Whitehead and Pythagoras

Concrescence 7:3 - 19 (2006)
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Abstract
While the appeal of scientific materialism has been weakened by developments in theoretical physics, chemistry and biology, Pythagoreanism still attracts the allegiance of leading scientists and mathematicians. It is this doctrine that process philosophers must confront if they are to successfully defend their metaphysics. Peirce, Bergson and Whitehead were acutely aware of the challenge of Pythagoreanism, and attempted to circumvent it. The problem addressed by each of these thinkers was how to account for the success of mathematical physics if the world consists of creative processes. In this paper I critically examine the nature of the challenge posed by Pythagoreanism to process philosophy and examine the efforts by process philosophers, particularly Whitehead, to overcome it, and offer some suggestions for advancing these efforts.
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