I PRIMI PASSI DI A. N. WHITEHEAD VERSO IL CONCRETO
IL 1911, BERGSON E LA RELATIVITÀ SPECIALE
A.N. Whitehead’s path “vers le concret” has very deep roots and is, from a historiographical point of view, not easy to decipher. Traces of this path can be traced back to 1911, at a time when the author seems caught up in something else entirely. He has just moved to London, leaving Cambridge after 30 years, and is at work on volumes II and III of the Principia Mathematica; he is beginning to take an interest in pedagogical issues, and is teaching physics, geometry and astronomy at University College. Nothing apparently suggests any philosophical interests. However, consulting some little-known epistolary accounts, it is possible to show an initial interest in Bergson and special relativity as early as 1911. This is the year in which Bergson’s fame explodes in England, and in which Einstein’s theories begin to spread among the English physics community. The research hypothesis of the present paper is to connect the start of the long Whiteheadian path “vers le concret” to this symbolic year (1911), and to the two illustrious names of Bergson and Einstein.