Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Wahida Khandker
    Pages 1-26
  3. Wahida Khandker
    Pages 27-55
  4. Wahida Khandker
    Pages 57-81
  5. Wahida Khandker
    Pages 83-108
  6. Wahida Khandker
    Pages 109-143
  7. Wahida Khandker
    Pages 145-168
  8. Wahida Khandker
    Pages 169-189
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 191-193

About this book


This book provides a survey of key process-philosophical approaches that, in conversation with selected concepts across the biological and physical sciences, help us to think about living processes, or ‘lived time,’ at different scales of functioning. 

The first part is written from an opening perspective on the question of the differing scales of analysis provided by Alfred North Whitehead. In particular, his interest in questions arising from the quantum mechanical reconciliation with classical mechanics informs the first two chapters that address problematic categorizations of life as variously ‘despotic,’ ‘invasive,’ or as primitive (in the radically more-than-human case of micro-organisms), whose potential recategorization relies on our willingness to acknowledge changes in value depending on the scale at which we view them. 

The second part of the book concerns methodologies, in the light of works by Henri Bergson, whose intertwining concerns with epistemology and ontology in his theories of mind and life serve as a model for a process philosophy of biology. The chapters focus on techniques used across philosophy and the sciences to visualize processes that are otherwise unavailable to us due to the limitations of our perceptual faculties, no matter how sophisticated the tools for analysis, from microscopes to telescopes, have become. This book concludes with a consideration of the relations between parts and wholes in process, panpsychist, and ecological terms. It revisits the question of ecological balance and the place of human activities in relation to it, with reference to works of Charles Hartshorne and William James.


Whitehead Bergson Hartshorne Darwin Evolution Life

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of History, Politics and PhilosophyManchester Metropolitan UniversityManchesterUK

About the authors

Dr Wahida Khandker is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research focuses on intersections between process thought, particularly the work of Henri Bergson, and the philosophy of biology. She is the author of Philosophy, Animality, and the Life Sciences (2014).

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Process Metaphysics and Mutative Life
  • Book Subtitle Sketches of Lived Time
  • Authors Wahida Khandker
  • Series Title Palgrave Perspectives on Process Philosophy
  • Series Abbreviated Title Palgrave Perspectives on Process Phi.
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2020
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy Philosophy and Religion (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-43047-4
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-43050-4
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-43048-1
  • Series ISSN 2524-4728
  • Series E-ISSN 2524-4736
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIII, 193
  • Number of Illustrations 1 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Ontology
    Philosophy of Nature
    Philosophy of Biology
    Philosophy of Mind
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