I’m about a hundred pages into PROCESS AND REALITY now, and I surmise that Whitehead’s project isn’t all that relevant to mine. From what I can tell, his philosophy of “organism” is primarily a response to all the ontology arguments that have been propounded over the centuries, from Plato to Kant to Heidegger. For instance, on page 88 Whitehead says:
The philosophy of organism is the inversion of Kant’s philosophy. The Critique of Pure Reason describes the process by which subjective data pass into the appearance of an objective world. The philosophy of organism seeks to describe how objective data pass into subjective satisfaction, and how order in the objective data provides intensity in the subjective satisfaction.
Even if one may not be entirely sure as to the meaning of some of Whitehead’s jargonistic uses of words like “intensity” and “satisfaction,” the basic opposition is clear enough. I’m not really into ontology. To rephrase a G.K. Chesterson quote, “epistemology is my –ology.” It could be interesting to see what criteria Whitehead uses to measure his “objective data,” and what if any impact that would have on, say, Kant’s theory of the sublime—this being the Kantian concept that has most affected my own theory. I will say that within my epistemological schema, I rely on a sort of “objective data” that feeds into narrative constructs, and my own “satisfaction” with an author’s use of such patterns is more “intense” when I am convinced that the patterns used reinforce one another, creating my version of “concrescence.” However, within the sphere of literary narrative, “objective data” can be either things that the audience believes to be objectively unquestionable—say, the fact that the sun always rises in the east—or what I’ve called “relative meta-beliefs,” such as the Annunciation, the Oedipus complex, and the Rise of the Proletariat.
Still, even if I never end up using Whitehead as anything but a source of terms to redefine, I can see much more value in his project than in most comparable philosophical projects of the twentieth century.