Whitehead's Doctrine of Perceptive Experience
Winter, Michael F.
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The purpose of this paper is not so very difficulty to characterize: it is an exposition of the doctrine of perceptive experience held by Alfred North Whitehead. And although in one sense there is no originality on the part of its author, in that the primary goal is clarification rather than critical examination or refutation, it is not to be brushed aside for all that. It is, in my opinion, an unfortunate characteristic of twentieth century philosophy that everyone seems so concerned with "doing" philosophy with exposing the absurdities and. contradictions of thinkers who, it is magnanimously allowed, simply did not have the benefit of our own knowledge. But then perhaps this extends beyond philosophy and taints other disciplines as well: one thinks of the merciless attacks of modern anthropology on Freud's easy acceptance of nineteenth-century evolutionism, his implicit assumption of the validity of a naive form of the biological doctrine of recapitulation and, most d1sturbing of all, his belief in the notion if "primitive mentality."