Skip to content

What is Process Studies?

Process philosophy belongs to a tradition known for its complexity and academic rigor. It began with Cambridge mathematician turned Harvard philosopher Alfred North Whitehead (a professor to Bertrand Russell) at the turn of the 20th century. Another one of Whitehead’s students (Charles Hartshorne) became a professor at University of Chicago, and one of his students (John B. Cobb, Jr.) was a professor at Claremont Graduate School, where he launched the Center for Process Studies in 1973. Process Studies refers to a transdisciplinary field of study inspired by thinkers like Whitehead, Hartshorne, and Cobb. It’s a perspective that has influenced many people around the world. The process-relational perspective is a framework for conceiving reality according to principles like deep relationality, self-organization, harmony, intrinsic value, interconnection, and change. The implications of taking these principles seriously are far-reaching. From cosmology and metaphysics, to ecology, psychology, religion, and beyond. Process thought shares many insights with systems thinking, deep ecology, indigenous and Asian cultures; putting such wisdom in conversation with modern scientific insights. Over the past 50 years, our network of process thinkers have been in dialogue with the best minds of our time: from physicists David Bohm and biologists Lynn Margolis, to economists Herman Daly, architect Paolo Soleri, activists Vandana Shiva, and more. This tradition of intellectual excellence continues as we provide high-level research and education, not for its own sake, but for the purpose of building a better world.

Core Values of Process Studies

Whole Persons

We hope that individuals around the world can grow in happiness — a sense of wonder, playfulness, joy, inner peace, compassion, zest for life.

Whole Communities

We hope that people can build local communities that are creative, compassionate, participatory, humane to animals, and good for the earth, with no one left behind.

Whole Planet

We hope that the planet as a whole can avoid humanly-imposed disaster and can flourish with multiple forms of life, each with its unique beauty. We want to help people create ecological civilizations that are conducive to the Earth community.

Holistic Thinking

We hope that forms of thinking can emerge that draw from science, art, and spirituality; that are honest to the way that the world is: that show how things are connected to one another; and that inspire living with respect and care for the community of life.