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Prof. A. N. Whitehead, O.M., F.R.S

Nature volume 155, page 42 (13 January 1945) | Download Citation



THE award of the Order of Merit to Prof. A. N. Whitehead, of Harvard University, announced in the New Year Honours, will be widely acclaimed. Prof. Whitehead was first known as a mathematician, though of an unusual kind. Mathematics for him meant the "development of all types of formal, necessary, deductive reasoning" (preface to "Universal Algebra", 1898). This phase of his career culminated with the publication of "Principia Mathe-matica"(1910-12). It was afterwards, as most of us thought, that he turned to philosophy—with a remarkable contribution to the theory of knowledge in 1919–20, and later with a complete system of metaphysics expounded in a series of well-known works. It has been pointed out by Prof. V. Lowe (essay in "The Philosophy of A. N. Whitehead", 1941) that there was no sudden change; the philosopher was implicit in the mathematician, as could be seen in a paper of 1905.

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