Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947), widely recognized as one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century, is the reason of existence for the Whitehead Society of Korea. Against the dominant trend of increasing specialization and narrow concentration of interest that has characterized the academic world in the twentieth century, Whitehead attempted to produce a comprehensive metaphysical system that would not only unify the sciences, both natural and social, but also provide a common basis for all areas of inquiry. In order to formulate such metaphysics, Whitehead produced "the philosophy of organism."Later, following the spirit of the philosophy of organism, the successors of Whitehead have called his philosophy "process metaphysics."
The main purpose of our Society is, employing Whitehead's philosophy, not only to promote further awareness of Whiteheadian process thought in Korea, but also to reflect together on ways in which process thought wants to make some contribution to the interdisciplinary study of philosophies, sciences and other academic areas.
Furthermore, another purpose of our Society is to have an international connection with the Societies and Universities in other countries. So far, we have had a close relationship with the United States, Canada, Japan and China.
● Its History and Development
The Whitehead Society of Korea was founded in 1997. The Society's first annual conference was held in Yonsei University in Seoul. The first issue of the Journal of Whitehead Studies was published in the fall of 1998. Up until 2002, the journal has been published annually by our Society, with its English abstracts in the back. However, since 2003, it has been published twice a year. The Journal of Whitehead Studies is now proudly publishing the latest edition, its eleventh. The journal is open for all members of the Whitehead Society of Korea and other interested parties, and the selection procedure for publication is strictly regulated and judged by the Proceedings Committee. Each paper submitted will be carefully examined by three committee members in a closed meeting.
Since 1998, the subsequent annual conferences have been held at Catholic University of Daegu(1998), Chungnam National University in Daejeon(1999), Methodist Theological Seminary in Seoul(2000), Kyungsang National University in Jinjoo(2001), Inje University in Busan(2002), Keimyung University in Daegu(2003), Hanshin University in Gyonggido(2004), Chungnam National University in Daejeon(2005). So far, the presidents of our Society have been Young Hwan Oh(Yonsei University), Hyung Kwan Ahn(Catholic University of Daegu), Sang Yil Kim(Hanshin University) and currently Youn Hong Chung(Chungnam National University).
Since the beginning time, one of the important projects of the Society has been to read and discuss regularly Whitehead's books in discussion groups. The discussion groups, which are a four-hour meeting, have been held every week or every month in many cities, like in Seoul, Daejeon, Daegu and Busan, reading and discussing Whitehead's books and related materials.
In 2004, we held the 5th International Whitehead Conference on "Process Philosophy and East Asian Culture." The 5th International Whitehead Conference 2004, Korea was held in Seoul during May 24-28. The theme of the Korea Conference was “International Conference on Whitehead’s Thought and East Asian Culture.