Providence and Science in a World of Contingency offers a novel assessment of the contemporary debate over divine providential action and the natural sciences, suggesting a re-consideration of Thomas Aquinas’ metaphysical doctrine of providence coupled with his account of natural contingency. By looking at the history of debates over providence and nature, the volume provides a set of criteria to evaluate providential divine action models, challenging the underlying, theologically contentious assumptions of current discussions on divine providential action. Such assumptions include that God needs causally open spaces in the created world in order to act in it providentially, and the unfitting conclusion that, if this is the case, then God is assumed to act as another cause among causes. In response to these shortcomings, the book presents a comprehensive account of Aquinas’ metaphysics of natural causation, contingency, and their relation to divine providence. It offers a fresh and bold metaphysical narrative, based on the thought of Thomas Aquinas, which appreciates the relation between divine providence and natural contingency.
This volume offers an original perspective on divine providence by examining philosophical, psychological, and theological perspectives on human providence as exhibited in virtuous human behaviours. Divine providence is one of the most pressing issues in analytic theology and philosophy of religion today, especially in view of scientific evidence for a natural world full of indeterminacies and contingencies. Therefore, we need new ways to understand and explain the relations of divine providence and creaturely action.
The volume is structured dynamically, going from chapters on human providence to those on divine providence, and back. Drawing on insights from virtue ethics, psychology and cognitive science, the philosophy of providence in the face of contingent events, and the theology of grace, each chapter contributes to an original overall perspective: that human providential action is a resource suited specifically to personal action and hence related to the purported providential action of a personal God.
By putting forward a fresh take on divine providence, this book enters new territory on an age-old issue. It will therefore be of great interest to scholars of theology and philosophy.
This book presents in its unit the philosophy of knowledge and the cosmos of Leonardo Polo. Starting from the limit of our thought, it investigates its extension in the sciences and the repeated attempt to overcome it in philosophy. The sciences reduce natural things to intelligible objects (mathematized) that give a certain idea of reality and serve especially for the technological domain of the world. Natural philosophy –causal physics in Polo– attempts the difficult task of submerging itself in a world without current intelligibility, renouncing its objective possession, in order to explain its causes in its complete cosmic context. Polo's proposal continues in some way the Aristotelian project of Physics, de-objectifying it. For this, it is necessary to change our mentality, if we want to understand the material world as it is and not as we elaborate it with conceptual thought. In this book, a dark universe is outlined for us, in its continuous alternation between processes and formal arrests. It is a universe sustained by a perennial cosmic pulsation that, at its high levels, like life, lights up and orders itself progressively, without ever reaching a definitive culmination. Only in this way is it possible to get rid of all premature metaphysics and take the leap beyond the limit that allows us to glimpse the cosmic being as a perennial beginning that persists and thus reveals its created condition. The reader who is encouraged to read this, if he does not know Polo previously, may feel surprised at the novelty of his proposal. But he will also be able to let himself be captured by her and perhaps he will be motivated to try to better understand the secret of the universe, beyond what ordinary knowledge and scientific explanations present.
This book arises from the need to give an academic explanation of different types of behaviors or expressions of generosity that we human beings are capable of expressing. The main objective is to present a description and classification of the different manifestations of generosity or types of prosocial behavior, to then focus on 10 different psychological aspects that constitute the foundation of the formation and development of human generosity. Each chapter will give an account of empirical research that shows the relationship between different social virtues or psychological traits that favor the emergence of generosity behaviors, thus allowing a positive psychosocial development of the person.
As previous studies show, the roots of generosity or prosocial behavior are multiple and can be found in biological, cultural, family factors and in individual psychological characteristics. However, in this work we will focus only on certain intrapsychic aspects such as social virtues or traits that can be promoted through education or different promotion strategies. It is important to highlight that this work does not intend to exhaust all the individual characteristics linked to prosociality, but rather those 10 ways that have shown up to now to be a solid foundation for the emergence of generous or prosocial behavior were chosen.
The question about the existence of God has been of central importance throughout the history of philosophy. Among all the arguments in its favor there is one that stands out for its peculiarity and influence in the thinking of almost all the most important philosophers: the so-called ontological argument. Since its original formulation by St. Anselm of Canterbury in his Proslogion, this argument has generated such fascination that virtually none of the most prominent philosophers has deprived himself of commenting on it. Despite being a classic issue, the study of the ontological argument is today as relevant as it has always been. A distinctive feature of the contemporary dispute around it (awakened by Findlay, Hartshorne, Malcolm and Plantinga and which continues to this day) is the strong influence of the formulations and objections coined in German rationalism.
The birth of philosophy is inseparable from the fundamental questions about the human being: Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going? The answer to these questions depends on many other issues that challenge us all, such as the relationship of the human being with Nature, what distinguishes us from other living beings, how we relate to each other (family, friendship, society, etc.) and, in a much more personal way, the meaning of our life. In recent times these classic questions have been become even more urgent due to the vertiginous development of science and technology. Many think today, for example, that in a few decades we will be able to overcome all the limits of our species, enjoying superintelligence, superlongevity and superwellbeing (Transhumanism).
EUNSA has published the book “Universal Moral Grammar. A cognitive approach to natural law?” (in Spanish) by Dr Mariano Asla.
By its very nature, ethical speculation has been since its inception a land for intellectual dialogue, where ordinary knowledge, philosophy and different religious faiths converged, sought and gave reasons. But this scenario today has become more complex and presents novel edges, due to the emergence of the individual sciences (especially from the cognitive perspective) in the study of moral phenomenon. In this context of naturalization of ethics, a research program inspired by Chomsky’s linguistics, called Universal Moral Grammar was developed in recent years. UMG argues, in essence, that under the spontaneous moral intuitions there is a network of cognitive, innate and unconscious principles, which are the evolutionary heritage of our species.
In this book the author proposes a philosophically weighted and critical reading of this research program, tending to its possible inclusion in the broader debate about the ethical universals and establishing some nontrivial affinities with the notion of natural law proposed by the Thomist tradition.
The Summa contra Gentiles offers a great opportunity to re-encounter reason and offer it to everyone. Reasoning from the synthesis and union between reason and faith, this book puts St. Thomas Aquinas in contact with the 20th and 21st centuries. Its main objective is to promote the dialogue between the Thomistic synthesis and contemporary thought: phenomenology, hermeneutics, existentialism, the philosophy of language and logic, the philosophy of science, current cosmological debates, psychoanalysis, the philosophy of social sciences and, therefore, also with the philosophy of law and economy.
Is our reality determined or, on the contrary, is it left to chance and surprise? The tension between determinism and indeterminism has been a constant concern of human beings in different times and cultures, finding multiple responses in the history of philosophy from the Greek ‘Ananke’ or the Latin ‘fatum’, which embodied the idea of a destination that marks life, both human and divine, to the idea of a world that has lost all certainty and security.
In this book the question of determinism is approached from many different fields, from quantum mechanics, chaos theory and the microscopic chemistry in the area of physico-chemical sciences, to genetics, evolutionary developmental biology and conservation biology in the domain of life sciences, also including some specifically philosophical domains such as those related to the problem of freedom and free will.