whitehead’s process relational philosophy

Mesle, CR and Dibben, MR ORCID: 0000-0001-5033-5720 2017 , 'Whitehead’s process relational philosophy', in A Langley and H Tsoukas (eds.), Sage Handbook of Process Organization Studies , Sage, London, pp. 29-42.

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Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) was 21 when Darwin died. He was profoundly influenced by Darwin's vision of a world in an evolutionary process rather than a fixed state. He and his graduate student, Bertrand Russell, wrote the three-volume Principia Mathematica (1910-1913), widely regarded as a cornerstone of modern mathematics. An intellectual contemporary and peer of Einstein and Heisenberg, Whitehead embraced (with his own revisions) Einstein's vision of relativity (Lowe, 1985). But while Einstein rejected Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, Whitehead saw its enormous implications for rethinking everything, not just physics. Whitehead also lost a son in WW I, taking an active role in the collapse and rebuilding of visions and values emerging from that cultural catastrophe. Born the son of an Anglican vicar, Whitehead's philosophical journey took him from atheism to a radical new vision of the nature of the divine which, along with the work of his student, Charles Hartshorne, spurred an entirely new branch of interfaith, intercultural, and interdisciplinary religious thought (process relational theology), reflected in the websites Jesus, Jazz, and Buddhism (http://www.jesusjazzbuddhism. org), and Process Philosophy for Everyone (http://www.processphilosophy. org/), created by Jay McDaniel, with contributors from around the world. Contemporary process thinkers come from disciplines as diverse as organization studies, physics, economics, education, agriculture, business, religion, and environmental studies. Perhaps its greatest influence is in China where, through for example the Centre for Process Studies' China Project ( it is inspiring concrete changes in education and the effort to envision an ecological civilization.

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Mesle, CR and Dibben, MR
Keywords: Whitehead, relational philosophy
Publisher: Sage
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 C. Robert Mesle and Mark R. Dibben

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