Lots of things going on in my work and research. The first semester at the Notre Dame institute for Advance Science is almost over. In few days I’m gonna fly to Oakland CA for the Christmas break. I will spend there the whole winter break (1 month). I presented twice this semester at seminars at the institute and I am planning a series of seminars for students in the next semester, plus my regular engagement in the Institute. I met many interesting people here at Notre Dame.
I spent a considerable amount of time studying contemporary metaphysics, theories of properties, causation, and contemporary versions of hylomorphism. I also spent some time on the new meachanical philosophy – a theory about methodology and related to it ontology in philosophy of biology. All this goes to my first book, which I have accomplished few weeks ago. The project entitled Metaphysics of Emergence: Causes, Absences, and Dispositions is now under the review of the Notre Dame Press. 🙂
I started working on another book project which I hope to accomplish in the next semester of my fellowship here at the ND. The tentative title is: Divine Action and Emergentism: A Thomistic Alternative to Panentheism in Science/Theology Dialogue. Similar to my first project, this one also is based on my doctoral dissertation, which needs to be re-thought and expanded.
In the meantime, my paper from the conference on the emergent project of Terrence Deacon organized by the CTNS in Berkeley, CA in april 2016 – has been published HERE. 🙂
Also – a publication of long awaited (at least by me :)) new edition of Science and Religion: A Historical Introduction, with the chapters that I co-authored (17: Catholic Church Since Trent, and 25: Causation) has been announced: MARCH 2017. 🙂
I was asked to write an article relating the teaching of Aquinas to contemporary science for the journal Scientia et Fides. I decided to use and further develop the material contained in my doctoral dissertation. I expanded my reinterpretation of the classical notion of emergence, with its emphasis on the role of downward causation, in terms of the fourfold notion of causation in Aristotle and Aquinas, and the theory of divine action offered by the latter. The PDF version of the article is available HERE.
Abstract of the article:
One of the main challenges of the nonreductionist approach to complex structures and phenomena in philosophy of biology is its defense of the plausibility of the theory of emergence and downward causation. The tension between remaining faithful to the rules of physicalism and physical causal closure, while defending the novelty and distinctiveness of emergents from their basal constituents, makes the argumentation of many proponents of emergentism lacking in coherency and precision. In this article I aim at answering the suggestion of several thinkers to redefine emergence and downward causation in terms of the broader Aristotelian view of causation. In addition, I further develop this interdisciplinary conversation to include theological implications of emergentism, analyzed in reference to Aquinas’ understanding of divine action in terms of the same fourfold division of causes—bringing thus natural science, philosophy, and theology into creative and fruitful dialogue.
I’m publishing one of my papers that I wrote during my first year at the GTU. I tried to publish it in Nova et Vetera but did not succeed. I think it is a good stuff and that is why I decided to share it here with everybody who might be interested in the topic of analogical predication in theology. I will add my unpublished papers in the new section of my blog that you can enter clicking on “Unpublished Papers” in the main menu on the left-hand side of the home page of my blog.
Man reaches the highest point of his knowledge about God when he knows that he knows Him not, inasmuch as he knows that which is God transcends whatever he conceives of Him. (St. Thomas Aquinas, De Potentia, 7, 5 ad 14)
One of the most basic linguistic tools in theology is analogy. Although many would agree that predicating in theology is of analogous nature, it is by no means easy to bring unity among different ontological and epistemological presuppositions accepted by various theologians when they speak about analogy.
In this essay I will go back to the controversy between the most prolific and influential Calvinist theologian of the 20th century Karl Barth, and the position presented by Thomas Aquinas and his followers. I will first provide the reader with a necessary outline of Aquinas’ and Barth’s respective ways of defying and understanding analogy, with an additional reference to ontological presuppositions they seem to accept. Secondly, I will analyze the philosophical and historical background of this theological controversy. Finally, I will try to present main lines of argumentation concerning possible ways of convergence and divergence between the proponents of analogia entis and analogia fidei, and express my opinion on the possibility of a reconciliation between Aquinas’ and Barth’s positions. However, the main point of this essay is to introduce new participants of the debate to its sources and course.