EMPIRISMO RADICALE ED EMPIRISMO ORGANICO
L’ESPERIENZA DELLA CONCRETEZZA OSTINATA IN JAMES E WHITEHEAD
In his newly published Harvard Lectures, Whitehead describes his approach as an «organic empiricism». This paper will account for this definition, framing it as the overcoming of two dogmas of Humean empiricism: the ideas that practice must always remain alien to philosophical speculation, and that relations are never given in experience. Both these tenets were famously challenged by William James with his «pragmatism» and «radical empiricism»; Whitehead’s organic empiricism can be understood as a combination of a form of pragmatism with a form of radical empiricism, which frames both within an accomplished metaphysical scheme. Making a crucial use of the newly published notes from the Harvard Lectures, the paper will focus, first, on the way Whitehead includes considerations taken from practice in philosophy, and second, on the way this brings him to insist on the presence and relevance of «internal relations» in the metaphysical structure of the world and in our experience of it. A final comparison with James shall highlight the originality of this proposal and its explanatory power.