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Transcript of Whitehead's process
so... whats this "process" you speak of? Process philosophy is based on the premise that being is dynamic and that the dynamic nature of being should be the primary focus of any comprehensive philosophical account of reality and our place within it Those are pretty and big words, but what do they mean... and what does any of this have to do with the novel Grendel? Basically, Process philosophy is what is the role of mind in our experience of reality...
How we perceive reality and our role in it
And in the novel Grendel, influences of Whitehead's process is found within Grendel; predominately in Ork and the Dragon So first, lets take a look at Whitehead's influence within the characters of Grendel and the dragon, then Grendel and Ork Grendel and the dragon "Importance is primarily monistic in its reference to the universe. Limited to a finite individual occasion, importance ceases to be important. In some sense or other—we can skip the details—importance is derived from the immanence of infinitude in the finite. Expression, however—listen closely now—expression is founded on the finite occasion. It is the activity of finitude impressing itself on its environment" (68) The dragon explains to Grendel that life’s purpose is irrelevant, a very nihilistic concept. While Grendel is troubled by his purpose in existence, the dragon insists that he is stressing over nothing; that ultimately his life is meaningless and his impact on the world is only temporary and quite miniscule This passage from Grendel is clearly a loose excerpt from Whitehead’s Modes of Thought, where Whitehead says: " "Importance is primarily monistic in its reference to the universe. Importance, limited to a finite occasion, ceases to be important...But expression is founded on the finite occasion."
"You improve them, my boy! Can’t you see that yourself? You stimulate them! You make them think and scheme. You drive them to poetry, science, religion, all that makes them what they are for as long as they last...If you withdraw, you’ll instantly be replaced. Brute existents, you know, are a dime a dozen...It’s all the same in the end...No difference, finally" (73) Grendel does not understand what the dragon is saying to him. Eventually the dragon lays it out straight, and once again, Once again, purpose/importance is meaningless as the dragon explains that Grendel’s role on earth definitely exists but is very much replaceable and, as a result, insignificant. Grendel and ork "The King of the God’s is the actual entity in virtue of which the entire multiplicity of eternal objects obtains its graded relevance to each stage of concrescence. Apart from Him, there can be no relevant novelty" (132). Whitehead’s influence extends into Ork, “eldest and wisest of the priests." During Grendel’s midnight encounter with Ork, he asks the priest a series of questions regarding the “King of Gods”. Ork, overcome with awe, explains to Grendel in this passage Whitehead’s beliefs on God are exactly the same as Ork’s. To Whitehead, God is an immeasurable idea or being, continually changing in respect to the contemporary world. God is unfinished and open-ended; being redefined as the world progresses Citations Seibt, Johanna, "Process Philosophy", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2012 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), forthcoming URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2012/entries/process-philosophy/>. Hustwit, J. R. "Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy." Process PhilosophyÂ . Methodist University, 10 Apr. 2007. Web. 18 Nov. 2012. <http://www.iep.utm.edu/processp/>. "What Is Process Thought?..." The Center for Process Studies: What Is Process Thought? N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2012. <http://www.ctr4process.org/about/process/>. "David Ray Griffin "Process Philosophy"" David Ray Griffin "Process Philosophy" N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov. 2012. <http://www.anthonyflood.com/griffinprocessphilosophy.htm>. The end