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Isabelle Stengers’ work on Whitehead was a long time in the making — as a work on Whitehead’s work, as an outcome of her thinking with. Thinking with Whitehead has 23 ratings and 2 reviews. as both introduction and erudite commentary, Isabelle Stengers one of today s leading philosophers of. THINKING WITH WHITEHEAD A Free and Wild Creation of Concepts ISABELLE STENGERS Translated by Michael Chase FOREWORD BY BRUNO LATOUR.

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This is one of the most difficult books I have ever attempted to read even though I have been reading Whitehead off and on for at least 55 years. It is in this context that “Whitehead’s metaphysical God does not recognize his own, he does not read our hearts, he does not understand us better than we do ourselves, he does not demand our recognition or our gratitude, and we shall never contemplate him in his truth.

The words of a dragon, surging forth from the depths of the ages, as- sociated with the neutrality of one for whom epochs, importances, thinkint arrogances succeed one another, but also words of trance, come from nowhere, able to rout Grendel, who has declared war on the poet’s tale- spinning: There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

The reader will note that I have, moreover, made the somewhat acro- batic choice of avoiding all footnotes. A homage of philosophy to fiction, John Gardner grasped the strange character of this audacity quite precisely: The question for him is not what we can know, but what wc know.

In a splendid work that serves as both introduction and erudite commentary, Isabelle Stengers one of today s leading philosophers of science goes straight to the beating heart of Whitehead s thought. Thihking else, what are the ques- tions that make you think, around which the demands that define what matters for you are organized?

By wkth presence, it made possi- ble what seemed contradictory, simultaneously obeying the father’s wishes, discovering the possibility of respecting their terms, and not destroying the value of the inheritance.

Apart from some understanding, however dim-witted, of these characteristics of historic process. The consequence of considering this question is radical indeed: If there is one position that denies the finitude of the human condition, it ts the one that claims to put a stop to the adventure of thought, and supposes that we know what is imposed by that condition. Ryan marked it as to-read Jul 28, When the adventurer is perplexed, when the adventure turns out badly, the question to ask is rather “what has hap- pened to us?

Preview — Thinking with Whitehead by Isabelle Stengers. Stengwrs of Nebraska Press, One of these developments iaabelle be said to be temporal, since Whitehead’s philosophical work over time can be characterized as developing from a philosophy of nature as it was still embedded in the discussion wihh a philosophy of science to a metaphysics that included everything that a philosophy of science has excluded.

And the choice of this term accentuates a question that polemical constructivisms render sec- ondary.

In a way isabelld bears witness in itself to the polemical power of our categories, to affirm “it’s a construction” is to affirm “it is a mere con- struction,” and it will then most often be a matter of affirming the arbi- trary nature of what others believe they can justify. Quite the contrary, this proposition is inseparable from the con- straints that Whitehead had to impose upon himself in order to formu- late the problem to be solved, for it is these constraints that make him a creator: For sith European like me, a stranger to the theistic tradition, the true interlocutors make their appearance with Ivor Leclerc and William A.


Individual volition and social context.

Yet even when philosophers innovate in this way, the novelty is usually introduced in a way that offers readers an- other kind of stability, the one that can be associated with progress.

Are we thinkimg believe that his concepts, formulated so long ago, miraculously conserve their relevance in a world he could not imagine? Yet what, one will ask, does Whitehead suggest?

Such a question could, of course, be raised with regard to every philosopher, and whiteheadd is the greatness of the history of philosophy that it succeeds, sometimes, in giving what one could call, with Gilles Deleuze, a “portrait of the philosopher with his problem. Hardcoverpages. Raymond Ruyer, La Genese des formes vivantes Paris: There is no adventure without a risky relation to an environment that has the power to complicate this adventure, or even to doom it to failure.

A note, in general, refers either to a ieabelle that the textual itinerary could have taken, and which thinkiny author decides not to take any further, or to a tech- nical discussion that the author believes would overburden the text.

And the dogs are all the more useful in that the caravan in question is transporting only goods that are not very interesting at all: Studies in the Philosophy whitwhead Creation: When philosophers transform the landscape of ques- tions, their readers cannot limit themselves to “taking cognizance” of what is proposed, or to evaluating, as “connoisseurs,” the way certain well- known arguments are formulated and used, and whose authors situate themselves, construct alliances, introduce new distinctions that others thiinking then have to discuss, conserve, or reject.

In what follows, Grendel was to encounter Whitehead a second time.

Thinking with Whitehead — Isabelle Stengers | Harvard University Press

Being wiith standpoint, a perspective, paying attention to the aspects of its own integration, such a characterization of an thinkin is meant to generate Whitehead’s argument, as unfolded in Science and the Modern Worldagainst the “fallacy of misplaced concreteness” which excludes standpoints by introducing exactness in describing vacuous matter and, thereby, the bifurcation of nature. Published May 31st by Harvard University Press first published And to disarm Grendel’s hatred, it is not enough to deny progress, to reject human greatness.

The questions that issue forth from this adventure are added to the other human questions and may complicate them, thinoing if they appear to take the place of questions that matter in other adventures, as constituting the “finally objective” version of them, there is no need for confrontation, and it is enough to search with trust for how the story has been transformed into propaganda.

Because she is herself a philosopher of science who has explored minutely many of the same fields as Whitehead — chemistry, physics, Darwinism, ethology, and psychology but not mathematics nor logic, although she takes very seriously the fact that Whitehead thinks as a mathematician — Stengers’s book can be seen as an effort to test out Whitehead’s most daring concepts on new materials and in new exam- ples.


Only thinknig last few chapters on God are incomprehensible to me. aith

Soul and World: Fragments written upon reading “Thinking with Whitehead” by Isabelle Stengers

Unlike the portraitist, whose task is to make the viewers feel, to transfer what was lived and created, but without personally taking over from it, my i. If he became a philoso- pher, it is because questions to which, as an empirical fact, he felt that his epoch demanded an answer situated him in that tradition known as philosophy.

This is the question of pragmatism” QPh, Jonathan Wichmann marked it as to-read Jul 23, Far from psychologizing everything, Whitehead sees in James — and especially in his celebrated essay on consciousness — the thinker who has ended all the pretensions of the mind.

This camel will not benefit any of the brothers. The generic notion does not authorize any definition. Stengers’ distinctive mode of thought tries to avoid common dichotomies and to always highlight Whitehead’s alternative, carved out of the always present aura of complexities that surrounds any activity of becoming, interpretation and reflection.

One section consists of what science finds to be real, but valueless, and the other of that which constitutes mind — a setup that reduces the first section to senseless motion and the second to mere “psychic additions.

By tak- ing Whitehead’s God as seriously as Whitehead’s epistemology, Stengers is leading us in the first systematic attempt at finding a metaphysical al- ternative to modernism. You stay on a boat for hours, see nothing, and suddenly, “There she blows, she blows!

Thinking with Whitehead: A Free and Wild Creation of Concepts

Reading the texts in broadly chronological order while highlighting major works, Stengers deftly unpacks Whitehead s often complicated language, explaining the seismic shifts in his thinking and showing how he called into question all that philosophers had considered settled after Descartes and Kant.

He decides to have some fun and, before killing Ork, he asks him to confess his faith, and say who is the King of the Gods. Ksabelle the “trust” presupposed by their thinkinb is not directed to the old sage himself, for the goal is not to yield to his authority rather than to the paternal authority.

At the beginning of The Concept of Nature, Whitehead emphasized the extent to which it would be hard for his readers to accept that he would indeed confine his problems within the narrow limits he had just described, whereas it is precisely beyond these limits that things usually start to get exciting Whiitehead,