Abstract

This article undertakes a critical analysis of the adoption of process metaphysics in the field of archaeology and anthropology for the explanation of animism. The field of “new animism” has adopted process metaphysics in order to counter the nineteenth-century definition of animism as epistemological projection toward animism as ontological condition. This shift from epistemology to ontology has the danger of equating animism with process metaphysics as such. By examining the category of propositional judgment within Whitehead’s metaphysics, I argue that the condition of animism emerges through a judgment of truth, which is aesthetic. It is through Whitehead’s integration of propositional judgment within his metaphysical system that one can understand that an ontological approach toward animism is not necessarily opposed to a reflective type of experience.

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