Metaphysics and Cosmology

Whitehead defines speculative philosophy as “the endeavour to frame a coherent, logical, necessary system of general ideas in terms of which every element of our experience can be interpreted” (PR 3). A careful study of Whitehead’s philosophical works reveals that, implicit in this definition, there is an important distinction between speculative metaphysics and speculative cosmology.[1] In what follows, I first argue for and clarify the distinction; then I try to show that the distinction is an important one as it greatly affects the interpretation, critique, development, and application of Whitehead’s philosophical ideas.

1. The Distinction between Metaphysics and Cosmology

Regarding Whitehead’s definition of speculative philosophy, we may take the distinction between metaphysics and cosmology to be an internal distinction between, on the one hand, the set of statements conveying the speculative system of general ideas considered apart from any application of any idea in the system to any element of our experience and, on the other hand, the set of statements conveying a speculative interpretation of all major elements of our experience in terms of all of the ideas in the said system. In this respect, Whitehead’s formulation, in Process and Reality, of the categoreal scheme of his philosophy of organism is an attempt (only partially successful) to convey his scheme of metaphysical ideas apart from any application to our experience. In turn, the rest of his philosophical writings—but particularly Science and the Modern World, Process and Reality, and Adventures of Ideas—are devoted to the interpretation of elements of our experience in terms of that metaphysical scheme.[2] In this respect, then, the distinction between metaphysics and cosmology is a distinction between pure and applied theory.

In a deeper and more important respect, however, the distinction between metaphysics and cosmology is the distinction between what a speculative philosophy theorizes to be the necessary features of any possible world and what it theorizes to be the contingent, though perhaps pervasive, features of the one and only actual world. Whitehead does make this distinction explicit, but only in intra-systematic terms. For he explicitly distinguishes between what must be true of all possible cosmic epochs and what is true only of our own cosmic epoch or, at most, also of those presupposed vaster epochs within which our own epoch is set (PR 35-36, 90-92, 96-98, 197-99, 288-89). In this respect, note, first, that a cosmic epoch is any society involving a vast number of successive generations of occasions, and that “our cosmic epoch” is simply “that widest society of actual entities whose immediate relevance to ourselves is traceable” (PR 91). Note also that, for Whitehead, the actual world is an ever expanding universal nexus of actual occasions within which are set all narrower nexūs, including all cosmic epochs. Whitehead’s general intention, therefore, is to distinguish between what must be true of any possible world and what, in addition, is true of the actual world.

It must be admitted that Whitehead often blurs the distinction between metaphysics and cosmology. Indeed, in some contexts, he uses interchangeably terms such as “a scheme of cosmological ideas” (PR xii) and a scheme of “metaphysical first principles” (PR 4-5). Also, at times, the immediate context of a doctrinal discussion does not readily reveal whether the doctrine under consideration is metaphysical or cosmological—perhaps because, as he says, “it is difficult to draw the line distinguishing characteristics so general that we cannot conceive any alternatives, from characteristics so special that we imagine them to belong merely to our cosmic epoch” (PR 288). Nonetheless, it is clear that Whitehead in fact makes a distinction between principles and concepts that are indispensable for the description and analysis of any possible world, or at least of any possible cosmic epoch, and concepts and principles that are indispensable only for the analysis of our own immediate cosmic epoch. Thus, for him: “There can be no cosmic epoch for which the singular propositions derived from a metaphysical proposition differ in truth value from those of any other cosmic epoch” (PR 197). By the same token, there is, for him, such a thing as “a truth concerning this cosmos, but not a metaphysical truth” (PR 198).

Accordingly, when clearly distinguished from metaphysics, “Cosmology is the effort to frame a scheme of the general character of the present stage of the universe. The cosmological scheme should present the genus, for which the special schemes of the sciences are species” (FR 76, emphasis added). But such a cosmological scheme of ideas must contain concepts and principles that are less general than those of the metaphysical scheme; for the cosmological scheme must be adequate to the contingent features of our cosmic epoch. It follows that it is the concepts and principles of the metaphysical scheme that truly have the widest conceivable generality and that they thus serve as the ultimate genera of which the concepts and principles of the cosmological scheme are the contingent species. For example, electronic and protonic societies are cosmological species of the metaphysical genus of social nexus.

However, cosmology must deal with our cosmic epoch’s necessary features just as much as with its contingent ones. Indeed, it must indicate how some of its genera are contingent specifications of metaphysical ones. So the cosmological scheme presupposes and supplements the metaphysical one and cannot be separated from it without loss of meaning and explanatory value. But by the same token, the metaphysical scheme is rescued from the vagueness attending all ultimate generalities by its embodiment in the cosmological scheme. And the latter scheme itself gains meaning by its interpretation of the various elements of our experience and by its critical confrontation with the more specialized schemes of thought deriving from other philosophical systems and from science, religion, ethics, aesthetics, art, literature, history and common sense. But the application of the cosmological scheme to this task is also the application of the metaphysical scheme of which it is a contingent specification. In this very important sense, the cosmological scheme includes and exceeds the metaphysical scheme. For this reason, any reference to the cosmological scheme involves an implicit reference to the metaphysical scheme.

Of course, the distinction between the two schemes of ideas is not the distinction between pure and applied theory. But the applied theory, the interpretation, cannot be torn from the theory being applied. In the end, therefore, the metaphysical and cosmological schemes respectively comprise ideas of ultimate and penultimate generality indispensably relevant to the understanding of every element of our experience and, hence, may be lumped together under the heading of pure speculative theory. In turn, the comprehensive interpretation or description of our experience in terms of the complete scheme of metaphysical and cosmological ideas is applied speculative theory, which we may think of either as concrete epochal cosmology or as full-bodied speculative philosophy or, simply, as philosophical cosmology.

I next suggest some of the ways in which the distinction between metaphysical and cosmological ideas is important for the interpretation, critique, development, and application of Whitehead’s metaphysical ideas.

2. Implications for the Interpretation of Whitehead’s Speculative Scheme of Ideas

Regarding the interpretation of Whitehead’s metaphysical ideas, we should bear in mind that the organic categoreal scheme presented by Whitehead in Process and Reality cannot be construed as a final and accurate formulation of the metaphysical principles and categories of the organic philosophy. In fact, as presented in PR, the organic categoreal scheme is both redundant and incomplete. In respect to its redundancy, Whitehead himself tells us that the third and fifth Categoreal Obligations can be eliminated from the scheme because they are only special cases of the second and fourth Categoreal Obligations, respectively (PR 227-28, 250). In addition, other instances of redundancy become obvious when we compare the twenty-seventh Category of Explanation with both the tenth and twelfth Categories of Explanation; the twenty-fourth Category of Explanation with the sixth through eighth Categories of Explanation; the twenty-fifth, with the eighth, Category of Explanation; and the twenty-sixth Category of Explanation with the second Categoreal Obligation (PR 20-28).

In respect to the incompleteness of the categoreal scheme of Process and Reality, Whitehead acknowledged, in conversation with A.H. Johnson, the omission from the scheme of metaphysical notions such as continuity, emergence, and God’s Primordial Nature.[3] To these three omissions I would add, at a minimum, the omission of the Receptacle or eternal extensive continuum (AI 201-02; PR 72, 76-77, 308-09), the omission of supersession[4] (IS 240), and the omission of objective immortality (IS 243). In this regard, I take the notion of continuity alluded to in Whitehead’s conversation with Johnson as a reference to the metaphysical doctrine of conformation and not as a reference to the eternal extensive continuum (AI 182-84, 252-55). In other words, I take Whitehead to have in mind the qualitative, rather than the extensive, continuity of nature. If I am wrong on this point, then the doctrine of conformation is also omitted from the categoreal scheme, and my views concerning the metaphysical theory of eternal extension are strengthened all the more (1986).

The complete formulation of the organic metaphysical scheme, then, is unfinished business. In any attempt to complete its formulation, we must remember that Whitehead, in the prefaces of his various philosophical works, repeatedly tells us that his books are meant to complement and supplement each other in giving expression to his philosophical system. Of the more metaphysical works—SMW, PR, and AI—he says that they “can be read separately; but they supplement each other’s omissions and compressions” (AI vii). Of immediate relevance is his reference to the compressions of his thought; for he often achieves such a compression by discussing a metaphysical idea not in its full generality, but only in terms of its contingent cosmological specifications. One such idea, which for decades I have labored to save from interpretive neglect, and which I will use here by way of example, is that of the Receptacle, or metaphysical continuum of eternal extension.

As I have argued in detail elsewhere (Nobo 1986, 1997, 1998), the eternal continuum of extension is an aspect of that ultimate reality of which the creativity is another aspect. As eternal, this continuum is not created by the becoming of actual entities; on the contrary, all actual entities presuppose and are conditioned by it. Actual entities come to be in it, each bounding, structuring, and embodying its own finite region of the continuum and thus converting what was merely a potential region into an actual, or proper, one. The metaphysical properties of this continuum are indispensable for understanding the becoming, being, and interconnectedness of actual entities. Three of those properties—separativeness, modality, and prehensiveness—are of particular relevance.

By reason of the separative property of extension, proper formative regions, regions embodied by real occasions, must be each outside the others. Thus, the separativeness of extension amounts to a principle of mutual transcendence. It follows that the separativeness of extension is best understood as a metaphysical imposition of regional discreteness upon all actualities. All actual occasions are mutually transcendent because they embody mutually transcendent formative standpoints. This is true regardless of the supersessional relation obtaining between any two occasions. It should be noted that the separateness of proper regions does not preclude their possible extensive contiguity. Contiguous proper regions are said to externally adjoin each other, or, since internal adjunction does not apply to proper regions, simply to adjoin each other.[5]

Whereas separativeness is the reason why formative loci transcend each the others, modality is the reason why such loci are each projected into the others and, hence, as projections, are each immanent in the others. The projection of one region into another is termed the modal presence of the former in the latter. It is also termed the modal aspect of the former from the latter. The entire continuum of eternal extension is modally projected within each of its regions, but the projection is crystallized, or made permanent, only in actual, or proper, regions. Modality, then, is the reason why the formative region of each occasion reproduces within itself the extensive structure of the state of the universe by which it is begotten. Thus each region mirrors the state of the universe that gave it birth; and thus, too, every region of the universe is modally present in every other region and in itself. Modality thus accounts for the reciprocal immanence of any two occasions; for the modal presences of other regions in a given proper region serve as the niches for the three modes of objectification by which all occasions are present in it: causal, presentational, and anticipational. In other words, occasions are modally present in one another at least in respect to the extensive regions from which they have arisen, are arising, or will arise. Finally, the continuum’s property of prehensiveness, which is the integral wholeness of a region’s structure of modal presences, explains how “many objects can be welded into the real unity of one experience” (PR 67). Prehensiveness explains, in addition, how the achieved real unity remains in existence as a stubborn fact even after the experiential activity that engendered it has completely ceased.

Of great importance for the critique, development, and application of Whitehead’s metaphysics is the fact that, in the nature of eternal extension, there is absolutely no metaphysical necessity that regions embodied by actual occasions should form with each other a continuum, or plenum, of actualized extension (PR 35-36). Nonetheless, sense-perception and classical physics alike suggest the existence of such a plenum. So Whitehead takes the continuity of actualized extension to be “a special condition arising from the society of creatures which constitute our immediate cosmic epoch” (PR 36). Indeed, the vastest cosmic epoch posited by Whitehead is defined by the relation of external extensive connection (PR 96-97). Any occasion in it externally adjoins, or is contiguous with, a finite set of other occasions. Within this cosmic epoch is another epoch defined by the fact that its occasions exhibit geometrical axioms allowing for the definition of straight lines (PR 97). Within this latter geometrical society is set our cosmic epoch, made up of four-dimensional occasions constituting a spatio-temporal continuum and such that the majority of them constitute electro-magnetic societies (PR 98).

Many of Whitehead’s discussions of extensive continuity are primarily concerned with the continuum of actualized extension common to all the cosmic epochs whose respective defining characteristics we have just noted. But, in those discussions, many of the functions attributed to this ever-expanding plenum of actualized extension are really the metaphysical functions of eternal extension. This fact, however, can be discovered only by reading Whitehead’s books in terms of each other and by carefully looking to decompress his exposition to reveal the necessary metaphysical ideas lurking within the contingent cosmological ones. Only then, for example, will one notice that separativeness, modality, and prehensiveness—though discussed in SMW as, first, properties of space, then of time, and finally of space-time—are really properties of eternal extension (SMW 64-65, 69-74, 91, 103, 150-53); for physical time and physical space are, after all, only the spatialization and temporalization of extension (PR 288-89). Similarly, only after one is aware of the distinction between metaphysics and cosmology will one notice that the metaphysical principle of the mutual immanence of occasions cannot be a function of a contingent continuum of actualized extension, but must be a function of a necessary, uncreated continuum of extension whose potential regions necessarily serve as the loci for the becoming, being, and interconnectedness of all occasions (AI 191-200; see Nobo 1986, 252-59).

3. Implications for the Use of Whitehead’s Speculative Scheme of Ideas

Disengaging Whitehead’s metaphysical ideas from their cosmological specifications not only enables a better interpretation of Whitehead’s philosophy, but also facilitates the critique and development of the total speculative scheme and of its application to the interpretation of experience (Hättich 2004; Nobo 1986, 1997, 1998, 2004; Tanaka 1987, 1992). In particular, the interpretation of various elements of experience may be altered to fit new data, especially new scientific theories. Here we must remember that a significant portion of the cosmology must address the general character of physical reality, where physical reality is the cosmic epoch insofar as it is the subject matter of the various physical sciences. For that reason, the cosmology must, at the time of its formulation, agree with the prevalent scientific theories of its day (PR 323).

It is true, in this last regard, that agreement does not mean slavish conformity; for “the cosmology and the schemes of the sciences are mutually critics of each other” (FR 77). In particular, the metaphysical resources of a speculative cosmology allow it to critique the concepts of a given science, to challenge its interpretation of empirical findings, and, most importantly, to offer alternative concepts and interpretations. Nonetheless, Whitehead interpreted our cosmic epoch in line with the deliveries of special and general relativity, though not without criticisms and divergences. Thus, his cosmology shares relativity theory’s emphasis on a spatio-temporal continuum of actuality, on continuous change, and on local causation. On the other hand, it was the then emerging field of quantum physics that seemed to him to be most in keeping with the metaphysics of actual occasions. Indeed, Whitehead greeted each advance in quantum theory with some comment to the effect that the theoretical development or the empirical discovery was just what his metaphysical theory would lead us to expect (PR 254, 238-39). He thus saw his cosmology as capable of doing equal justice to continuous quantities and changes, as required by relativity, and to discrete quantities and abrupt transitions, as required by quantum physics. Nonetheless, the more developed and technical aspects of his physical cosmology are explicitly designed to accord with relativity physics. In hindsight, some of those accommodations needlessly stretch, overlook, or even do violence to some of Whitehead’s most profound metaphysical insights.

Whitehead’s first accommodation to relativity physics is precisely the cosmological doctrine that the formative loci of actual occasions are contiguous, each to some, and thereby constitute an ever-expanding continuum of actualized, or physical, extension. Moreover, in this physical continuum, all immediate predecessors of a given occasion must be extensively contiguous with it. In turn, it must be extensively contiguous with all its immediate successors. Thus, the continuum expands by the addition of new occasions, each adjoining its set of immediate predecessors. Moreover, because the formative locus of each occasion is a quantum of extension that is begotten all at once to constitute the occasion’s dative phase, and because the occasion embodying that quantum becomes causally efficacious all at once when the occasion is completed, the physical continuum grows by the addition of causally efficacious extensive quanta, one quantum for each occasion, or subject-superject. Whitehead is speaking of this physical continuum, and not of the presupposed eternal continuum, when he says that in our cosmic epoch there is a becoming of continuity, but no continuity of becoming (PR 35).

A second accommodation to relativity theory is the specific number of dimensions attributed to the physical continuum. Accordingly, Whitehead claims that “the physical extensive continuum with which we are concerned in this cosmic epoch is four dimensional” (PR 305). Moreover, the four dimensions have the spatio-temporal structure and properties required by the physical theory. In our cosmic epoch, therefore, occasions are four dimensional, spatio-temporally structured, and spatio-temporally related. This means that any two supersessionally successive occasions will be mutually contiguous in physical time. In conjunction with the first accommodation, it means also that any significant relation of efficient causation can hold only between occasions that adjoin in physical time. From the cosmological point of view, this restriction means that an occasion’s only significant conformation is to the causal objectification within itself of its immediate predecessors or, equivalently, to those past occasions that adjoin it in physical time (PR 307). Of course the non-immediate predecessors also affect the occasion, but only by the mediation of immediate predecessors, and only as filtered, as it were, through chains of successive occasions leading up to the occasion in question (PR 307). From the physical point of view, the restriction in question means that all efficient causation is local.

A final accommodation, relative to my limited purposes in this essay, is the emphasis on the extensive continuity of physical reality, and the attendant emphasis on the relation of extensive connection, where the term extensive connection means the immediate or mediate external adjunction of extensive regions. With this last twofold accommodation, the atomicity of actual occasions passes out of the picture, as does their autonomous self-definition (PR 292). The emphasis is on the coordinate divisibility of any one formative locus and also on the coordinate aggregation of contiguous formative loci (PR 286-87); for “just as for some purposes, one atomic actuality can be treated as though it were many coordinate actualities, in the same way, for other purposes, a nexus of many actualities can be treated as though it were one actuality” (PR 287). This accommodation to relativity theory, then, is justified because it is entirely “an empirical question to decide in relation to special topics whether the distinction between a coordinate division and a true actual entity is, or is not, relevant. In so far as it is not relevant we are dealing with an indefinitely subdivisible extensive universe” (PR 285).[6] Therefore, for the purposes of relativity physics, the natural order exhibited by our cosmic epoch is a morphological scheme of extensive connection subject to the possibilities associated with certain abstractive hierarchies of eternal objects of the objective species (PR 292). In our world that scheme defines and limits all important physical relations. In considering this scheme, the atomicity of actual occasions “each with its concrescent privacy, has been entirely eliminated. We are left with the theory of extensive connection, of whole and part, of points, lines, and surfaces, and of straightness and flatness” (PR 292).

None of these accommodations to relativity theory are required by the metaphysics of actual occasions. They represent an attempt to do justice to characters of the physical world that are apparently discerned by relativity theory and its empirical findings. But quantum theory, at least under some interpretations of it, discerns other characters that also need interpretation and accommodation: for example, foam-like space-time, discontinuous or abrupt changes, and holistic or non-local influences. These quantum characters seem much closer in nature to what Whitehead’s strictly metaphysical theory would lead us to expect in any cosmic epoch. This is not to say that the characters associated with relativity theory are only apparent; but it is to suggest that they may be more derivative than the quantum characters, and that they may represent physical reality at a lower resolution than do the characters of quantum theory.

Fresh thinking is required to divine the proper relationships between the two sets of characters, and between both sets jointly and the characters of everyday human experience. From the perspective of Whitehead’s metaphysics, such thinking can be made all the more flexible by recognizing the metaphysical arbitrariness of the characters attributed to our cosmic epoch in light of the original theoretical prevalence of relativity physics. Whitehead provides frequent and explicit reminders of this arbitrariness. “The arbitrary, as it were ‘given,’ element in the laws of nature warn us,” he says, “that we are in a special cosmic epoch” (PR 91). He then adds the suggestive comment: “This epoch is characterized by electronic and protonic actual entities and by yet more ultimate actual entities which can be dimly discerned in the quanta of energy” (PR 91). The electromagnetic laws governing the various electronic and protonic societies are themselves arbitrary, and have evolved with the evolution of the societies as their constituent occasions evolved their various habits of conformation. “But the arbitrary factors in the order of nature are not confined to the electromagnetic laws. There are the four dimensions of the spatio-temporal continuum, the geometrical axioms, even the mere dimensional character of the continuum—apart from the particular number of dimensions—and the fact of measurability” (PR 91).

It should be noted that even in his cosmological accommodation of relativity theory, Whitehead modifies that theory in ways dictated by the inherent association of his metaphysical scheme with the concept of quanta of action. There are, of course, differences in the mathematical formulation of the physical theory. But I now have in mind differences that are strictly due to Whitehead’s metaphysical outlook. Because of that outlook, he rejects the notion of empty space; for space, in his theory, can only be an abstraction from non-social nexūs of occasions, so that real physical space is an ether of low-grade occasions or, in his earlier terminology, an ether of events. For the same reason, and to avoid the paradoxes that would result from the application of Zeno’s method, he rejects the notion of continuous transmission through empty space (PR 307). “Thus the notion of continuous transmission in science must be replaced by the notion of immediate transmission through a route of successive quanta of extensiveness. These quanta of extensiveness are the basic regions of successive contiguous occasions” (PR 307). The causal objectification of one occasion in another and the conformation of the latter to the former are then physically significant only when the occasions involved are supersessionally successive and extensively contiguous. As noted above, this cosmological doctrine makes causation a strictly local affair.

A contemporary cosmological interpretation of quantum physics, however, can look to the truly metaphysical doctrine. Thus, immediately after the passage just quoted above, Whitehead adds: “It is not necessary for the philosophy of organism entirely to deny that there is direct objectification of one occasion in a later occasion which is not contiguous with it. Indeed, the contrary opinion would seem more natural for this doctrine. Provided that physical science maintains its denial of ‘action at a distance,’ the safer guess is that direct objectification is practically negligible except for contiguous occasions; but that this practical negligibility is a characteristic of the present cosmic epoch, without any metaphysical generality” (PR 307-08; emphasis added). Since quantum physics famously does not deny action at a distance, we are now free to explore the ability of Whitehead’s metaphysics to suggest explanations of holistic influences, entanglement, and other puzzling quantum phenomena.

Explanations of this sort have been carried out already by, for example, Stapp (1975, 1979), Tanaka (1987, 1992), Nobo (2004) and, in by far the greatest detail, Hättich (2004), with the last three being very much influenced by the distinction between the metaphysical and cosmological doctrines of extension. But this essay is not the place in which to examine these explanations. My immediate concern has been to emphasize the metaphysical arbitrariness of cosmological doctrines expressly designed to accommodate relativity theory when that theory was still the last word in the physicist’s conception of reality. A different way of accommodating that theory is necessary in light of developments in quantum theory that Whitehead did not live to witness, but which make his metaphysical theory seem all the more relevant to a thorough revision of his organic physical cosmology. That relevance, I have been suggesting, is more likely to be noticed and put to use if we carefully separate Whitehead’s metaphysical doctrines from his cosmological ones.


[1] Much of my own work on Whitehead has been devoted to separating his metaphysics from his cosmology (1986). On that basis, I have critiqued and developed Whitehead’s metaphysical doctrines and supplemented them with doctrines of my own (1997, 1998). I have also made some suggestions for the application of the revised metaphysics to contemporary cosmological issues (2004).

[2] I hold, but will not argue here, that aspects of the metaphysical scheme are implicitly very much at work in Whitehead’s earlier works in the philosophy of nature.

[3] Johnson, A. H. (1952) Whitehead’s Theory of Reality (reprint: New York, Dover, 1962, p. 177).

[4] Supersession is one of the terms Whitehead uses to denote metaphysical time in contradistinction with physical time. The latter, as Whitehead understands it, is a contingent feature of our cosmic epoch. See IS 240-47 and as indexed in Nobo (1986).

[5] I use this language, and not Whitehead’s language of external connection, to avoid the confusions generated by Whitehead’s use of the term connectedness to refer, on the one hand, to the metaphysical relation of mutual immanence that must obtain between any two proper extensive regions, and to refer also, on the other hand, to the purely topological relation that obtains between specified pairs of extensive regions. In the latter sense of the term, “no region is connected with all the other regions” (PR 295). For a discussion of the adjunction and injunction of events see PNK 102-03. Notice that separated events may adjoin but cannot injoin. Adjunction is the closest type of boundary union possible for a pair of separated events. Injunction is the closest type of boundary union possible between an event and an another event over which it extends, or, equivalently between an event and one of its proper parts. If restored to its presupposed metaphysical context, the relation of extending over is the relation of a later occasion including the objectification of an earlier occasion. An occasion’s formative locus extends over the entire universe as objectified for it; and the causal objectifications it contains are such that each contains other objectifications. The concerns of PNK are cosmological and assume a deliberately limited point of view. Accordingly, its exposition assumes, not without qualifications and misgivings, that events form an ever growing continuum of actualized, or physical, extension.

[6] For high-grade occasions, such as those constituting streams of human experience, or for high-grade societies of occasions, such as living organisms, the distinction between an actual occasion and a coordinate division is all too relevant. But for low-grade occasions, such as those constituting empty space, and for low-grade societies, such as electronic and protonic societies, the distinction is irrelevant because the role played by the mental poles of the occasions involved is trivial, at least from our limited viewpoint (PR 285).

Works Cited and Further Readings

Hättich, Frank. 2004. Quantum Processes: A Whiteheadian Interpretation of Quantum Field Theory (Münster, Agenda).

Johnson, A. H. 1962. Whitehead’s Theory of Reality (New York, Dover Publications).

Nobo, Jorge Luis. 1986. Whitehead’s Metaphysics of Extension and Solidarity (Albany, State University of New York Press Press).

Nobo, Jorge Luis. 1997. “Experience, Eternity, and Primordiality: Steps Towards a Metaphysics of Creative Solidarity,” Process Studies 26, 171-204.

Nobo, Jorge Luis. 1998. “From Creativity to Ontogenetic Matrix: Learning from Whitehead’s Account of the Ultimate,” Process Thought 8, 90-97.

Nobo, Jorge Luis. 2004. “Whitehead and the Quantum Experience,” in Physics and Whitehead: Quantum, Process, and Experience, edited by Timothy E. Eastman and Hank Keeton (Albany, State University of New York Press Press), 223-57.

Stapp, Henry P. 1975. “Bell’s Theorem and World Process,” Nuovo Cimento 29, 270-76.

Stapp, Henry P. 1979. “Whiteheadian Approach to Quantum Theory and the Generalized Bell’s Theorem,” Foundations of Physics 9, 1-25.

Tanaka, Yutaka. 1987. “Einstein and Whitehead: The Principle of Relativity Reconsidered,” Historia Scientiarum 32, 45-61.

Tanaka, Yutaka. 1992. “Bell’s Theorem and the Theory of Relativity—An Interpretation of Quantum Correlation at a Distance Based on the Philosophy of Organism,” The Annals of the Japan Association for the Philosophy of Science 8, 1-19.

Author Information

Jorge Luis Nobo
Philosophy Department, Washburn University, Topeka, KS 66621

How to Cite this Article

Nobo, Jorge Luis, “Metaphysics and Cosmology”, last modified 2008, The Whitehead Encyclopedia, Brian G. Henning and Joseph Petek (eds.), originally edited by Michel Weber and Will Desmond, URL = <>.