• Faith, Science, and Philosophy

Informal Notes for a Future Philosophical Examination of Evolution Theory

Creationism and occasionalism. Two understandings of evolution: one where lower causes are instruments, the other where they are not. Instruments versus essence in biological forms, and the consequence which is indeterminacy. Indeterminacy compared with subsidiarity.  Principles of evolution – Natural order versus providential ordering. – Design theorists usually ignore this distinction – The relation of […]

Instrumental Causality: A Principle Small in Size, But Great in Consequence

In my last post, I said I would discuss this principle of instrumental causality, and show how it has very important consequences. There are two ways in which the principle is relevant to discussions of natural science: first, because it is a part of the order of natural causality itself, or in other words a […]

On Telescopes … or, On A Principle “Small in Bulk but Great in Consequence”

On the topic of the small and the great, I’m afraid this entire blog is hopelessly quixotic. (No, not because of its name… that’s not quixotic at all, at least not in the usual sense of the term….) I started this blog because of the deep conviction that there is no current philosophy of science which is […]

Thomism, Karl Popper, and the Existence of Oxygen, Continued

My good friend Ed Wassell, who is a scientist at NASA, and who knows how to keep me in line, asked some very good questions at the end of my last post, which effectively prompted me to finish at least some of the thought that was intended for this post. So, instead of writing a […]

Thomism, Karl Popper, and the Existence of Oxygen

In the end of my last post, I implied two things that need elaboration. The first is that varying degrees of certitude and intelligibility can be found not only in our acts of knowledge, but also in the things themselves that we know. The second is that “less certain” is not the same as “uncertain.” […]

The Timaeus Principle, Continued

So what, then, is this “Timaeus Principle”? In a word, it is the same thing that De Koninck calls the principle of indeterminism. De Koninck wrote about this on many occasions, but for the most part his writing has been overlooked or ignored. Judging by its reception by many traditional natural philosophers, one might surmise […]

The Timaeus Principle

I still remember the first time I read Plato’s Timaeus; indeed I shall never forget it. It was a bewildering experience. Timaeus and Socrates, discussing with each other the nature of the cosmos, convince themselves that there is no scientific account of the nature of the cosmos, because, they think, it is too enmeshed in the messiness […]

Aristotle, Plato, and the Order of Concretion

In my last post, I said I intended to discuss something called the “order of concretion” in the history of science and philosophy. That was rather a long time ago, I know…. But, I’m going to try again to continue this, so far as time will allow. Today, I want to go right to what […]

The Order of Concretion and the History of Philosophy

I ended my last post a couple of months ago with remarks about a challenge which seems to have characterized human thought about the physical world from the very start: that, namely, of reconciling the Platonic logoi with the reality of physical being. Plato, as I noted, realized that there must be intelligible logoi if […]

The Historical Bifurcation Between Science and Philosophy

In my post of March 6, I noted that we must distinguish between what science has been and what it ought to be, or what it is naturally ordained to be. It is therefore a mistake to take any current or past state of science and construe that as universal without any argument. It is […]

Is Science a Separate Discipline From Philosophy?

In our world’s ever increasing specialization, the activity of the physical theorist and that of the experimentalist are often separated, and carried out by different individuals. A friend of mine, in spite of being an accomplished physicist who works for NASA, is by his own admission not very talented when it comes to working with […]

History, Physics, and Philosophy

Thank you, Panchi, for prodding me to get writing! I needed that. But life is so busy these days that I am going to have to write in small portions, which maybe is just as well. So, first, I would like to make a fundamental, guiding observation about physics and history. Many philosophers of science […]

The Conventional Critique of Physics

As I said in my last post, I believe there is a great need for a conversation about the relation of science and philosophy. To begin that conversation, I propose to begin writing under three headings: the first will be the relation and respective roles of science and philosophy in our coming to know the […]

Faith, Science, and Philosophy

The theme of “faith and reason” is extremely common, and so readers might wonder why I have chosen it as the the new subtitle of my blog. I have, indeed, decided to orient this blog in a new direction, by devoting it to the subject of faith and reason. But my intention is more determinate […]

Motion, the Act of the Potential, and Inanimate Being

It is not, one must suspect, as easy as many people think to separate ancient cosmology from what it called the “perennial philosophy.” The unfortunate thing, though, is that many “perennial philosophers” aren’t too interested in even trying to separate them. They are quite content with the good of fictional verisimilitude. It does not occur […]

Imagine a World Without Force

Hamlet, in a state of agitation, speaks of “words, words, words” when asked what he is reading. We have arrived at a world where Hamlet’s agitation might well be ours: a world where “words” are overused and abused. The preciousness of silence is often forgotten. This is (at least one reason) why this blog tries […]