Philosophical Process Theories
‘Process and Reality’ is the main work of the great mathematician and philosopher, A. N. Whitehead. His analyses about how a selection is made from a range of possibilities (potential) in processes, in order to arrive at a tangible event (actuality), have substantially influenced the meta-theoretical change theories here presented.
According to Whitehead, every event is the result of a creative, inventive act. It is non-existent, it is not decided causally or directly, it has no place – all this is created and requires a choice. His philosophical process theory is one of the first to assign time to space and, therefore, breaks with a centuries old tradition, which was based upon Aristotelian meta physics. The mechanistic, scientific thinking seemed, to him, completely unsuited to understand and conceptualise changes. That one of the greatest logicians of the last century was, at the same time, that person who built his thinking upon the specific, from occurrences, from events, is astonishing. His process-theoretical principles also led him to a critique of the language structure, which, with its subject – predicate focus (The horse is galloping), cannot adequately represent the processualism (The galloping is horsing….). His thinking offers undiscovered treasures and is a forerunner of more recent considerations about medium and form (by Luhmann) and the meaning of the observer in system theory.