Philosophy & Ideas

A.N. Whitehead and the Avoidance of Knowledge

The English-American philosopher Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947) personifies a powerful justification for the continued study of Western culture in the modern world. It is not possible to rank cultures in terms of intrinsic value—they are of intrinsic value to the peoples whom they embrace, and who feel them in their blood. It would be like arguing that an orange has a better skin than an apple. However, the Western culture is, in instrumental terms—its contribution to the betterment of the lives of people of all races and cultures—arguably the greatest culture that has ever existed. Over the period of a…

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