Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


This study explores Alfred North Whitehead's relevance for political philosophy by attempting to locate his work within the tradition of "classical political philosophy." Classical political philosophy is understood to involve a determined quest for "vision" in all matters, including politics. The quest is constituted by several interlocking inquiries which are schematically represented as (1) The quest for comprehensiveness: speculation; (2) The quest for God: theology; (3) The quest for wholeness: ethics; (4) The quest for man: philosophical anthropology. Each of these inquiries is embodied in the key works of classical political philosophy such as Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, and the inquiries coalesce to form an architectonic mode of interrogation. The schematic representation of classical political philosophy is explained and illustrated. The scheme is applied to Whitehead's writings by exploring the elements of speculation, theology, ethics and philosophical anthropology in them. Additionally, an attempt is made to map out a roughly Whiteheadian position on some contemporary and perennial issues in political philosophy. This discussion includes the topics of order, freedom, utopia, crisis and humanism.