By Hilan Bensusan
Been preparing my class about the notion of importance in Whitehead. The beautiful opening pages of Modes of Thought invoke a contrast and an interdependence between importance and matters of fact (between facts of the matter and facts about what matters, as I put in my recent No Borders Metaphysics post). Experience is saddled with the determination brought about by matters of fact - something akin to exercises of receptivity - and the kind of spontaneity brought in by considerations of importance. To be sure, different types of experience have different matrixes of importance, but there is no experience without interest, without a structure of what makes a difference and what is indifferent (Whitehead: perspective is the outcome of feeling.) One cannot therefore exercise perception without a sense of importance.