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Abstract

The cosmology of Alfred North Whitehead is notable for its privileging of the concept of creativity as inhabiting the “category of the ultimate” and the concept of beauty as the aim toward which creation strives. The goal of this dissertation is to describe what an aesthetic philosophy, that is, a philosophy of art, would be based on such a cosmology. The first two chapters represent a constructive attempt to articulate such an aesthetics in the abstract. The final three look at the art of the theater in the English Renaissance and in the work of Samuel Beckett to see whether these canons evince an implicit aesthetic that reinforces the Whiteheadian model put forth. Finally, this procedure is used to indicate a feature of Whiteheadian cosmology that seems under-appreciated by Whitehead’s followers, the concrescence (making concrete) of the divine desire for beauty in human experience.

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