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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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Pure Potentiality and Actuality

Pure Potentiality and Actuality

(p.90) 8 Pure Potentiality and Actuality
Speculative Empiricism

Didier Debaise

, Tomas Weber
Edinburgh University Press

In the chapter titled ‘The Categorial Scheme’, Whitehead introduces a new distinction, doubtless the most important in Processand Reality as well as the most difficult to understand: actual entities are distinct from what he terms ‘eternal objects’. This unequivocally expresses the importance of eternal objects. They are placed on the same plane as actual entities, with which they share a common characteristic of being the ‘fundamental types of entities’: ‘actual entities and eternal objects stand out with a certain extreme finality’ (PR, 22). We are now at a point where there can be no doubt as to the place occupied by actual entities in Process and Reality. They form the centrepiece of the entire speculative construction. When Whitehead writes in the preface that the ‘positive doctrine of these lectures is concerned with the becoming, the being, and the relatedness of “actual entities”’, it is now clear that he was literally expressing the project of the book.

Keywords:   Eternal object, Actuality, Pure Potentiality

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