Philosophy ETDs

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There is little danger of disagreement if one states that Leibniz and Whitehead are two of the most significant "hylozoic” pluralists in Western philosophy. Both thinkers are concerned with the definite, final unities of being. Both philosophers attempted to ground their multiple individualities in a wider ultimate reality, and at the same time attempted to maintain the import and distinctness of these units as the ultimate components of that reality. The crux of Whitehead's philosophic endeavor was to "retain the balance between the individuality of existence and the relativity of existence." But there is an important divergence in the manner that Leibniz and Whitehead retain the balance of their pluralistic sys­tems. To study this divergence, this exposition will employ the notion of Pluralistic Focus. This Focus is that aspect of the pluralistic unit which both accounts for the totality of being, and at the same time accounts for the individuality of the unit. The expression "Pluralistic Focus" will refer to that point in the nature of the unit where the "individuality and the relativity of existence" are "balanced.' Both Leibniz and Whitehead would agree that, in the words of Leibniz, what is not truly being is also not truly a being The Pluralistic Focus is on that which makes the pluralistic unit truly being," which ''makes a difference" in its composition.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Melbourne Griffith Evans

Second Committee Member

Hubert Griggs Alexander

Third Committee Member

Archie John Bahm



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Philosophy Commons