This chapter is a rethinking of my earlier “The Ages of Beauty” which investigated Charles Hartshorne’s Diagram of Aesthetic Values. The argument is placed in a long history of beauty being considered as the middle between extremes. It slowly develops into a structure not merely of aesthetic experience but of existence itself, making it a competitor of Heidegger’s fourfold.
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Reviewed by:The Mind of Charles Hartshorne: A Critical Examination by Donald Wayne Viney and George W. ShieldsLeon NiemoczynskiThe Mind of Charles Hartshorne: A Critical Examination. Donald Wayne Viney and George W. Shields. Anoka, MN: Process Century Press, 2020. 584 pp. $40.00 cloth.Over the past decade process philosophy has undergone a significant renaissance most notably due to the towering presence of the thought of Alfred North Whitehead in that tradition. (...) Charles Hartshorne by manner of contrast has not had such a towering presence. Part of the reason this is the case is due to a paucity of introductory literature on the thought of Charles Hartshorne—literature that might contribute to a “starter kit” so to speak in mastering Hartshorne’s massive oeuvre. The Mind of Charles Hartshorne: A Critical Examination by Donald Wayne Viney and George W. Shields, both former students of Hartshorne and experts in process philosophy themselves, have authored a welcome contribution to an introductory literature that will most certainly elevate awareness of Hartshorne’s importance to its rightful place alongside that of Whitehead. The book is successful in its aims of “giving a reasonably comprehensive account of Hartshorne’s philosophy with an eye of presenting his best arguments...” (the “correcting what we see as misunderstandings of his views appearing in the critical literature” part may have been best left out) and “updating Hartshorne scholarship” (viii). There are ten chapters in total, appendix essays, the aforementioned bibliography, endnotes, and name and subject indexes.The Preface situates the mind of Charles Hartshorne as spanning the twentieth century and engaging metaphysics even when it was unfashionable to do so. Hartshorne thought about a wide-ranging and diverse range of subjects in both philosophy and science, aesthetics, metaphysics, applied philosophy, and theology. He never questioned modern science or evolution and believed that while metaphysics and empirical science have different methods each ensures its own way to objectivity. One learns that Hartshorne’s process metaphysics is also called “neo-classical” philosophy or speculative philosophy. His thought “gave full weight to the dynamic, relational, processive temporal and creative, affective dimensions of the universe” (vi). Hartshorne was known as much for his “panentheism,” or view that God transcends nature but also may be found immanently within it, as he was for his critique of traditional or scholastic classical theology—especially in his logic of theism where he recreates a modal version of the ontological argument. [End Page 94]Chapter 1, “The Career and Personality of Charles Hartshorne,” discusses just that. What seemed most important to me was the discussion of Hartshorne’s formative background of reading novels and poetry by Emerson, Melville, or Camus as a way of intensely living, his studying under William Ernest Hocking, and his Sheldon Traveling Fellowship where he studied for a time with Husserl and read and reviewed Heidegger. Probably the most important biographical details are that Hartshorne was given the assignment of editing the Peirce papers along with Paul Weiss as a Research Fellow while at Harvard University and he also met and graded for Whitehead, who along with C.S. Peirce, would become the twin pillars of all his thinking as a “Peircean and Whiteheadian” (11). From Peirce, we learn that Hartshorne took “possibility is best conceived of as a continuum with no least member” and from Whitehead, “actuality is discrete and discontinuous (atomistic), composed of momentary flashes of experiences” (11). For Hartshorne process and relativity are metaphysically basic.Chapter 2 begins with Hartshorne’s idea that, “Nature comes to us as constituted by feelings, not as constituted by lifeless, insentient matter” (28). Reality has an affective tone in which there is a layered complexity of feeling and social relation. In other words, contra Locke or Hume, feeling is objectively part of an objective affective continuum and is not nominalistically “painted on bare sense impressions” (46). Such might be described as a doctrine of “panexperientialism”— “the view that the basic constituents of reality are flashes of experience” (46). Experience and feeling stretch in their continuity to meet the bounds of nature. Chapter two continues with a wonderful discussion of Hartshorne’s aesthetics: “beauty is the mean between extremes” (48).Chapter 3 provides a... (shrink)
Charles Hartshorne highlights sympathy as a core element of God's love that is undervalued in Christian theology. A detailed understanding of the relationship between loving God and loving others and loving others as oneself is developed based on God's sympathetic love. A comparison between Hartshorne's sympathetic love and Confucian empathetic ren is possible since both eliminate the estrangement between the subject loving and the subject loved and both expand love to others beyond the limited scope of love in human moral (...) practice. (shrink)
Daniel Dombrowski contends that: a number of versions of the ontological argument [OA] are sound; the deity whose existence is most well established by the OA is the deity picked out by Hartshorne’s neoclassical concept of God; skeptics who insist that the OA only shows that “if God exists, then God exists necessarily” are contradicting themselves, and the OA is worth a great deal since it effectively demonstrates the rationality of theism. I argue that theses and are clearly false and (...) offer a presumptive case for thinking that is false, since, absent an independent proof of God’s existence, the theist appears to be in no position to rationally assert. I also show that the Anselmian OA harmonizes rather poorly with a Hartshornean neoclassical conception of God. I conclude by assessing the philosophical and dialectical worth of ontological arguments vis-à-vis establishing the rationality of theism. (shrink)
This chapter is a rethinking of my earlier “The Ages of Beauty” which investigated Charles Hartshorne’s Diagram of Aesthetic Values. The argument is placed in a long history of beauty being considered as the middle between extremes. It slowly develops into a structure not merely of aesthetic experience but of existence itself, making it an alternative to Heidegger’s fourfold.
Charles Hartshorne: Theistic and Anti-Theistic Arguments Charles Hartshorne is well known in philosophical circles for his rehabilitation of Anselm’s ontological argument. Indeed, he may have written more on that subject than any other philosopher. He considered it to be the argument that, more than any other, reveals the logical status of theism. Nevertheless, he always … Continue reading Hartshorne Theistic and Anti-Theistic Arguments →.
Charles Hartshorne: Biography and Psychology of Sensation Charles Hartshorne is widely regarded as having been an important figure in twentieth century metaphysics and philosophy of religion. His contributions are wide-ranging. He championed the aspirations of metaphysics when it was unfashionable, and the metaphysic he championed helped change some of the fashions of philosophy. He counted … Continue reading Hartshorne: Biography and Psychology of Sensation →.
Charles Hartshorne: Dipolar Theism From the beginning to the end of his career Charles Hartshorne maintained that the idea that “God is love” was his guiding intuition in philosophy. This “intuition” presupposes both that there is a divine reality and that that reality answers to some positive description of being a loving God. This article … Continue reading Hartshorne, Charles : Dipolar Theism →.
Charles Hartshorne: Neoclassical Metaphysics Charles Hartshorne was an intrepid defender of the claims of metaphysics in a century characterized by its anti-metaphysical genius. While many influential voices were explaining what speculative philosophy could not accomplish or even proclaiming an end to it, Hartshorne was trying to show what speculative philosophy could accomplish. Metaphysics, he … Continue reading Hartshorne, Charles: Neoclassical Metaphysics →.
Creative Experiencing was an unpublished manuscript found among Hartshorne’s papers now deposited at the Center for Process Studies at the Claremont School of Theology. Hartshorne mentions in the manuscript’s preface that he considered the book to be the final part of a trilogy including Creative Synthesis and Philosophic Method (1970) and Wisdom as Moderation (1987). The book was edited and published under the direction of longtime Hartshorne scholars Donald Viney and Jincheol O.“Metaphysics,” Hartshorne writes in the preface, “is the attempt (...) to interpret concrete experience rationally, in terms of the most general principles of valid reasoning” (xi). The first chapter, “Some Formal Criteria of Good .. (shrink)
Las pretensiones del autor son: Describir la versión modal de la prueba ontológica propuesta por Charles Hartshorne, una versión que enfatiza la anomalía modal del concepto de Dios, que demuestra que las dos únicas alternativas metafísicas coherentes son el positivismo y un teísmo basado en la noción de 'necesidad bajo condiciones tautológicas', y que vindica esta última opción apelando a una filosofía del proceso inspirada en Whitehead y cuya herramienta conceptual básica es la distinción entre existencia y actualidad. Evaluar la (...) propuesta de Hartshorne, defendiéndola frente a equivocaciones frecuentes y desarrollándola en al menos dos aspectos, incluyendo un análisis del proyecto de Russell de reducir las proposiciones modales a enunciados de alcance, y proponiendo una concepción iterativa de la modalidad. Reivindicar la actitud filosófica de Hartshorne, un racionalismo circunspecto que evita el reduccionismo sin temer el conocimiento racionalIn this paper, our objectives are: To provide an outline of the modal version of the ontological proof proposed by Charles Hartshorne, one version which emphasizes the unique logical properties of the notion of God, which demonstrates that the proof leaves open only two coherent alternatives, positivism and modal theism, and which, in order to cope successfully with positivism, appeals to a process philosophy inspired by Whitehead which accepts contingent properties, as well as essential ones, in God. To evaluate Hartshorne's position, defending it against some usual misunderstandings and suggesting some improvements, in concrete, an assessment of Russell's project of reducing modal values to scope-words, and the development of an iterative conception of modality. To vindicate Hartshorne's philosophical attitude, a circumspect rationalism which tries to make sense of recalcitrant phenomena without yielding to epistemological or conceptual deflationism, and which underlines that experience has a rational basis, but that reason cannot exhaust experience. (shrink)
Dentro del epistolario de Francisco Romero, que permanece inédito, se analizan las cartas que intercambió con el filósofo personalista Edgar S. Brightman (1884-1953), como así también se alude a otros representantes dentro del movimiento en EEUU. Este escrito se apoya en la hipótesis del interés compartido por esta corriente de ideas dentro de los años que van desde la II Guerra Mundial hasta los inicios de la llamada Guerra Fría. Se alude también al propósito de ambos corresponsales por acercar la (...) filosofía estadounidense y la desarrollada en América Latina. Las cartas en el repositorio se extienden entre 1939 y 1952. Se incluye como anexo la nota necrológica sobre Brightman redactada por José Vasconcelos con el fin de mostrar que su filosofía interesaba también en otros países latinoamericanos. Within the unpublished epistolary collection of Francisco Romero, this work analyses the letters that were exchanged with the personalist philosopher Edgar S. Brightman (1884-1953), and it also refers to others representative philosophers inside the American Personalist movement. The hypothesis is that both maintain a mutual interest for these ideas during World War II until the beginnings of the so called Cold War. It also refers to the purpose of both correspondents to come closer American and Latin American philosophy. The letters in the collection were written between 1939 and 1952. This paper includes as appendix the obituary authored by José Vasconcelos about Brightman to show that his philosophy was of interest in other Latin American countries. (shrink)
A number of philosophers have found inspiration in the writings of Alfred Whitehead to develop their ideas on environmental and animal ethics. I explore the writings of Charles Hartshorne and Daniel Dombrowski to address the question of whether Whiteheadians should be vegetarians. I conclude that there is a morally relevant distinction between plants and animals, based on the Whiteheadian view that animals have higher grades of experience, and that this distinction grounds a moral duty to adopt minimal moral veganism.
The title above identifies two issues in Charles Hartshorne's panentheistic understanding of God that, in my judgment, have not been sufficiently clarified. The purpose of this paper is to provide additional clarification, that the adequacy of this type of theism may be more carefully judged by its admirers and by its detractors from their respective perspectives. The first part will identify central elements of Hartshorne's reasoning about God's relation to the world. The second part examines how Hartshorne speaks of a (...) divine "transcendence" in a naturalistic metaphysics that is thoroughly empirical. The third part will examine the ways that God is related to the world's evil and whether God is in some way .. (shrink)
In The Untamed God (2003), Jay Wesley Richards defends what he calls “theological essentialism,” which affirms God’s essential perfections but also recognizes contingent properties in God. This idea places Richards’s view in the vicinity of Charles Hartshorne’s dipolar theism. However, Richards argues that Hartshorne’s modal theory suffers from the defects that it abandons the principle ab esse ad posse, makes nonsense of our counter-factual discourse, and can only be expressed by C. I. Lewis’s S4, although for certain purposes Hartshorne needs (...) the stronger S5. Richards, however, fails to realize that Hartshorne’s theory involves two concepts of necessity—necessity as what is common to every possible world-state and necessity as it pertains to the unalterability of the past. While questions remain about Hartshorne’s theory, Richards’s arguments against it are unsuccessful. Most importantly, Richards uncritically accepts the concept of possible worlds as a basis for his critique, but Hartshorne’s arguments cast doubt on the coherence of this idea. Possible worlds provide anything but a firm foundation on which to make sense of either theological essentialism or Hartshorne’s panentheistic dipolar theism. (shrink)
A number of years ago we argued that Hartshorne’s psychicalism and his doctrine of divine memory are incompatible with contemporary big bang cosmology. Theodore Walker has responded to our objection by arguing that our understanding of psychicalism is flawed and that Hartshorne’s metaphysics has the resources for accommodating what the big bang theory says about the origin and fate of the universe. In the present article we attempt to show that Walker’s defense of Hartshorne fails.
The purpose of this article is to explore the relationship between the thought of Richard Rorty and that of his former teacher, Charles Hartshorne. There are important similarities between the two, but ultimately the differences are more readily apparent, especially in terms of the battle between poetry (in the wide sense of the term conceived by Rorty) and (Hartshornian) metaphysics. Hartshorne is defended against Rorty.
While considered by many as one of the greatest philosophers of religion and metaphysicians of the 20th century, Charles Hartshorne’s contributions to the study of aesthetics are perhaps the most neglected aspect of his extensive and highly nuanced thought. DIVINE BEAUTY offers the first detailed explication of Hartshorne’s aesthetic theory and its place within his theocentric philosophy.
The essays in this collection, which examine the philosophies of Charles Hartshorne and A.N. Whitehead, represent the author's journey over the years to achieve a greater understanding of certain aspects of the Christian religion by making use of their metaphysical systems. Among the topics discussed are: reason and faith, concepts of God, the problem of evil, the doctrine of immortality, religion and science, religion in life, and philosophy and literature. Also included in this volume is the primary bibliography of Hartshorne's (...) philosophical works. (shrink)
The thesis of this dissertation is that the category of freedom is an ultimate metaphysical category in the thought of Charles Hartshorne, and that it is the main category around which all of his philosophy of religion is developed. Interpreters of Hartshorne would acknowledge freedom as a category in his thought, but not necessarily the main or ultimate category in his thought. This dissertation will show this by using an internal analysis of Hartshorne's own writings and examining the major themes (...) of his philosophy to show how the category of freedom is an ultimate metaphysical category in Hartshorne's thought. Chapter one will examine classical theism's adaptation of Greek metaphysics. Chapter two will examine Hartshorne's critical response to classical ism and his panentheistic alternative. Chapter three will define the meaning of freedom in Hartshorne's thought and its relationship to panentheism. Chapter four will examine ingression and eternal objects and how Hartshorne understands this doctrine in relationship to the category of freedom. Chapter five will examine Hartshorne's doctrine of temporal possibility in relationship to the category of freedom. Chapter six will examine Hartshorne's theodicy in relationship to the category of freedom. Chapter seven is the conclusion to the dissertation where I will summarize the arguments of each chapter and state my conclusion. (shrink)
This article summarizes the principal arguments for panpsychism given by Charles Hartshorne by separating it from Whitehead's event metaphysics and Hartshorne's natural theology. It sorts out the plausible reasons for panpsychism given by Hartshorne from those less plausible. Among the plausible reasons are those based on analogical reasoning and the impossibility of explaining how mentality originated. Among the implausible ones are those that postulate a type of psychic causation between wholes and parts. The conclusion is that the plausible reasons tip (...) the balance in favor of the doctrine. (shrink)
The article examines Charles Hartshorne's claim that all events and values are given an "objective immortality" by being preserved in God's perfect memory. God's memory guarantees the meaningfulness of a fixed past, even when the past leaves no present trace on anything else. The article questions the physical basis of such a perfect memory in the structure of the universe, especially as entropy erodes the basis of information. Further, recent theories of memory, such as Gerald Edelman's, hold that memory changes (...) with each act of remembering. The analogy from human memory is therefore faulty. Hartshorne's view is stronger as eschatological metaphor than as sober ontology. (shrink)
An examination of the concept of God as propounded by Charles Hartshorne and John Macquarrie, two mid-20th century theological thinkers, Relational Deity argues for a concept of God as "relational deity" that arises out of a detailed investigation juxtaposing Hartshorne's neoclassical theism and Macquarrie's existential-ontological theism.
In 1922 Charles Hartshorne, then an aspiring young philosopher, wrote to Edgar Sheffield Brightman, a preeminent philosopher of religion for twenty-three subsequent years and, remarkably, almost every letter was preserved. In their introductory essays, editors Randall Auxier and Mark Davies place the unusually rich and intensive correspondence in its intellectual context and address the relationship between personalism and process philosophy/theology in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and social philosophy.