CALL FOR PAPERS – GIORNALE DI METAFISICA 1/2023: Process and Idea. Hegel and Whitehead.

Edited by A. Giacone and L. Vanzago

Is it possible to assume an unexplored theoretical continuity – a sort of common intent – between the philosophies of Hegel and Whitehead? If one focuses on the notion of process, crucial for both, it may be helpful and even stimulating to make this question as the starting point for a deeper investigation.

In the contemporary debate on metaphysics, process philosophy presents itself as a valid alternative to the traditional philosophical paradigm, which grounds the comprehension of reality on entities and substances. According to process philosophy, this position is naive and simply inadequate to describe the continuously changing complexity in which we live: the main idea of process suggests that being is essentially dynamic, and indeed that the question itself as to the nature of being should be reformulated. It is important to note that this account does not refute the concept of permanence but requires its reassessment. Hence, Whitehead investigates reality in terms of events, considering them as the interplay between the process of what each thing is and the wider process (the self-creation of the world) in which each thing is necessarily involved. Reality thus manifests the dynamism of being, conceived as a gigantic organism of organisms composed by just as large a variety of processes: physical, social, cognitive.

Albeit from a very different perspective, in Hegel’s system the whole of reality is wirken, to act; it is the ever-transforming product of the activity of concept, namely the expression of the cogent progress of the idea. In this regard, Hegel emphasises that one can only understand reality as the “concrete” through the notions of development (Entwicklung) and process (Prozeẞ). Being is becoming, it is the self-determination and self-differentiation of its moments and their relationships. In the Logic, which is the rational framework of his system, Hegel puts forward that there is only this absolute activity, conceived as absolute insofar as it is a perpetual and
creative form.

While in Hegel process needs to have a strong teleological orientation, in Whitehead’s view process should be made free from every purpose, and this philosophical gesture aims precisely to justify the theoretical possibility of creativity. Notwithstanding this, both positions attempt to firstly provide a consistent definition of the notion of process and, secondly, to use it in a coherent interpretation of reality. Thus, can one talk of a theoretical continuity between Hegel and Whitehead, starting from this common notion of process? Withholding any facile response, whether in support of or against this hypothesis, this special issue aims to investigate the huge potential of this inquiry.

Researchers and scholars are strongly encouraged to submit their manuscripts and contribute to the volume. Suggested areas of interest are:

  • Hegelian interpretations of Whitehead;
  • Whiteheadian interpretations of Hegel;
  • remarks on the notion of purpose, with specific reference to the relationship between process and purpose;
  • process and history;
  • creativity and the philosophy of nature.

Accepted languages: Italian, English, French, German

Deadline for the submission of the paper: March 30, 2023

Confirmation of acceptance: May 15, 2023

Authors are invited to send their contributions to by the deadline indicated above. Manuscripts are to include an abstract and 5 keywords in English and must not exceed 35.000 characters – footnotes and spacing included. Submitted contributions will undergo a process of double-blind peer review.

For any further information, please contact the editors of the volume: Alessia Giacone ( and Luca Vanzago (