The Need for Metaphysics: on the Categories of Explanation in Process and Reality

James Williams

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    3 Citations (Scopus)


    This article explains the importance of the categories of explanation in Process and Reality and sets it in context, in particular in relation to Whitehead's account of misplaced concreteness and his description of the role of metaphysics in terms of common sense. The article then responds to a series of broad criticisms of Whitehead's position, notably in the claim that it is self-contradictory, inconsistent about common sense and mistaken about the nature of explanation in contemporary science. This response comes from a close interpretation of the categories as described in Process and Reality. The article concludes with a critical discussion of an application of the categories of explanation, taken from Process and Reality.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)77-90
    Number of pages14
    JournalTheory, Culture and Society
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


    • Abstraction
    • Common sense
    • Explanation

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