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Speculative EmpiricismRevisiting Whitehead$
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Didier Debaise

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474423045

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474423045.001.0001

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Actualising Creativity

Actualising Creativity

(p.30) 4 Actualising Creativity
Speculative Empiricism

Didier Debaise

, Tomas Weber
Edinburgh University Press

The description of the general components of creativity led to the following key proposition of Process and Reality: creativity exists only through its actualisations. But what does it mean to exist through actualisations? First of all, staying true to the literal meaning of what is posed, it implies that, strictly speaking, creativity does not exist, or at least, it does not exist outside of the operation of actualisation. As a result, creativity cannot be treated in itself, it cannot be considered in its own being, since this would presuppose its existence. This leads to a highly distinctive approach to existence with regard to creativity: it appears that existence is something added to creativity, something that happens to it within a process. If it were internal, Whitehead would have said that only one of the forms of creativity’s existence is to be found in its actualisations, which would imply other forms belonging to it, relativising existence through actualisation. Whitehead’s proposition, however, is the opposite: creativity’s existence is related to its actualisations; it is drawn towards distinct things. It could be said, then, and without getting too involved in this point for now, that there is a difference between creativity and existence. It is a common metaphysical error, according to Whitehead, to confuse the ultimate with existence, making the latter into an attribute of the ultimate (in the form of substance, for instance, or of an atom).

Keywords:   Existence, Creativity, Actualisation

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