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AN APPRAISAL OF THE ROLE OF CREATIVITY IN WHITEHEAD'S METAPHYSICS

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posted on 2023-08-04, 14:17 authored by Ravi Prakash Singh

Whitehead places "Creativity" under the category of the ultimate notions in his work Process and Reality. It is the fundamental activity underlying every act of creation. Actual entities or actual occasions, which are the metaphysical realities in Whitehead's system, are the products of the universal Creativity. The phrase "the products of the universal Creativity" does not mean that Creativity is some external agency which causes the creation of actual entities; it is, rather, inherent in the actual entities by virtue of which they are called self-creative. Apart from actual entities, Creativity is merely an abstraction. Creativity is the basic energy for the creation of actual entities, but it is incapable of providing any forms for them, without which entities are indeterminate. For definite forms, actual entities have to depend on a different kind of entities which Whitehead calls "eternal objects." Which form will be selected by a particular actual entity depends on the purpose and value it has for that entity. The entity which determines the purpose and value of eternal objects and serves as their abode is an eternal actual entity which Whitehead calls "God." God evaluates eternal objects and displays them to actual entities. Actual entities, initially, get attracted to these forms presented by God. This initial attraction constitutes the initial aim of actual entities, which is provided by God. Thus, the creation of an actual entity not only needs Creativity, but also eternal objects and God. Keeping in view the contributions of eternal objects and God, the "ultimacy" of Creativity in Whitehead's metaphysical system becomes questionable. In order to be "ultimate," Creativity must account for the creation of the world independently. But, as said earlier, it cannot do so without the help of other formative elements, i.e., eternal objects and God. Hence, in a coherent system like Whitehead's, the idea of an "ultimate" does not fit well.

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American University

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English

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Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 46-12, Section: A, page: 3742.; Ph.D. American University 1985.; English

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http://hdl.handle.net/1961/thesesdissertations:2203

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