Category Archives: Philosophy

Pay attention

You may or may not have seen the following sports awareness test on YouTube. If not you can check your skills:

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The tree in Berkeley’s square (no nightingale)

George Berkeley is most famous for his immaterialist view of reality, which is nicely, if incompletely, summed up in Monsignor Ronald Knox’s limerick:

Posted in Creation, Philosophy, Science, Theology, Theology of nature | 6 Comments

Abstraction and the cover of God’s Good Earth

In my last post I drew on George Berkeley in the context of probability theory, to show how western thought’s tendency to make abstractions from reality actually leads to a misleading view of the world. The generalisations of science are particularly prone to the reification of abstract notions.

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Abstraction and improbability

I’ve been dipping into George Berkeley’s philosophy recently, mainly because his mind-only view of reality resonates with some other thinkers whose ideas on the matter of matter have impressed me over the years, such as Arthur Eddington, Werner Heisenberg and William Dembski.

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Molinism again

A quick thought here, based on a heads-up to me on Peaceful Science on a thread that, for some reason, doesn’t give me the ability to reply. No matter, because I have more space to reply here.

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On distinguishing miracles from providence

In my recent piece about Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis, I mentioned how Bacon, supposedly the staunch supporter of methodological naturalism, included both a scientificcally detectable miracle and a providential answer to prayer in an apologetic for the new science that is only 22 pages long. He would appear to cut the world-cake rather differently from many of a scientific bent now, who divide the world sharply between the “natural” and the “miraculous.”

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Design and all that metaphysics

A thread at Peaceful Science tosses around the usual argument-suspects about Intelligent Design. It was set up in an unhelpful way by the common ID argument contrasting Mount Rushmore (a large statue in America, m’Lud, in the form of a carved mountain) with Mount Everest, a “natural” mountain.

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Theistic Science and Bacon’s New Atlantis

Francis Bacon produced what I suppose one would call a “Utopian Novelette,” unfinished at about 22 pages, just three years before he died. It seems to have been intended as a kind of manifesto for the new scientific project he had, to a great extent, initiated, and so it is worth looking at retrospectively in the light of that project’s enormous success. The Kindle edition is also free, which is another incentive.

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Final causes and salvation

Here’s some theological musing inspired by the discussion we’ve had on “final causes” connected with the last couple of posts.

Posted in Philosophy, Theology | 2 Comments

No computation without teleology

Support for the suggestion in my last post, that we are likely to be missing significant biological truths by not recognising Aristotelian formal and final causation, comes from a philosophical direction in a recent article by Thomist analytic philosopher Ed Feser .

Posted in Creation, Philosophy, Science, Theology | 16 Comments