Monday, February 15, 2010

Adventure of Ideas

The balding fellow above is one Alfred North Whitehead, our 175th hero of the day was born this day 1861, in Ramsgate, Kent, England. He was a bright lad, and turned into a fucking brilliant adult. He gained his B.A. from Trinity College, Cambridge, and would go on to teach and write mathematics at the university until 1910. He resigned that post in 1910 in protest at what he saw was an unfair dismissal of a colleague. From 1910 to 1925 or so he taught physics in London, and it was in this field that he came up with a rival idea to Einstein's general theory of relativity. One of my philosophy professors many, many moons ago tried to explain Whitehead's theory to me and a group of my fellow classmates. It sails right over my head, it seems that Whitehead's theory was MORE complex than Einstein's which is saying something, and it was entirely lost on my dumb ass. That same professor was quite taken with Whitehead's philosophical writings, and since he was one of three philosophy teachers I had to choose from, I got to read, and try to comprehend a LOT of Whitehead. His "Adventure of Ideas" is quite a good book, and not TOO horribly complex. I even managed to understand about 15% of it. However, his "Process and Reality" once again sailed ever so lazily past me, but I hear it is a very good philosophical work. Not that I could tell you one end of it from the other, but I at least got some exposure to it. Enough to say that I have heard of it, and read it, which might be enough to impress someone at some cocktail party. If I ever went to cocktail parties (which I don't), or wanted to impress someone at them (which I wouldn't). Either way, for at least giving me a couple of items that made me think back in the day when I could think, and for writing some quite decent philosophy, Alfred North Whitehead (February 15th, 1861- December 30th, 1947, at the age of 86), you are my hero of the day.

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