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62 Alb. L. Rev. 1 (1998-1999)


The purposes of this Article are to explore the relationship between Alfred North Whitehead's process philosophy and the nature of law, and to develop from that exploration a theory of "process jurisprudence." To some extent, this Article is a process of interpretation and imagination. Whitehead himself devoted little attention to the nature of law. Therefore, rather than attempting to declare definitively the implications of Whitehead's thought for the nature of law, this Article is structured in the form of a dialogue between "Whitehead" and a lawyer whom I have called "Chris." In Part II, as he discusses his system of metaphysics and its relationship to human civilization, "Whitehead" will take the leading role. In Part III, as Whitehead's understanding of civilization is applied to the specific role of law within a civilization, "Chris" becomes a more active participant in shaping a jurisprudence of process. This Article does not pretend to predict how Whitehead himself would have resolved the jurisprudential issues (such as the nature, forms, and limits of law) that Part III poses; rather, it suggests the way that a Whiteheadian attitude should make us think about these issues.


Reprinted with permission of the Albany Law Review.

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