A subatomic energy-event takes into account and thus prehends
its predecessors, but in all probability it does not do so consciously or with the kind of sentience characteristic of animals with central nervous systems.
One marks thought as an organic form that develops over time and in response to changing environments and majority will; another marks truth as contingent and foundations as illusory; still another marks dissents as sites of aesthetic adaptation, places where the new is prehended
This is because some events are more relevant as prehended
data than others, with many past events being eliminated through a process of cancellation.
Insofar as they continue to evolve in their dynamic interrelations as a result of their mutual "prehension" of an ever-changing natural environment and quite possibly in terms of what Whitehead calls a divine "initial aim," (28) the constituent actual occasions of a given "society" gradually reshape their "common element of form." But when this form is sufficiently different from its predecessor forms within the same society, then the form by its objective novelty becomes the occasion for the emergence of a new higher-order set of actual occasions able to prehend
it fully and thereby make it the basis for their individual self-constitution.
For Secondness, he [Whitehead] used the term prehension for "concrete fact of relatedness." He explained "that every prehension consists of three factors: (a) the subject which is prehending, namely, the actual entity in which that prehension is a concrete element; (b) the datum which is prehended
; (c) the subjective form which is how that subject prehends
that datum." For Thirdness, Whitehead adopted the Latin word nexus [I will use the plural nexuses] which represents an instance of connecting or binding together two or more actual entities: "Actual entities involve each other by reason of their prehensions of each other.
It is no coincidence that years later Auden bases his definition of the imagination on such a connection, naming it that "natural human faculty" through which we prehend
the sacred (Dyer's Hand 459-60).
We draw and prehend
from the world in the creation of any particular art work, and that means you draw things you've heard from other people, their behavior and so forth.
There can be no first actual occasion for the reason that what it means to be an actual occasion is to receive influence from the past (to prehend
it or grasp it, rather than intellectually apprehend it), and then to exhibit self-motion in de-cisive response to such influence so as to bequeath such a decision to future actual occasions.
Through perception, I prehend
the potentiality of a past that already is.
The claim that there are no substances, only "societies of actual occasions" and the thesis that reality evolves as "occasions" "prehend
" eternal objects look inconsistent.
Because of the progressive inability of the bird to prehend
seed, the owners supplemented the diet with water-soaked monkey chow.
But especially when competing activities hold the key to survival, the novel behavior may also divide a species, causing a split between those members that prehend
and imitate the novel action and those that do not, which potentially creates new varieties, and even new species.
Whitehead is arguing that reality is complex beyond our ability fully to prehend
, much less to articulate what we have prehended
So when an actual entity, as an experiencing subject, prehends
an external object, it is perceiving, experiencing, and feeling that object.
We might say, in Whitehead's language, that DMS "prehends
" its data with a "subjective aim" (19).