Saturday, September 8, 2012

the ultimacy of creativity: connections to the process versus object debate

[I]t seems that “creativity” is simply Whitehead’s expression for that most general trait which all actual entities have in common.  As he tells us in the categoreal scheme, it is “the universal of universals characterizing ultimate matter of fact” (Process and Reality, 31)....Each [actual entity] exhibits the same metaphysical character of being a particular instance of creative activity.  Accordingly, the ultimacy of creativity seems to coincide with the ultimacy of the act of “self-creation” by which each actual entity comes into existence (Process and Reality, 130).
These observations give rise to a significant question concerning Whitehead’s metaphysics.  If creativity is nothing more than a universal characteristic of actual entities, would it not be both possible and desirable to replace the term “creativity” with the expression “actual entities” in our most rigorous statements of Whitehead’s system?
Interestingly, the author goes on to argue that reducing creativity to actual entities is neither possible nor desirable.  Read the article by William Garland, from Explorations in Whitehead’s Philosophy, edited by Lewis S. Ford and George L. Kline (New York, Fordham University Press, 1983): 212-238, HERE.