|Poster © Rachel Bartholomay 2016|
Joseph Gerard Brennan in The American Scholar (Autumn 1978)—
[British philosopher Alfred North Whitehead] himself had moments when he was not quite sure where he had put things. One day in the early 1930s he had Professor James Melrose of Illinois to tea at the Whitehead cottage…It occurred to Whitehead that his guests might like to see the work in progress on a library addition to the house. So he led them outside, first carefully putting on Professor Melrose’s hat which he found in the coatroom closet and assumed was his own. After the excursion he returned the hat to the closet, but at tea’s end, when he and Mrs. Whitehead prepared to accompany the guests to their car, he went there once more for his hat. This time Melrose beat him to it and retrieved his lawful property. Whitehead reached up to the place where his visitor’s hat had been, made a little exclamation of surprise, then trotted some distance to a spot where his own hat hung on a hook. It was clear to his guests that the author of Process and Reality did not realize there were two hats, but believed that his own had in some unaccountable way changed its place.