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Understanding Whitehead.

Michael Kelly, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1964;113(3):468-469. doi:10.1001/archinte.1964.00280090154035.
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Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1948) was a great English thinker who had three separate careers, each of them distinguished. At Cambridge he became a world figure in mathematics; then he helped organize London University. At the age of 64 he went to America and became even more distinguished as a philosopher. His interests were so great and so varied that nobody has yet attempted the task of including them in a full-size biography. This, of course, would require two or three volumes.

Victor Lowe, Johns Hopkins professor of philosophy, studied under Whitehead at Harvard, and ever since has been fascinated by his personality. He tells us that Melbourne zoologist Wilfred Agar (A Contribution to the Theory of the Living Organism, 1943 and 1952) was the only biologist who tried to weave Whitehead's principles into a living theory.

Lowe tells us that Whitehead early in life developed the habit of responding to


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