Forms of Concrescence: Alfred North Whitehead's Philosophy and Computer Programming Structures

Forms of Concrescence: Alfred North Whitehead's Philosophy and Computer Programming Structures

by Marc Silverstein
     
 

From Greek beginnings to contemporary expression, there have been two competing viewpoints of mathematical existence: a procedural one that understands mathematical objects to be created and a Platonic one that accepts eternal, unchanging, and primordial objects that are discovered. Typically, those who espouse a procedural understanding also must explain how…  See more details below

Overview

From Greek beginnings to contemporary expression, there have been two competing viewpoints of mathematical existence: a procedural one that understands mathematical objects to be created and a Platonic one that accepts eternal, unchanging, and primordial objects that are discovered. Typically, those who espouse a procedural understanding also must explain how mathematical structures are objective. And those who, like Alfred North Whitehead, maintain a Platonic view also must explain how these ideal objects are apprehended by the activities of reason. Whitehead's progressive affirmation of the processive nature of actual entities, in contrast to his affirmation of the primordial nature of mathematical and other eternal objects, introduced an aspect of incoherence into his philosophy. In this study, author Oranville C. Henry reinterprets Whitehead's philosophy by a procedural understanding of mathematics that is best expressed in the algorithmic lan guages of computer programs. The computing language chosen here is an expression of predicate logic called Prolog. A Prolog program may describe any general situation in formal language. Prolog is employed to describe, but not to represent, the nontemporal activities of the concrescence of an actual entity from its initial simple physical feelings in a conformal phase, through a supplementary phase, to its determinate consummation in a "satisfaction." In this manner, one distinguishes between physical and conceptual prehensions and characterizes a variety of feelings, including simple physical feelings (hybrid and pure), strain feelings, and intellectual feelings. By asserting Whitehead's ontological principle that any explanation is ultimately an analysis of actual entities, the author uses his descriptive programs of actual entities to formalize White head's philosophy, including discussions on feeling and seeing a nexus, the distinctions between perception in the mode of causal efficacy and presentational immediacy

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780838752371
Publisher:
Bucknell University Press
Publication date:
05/01/1993
Pages:
168
Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 9.82(h) x 0.71(d)

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