Thomas Aquinas, Teleology and the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis

McCall.Aquinas, teleology, and the Modern Evolutionary synthesis

Bibliography:

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Carroll, William E. (2000). Creation, Evolution, and Thomas Aquinas. Revue des Questions Scientifiques 171, No. 4, 319–347.

Clayton, Philip (2008). The Re-Emergence of Emergence: The Emergentist Hypothesis from Science to Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Clayton, Philip (2006). Mind and Emergence: From Quantum to Consciousness. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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[1] Thomas Aquinas. Summa Contra Gentiles. Anton C. Pegis, James F. Anderson, Vernon J. Bourke, and Charles J. O’Neil, trans. New York: Hanover House, 1955–57. SCG II.80.1618

[2] Mayr, Ernst (1998). The Evolutionary Synthesis: Perspectives on the Unification of Biology. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 13.

[3] Mayr, Ernst (2002). What Evolution Is. New York: Basic Books, 270.

[4] Teleology, for Aristotle, can be summed up as “‘That for the sake of which’ is a thing’s purpose, its end, the goal at which it aims.” Owens, Joseph (1968). The Teleology of Nature in Aristotle. The Monist, Vol. 52, 159–173.

[5] Aristotle conceived teleology: “nature is among the causes which act for the sake of something.” Aristotle, Physics 2.8, 198b10.

[6] Aristotle does not see final causality, or teleology, as a kind of preexistent, quasi-efficient cause pulling things toward certain goals (O’Rourke, Fran (2004). Aristotle and the Metaphysics of Evolution. Review of Metaphysics 58, 35).

[7]Aristotle, Physics 2.8 199b27-9.

[8] Thomas Aquinas. On Natural Science, Mathematics, and Metaphysics. Expositio super Librum Boethii de Trinitate, 2. Questions 5–6. Timothy McDermott, trans. Aquinas: Selected Philosophical Writings. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993, 7.

[9] Gilson, Etienne. The Philosopher and Theology. Cecile Gilson, trans. New York: Random House, 1962, 210–11.

[10] Lang, Helen S. Aristotelian Physics: Teleological Procedure in Aristotle, Thomas, and Buridan. The Review of Metaphysics 42, No. 3 (1989), 570.

[11] Lang, Helen S. (1992). Aristotle’s Physics and Its Medieval Varieties (SUNY Series in Ancient Greek Philosophy). New York: SUNY, 163.

[12]Lang 1989, 574.

[13] Ibid., 573.

[14] Ibid., 576.

[15] Ibid., 579.

[16] Lang 1992, 165.

[17] Ibid., 164.

[18] Lang 1989, 581.

[19] Ibid., 582.

[20] Cross, Richard. “Dun Scotus and Divine Necessity.” In Robert Pasnau, (Ed.), Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy, Vol. 3. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015, 130.

[21] Dun Scotus, Lect. II, d. 12, q. un., n. 30 (Vatican, XIX, 80); translation from Richard Cross, “Duns Scotus on Essence and Existence.” In Robert Pasnau, ed. Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy, Vol. 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, 191–192.

[22] “A positive dialogue is necessary, not least because the way each subject answers its own questions must bear some fitting relationship to the answers offered by the other, if it is indeed the one world of reality that both are seeking to speak about. There will be no strict logical entailment between the two sets of answers, but there certainly needs to be a certain degree of consonance. How? and Why? are distinct questions, but the forms of their answering must fit compatibly together” (Polkinghorne, John C. [2009] Theology in the Context of Science [New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press], 97–98).

[23] Thomas Aquinas (1983). Quaestiones Quodlibetales. Sandra Edwards, trans. Mediaeval Sources in Translation,

  1. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, QQ 3.9.Ic.

[24] Thomas Aquinas (1920). Summa Theologiae of St. Thomas Aquinas. Literally Translated by the Fathers of the English Dominican Province, Second and Revised Edition, ST 88.1 obj 4.

[25] Pasnau, Robert (2002). Thomas Aquinas and Human Nature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 370.

[26] Ibid., 371.

[27] Thomas Aquinas (1955–57). Summa Contra Gentiles. Anton C. Pegis, James F. Anderson, Vernon J. Bourke, and

Charles J. O’Neil, trans. New York: Hanover House, SCG II.97.1823.

[28] IV Sent 50.1.1 sc I

[29] QDV 19.1c

[30] Pasnau 2002, 370.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Ibid., 48.

[33] For example, Matthew 10:28 avers that the body and soul are not mutually dependent.

[34] McInerny, Ralph and O’Callaghan, John. Saint Thomas Aquinas. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2010 Edition). Edward N. Zalta (Ed.), http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2010/entries/aquinas. Accessed 10/16/15.

[35] Pasnau 2002, 370.

[36] Ibid., 373.

[37] Ibid., 372.

[38] Note that I am here using the term “emerge” in a distinctly philosophical sense to refer to the biological concept of emergence theory, as delineated by Clayton, Philip (2006) in Mind and Emergence: From Quantum to Consciousness. Oxford: Oxford University Press, and in Clayton, Philip (2008), The Re-Emergence of Emergence: The Emergentist Hypothesis from Science to Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press. I have extended Clayton’s concept of emergence in several peer reviewed articles which I invite you to look for at your leisure, as I do not desire self-promotion.

[39] Cohen, S. Marc. Aristotle’s Metaphysics. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2012 Edition). Edward N. Zalta (Ed.). http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2012/entries/aristotle-metaphyics. Accessed 10/17/15.

[40] Pasnau, Robert and Christopher Shields (2004). The Philosophy of Aquinas. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 73–74.

[41] Owens 1968, 159.

[42] Ibid.

[43] Ibid., 160.

[44] Aristotle. Physics 2.8; 199a30-34; Johnson, Monte Ransome (2005). Aristotle on Teleology. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 64.

[45] Owens 1968, 161.

[46] Aristotle. De Anima II, 4,415b16-20.

[47] Owens 1968, 162.

[48] Ibid., 170.

[49] Ayala, Francisco J. (1970). Teleological Explanations in Evolutionary Biology. Philosophy of Science 37, No. 1, 14.

[50] Shields, Christopher (2007). Aristotle. New York: Routledge, 82.

[51] The present day crisis in divine action results from a shift in the notion of causation. In premechanistic science, that which was dominated by Aristotle, a component of final causation was included in every event, in addition to that of efficient, formal, and material causes (Clayton, Philip [1997]. God and Contemporary Science [Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press], 189).

[52] ST I, Q 44, Art. 4.

[53] Feser, Edward (2009). Aquinas. Oxford: One World Publications, 112.

[54] I cannot agree with this point made by Feser, since I adhere to a panentheistic metaphysic which pictures God as inherently immanent within the world; in the words of Arthur Peacocke, as cited by Cooper, God is seen, in the panentheistic vision, as working “in, with, and under natural processes “ (Arthur Peacocke, as cited in John W. Cooper, Panentheism – The Other God of the Philosophers: From Plato to the Present [Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2006]), 310.

[55] Tkacz, Michael W. (2008). Section: “Out of Nothing at All.” Aquinas vs. Intelligent Design. Catholic Answers Magazine 19, No. 9. http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/aquinas-vs-intelligent-design. Accessed 10/19/15.

[56] Reiss, John O. (2009). Not By Design: Retiring Darwin’s Watchmaker. Berkeley: University of California Press, 147.

[57] Nagel, Thomas (2012). Mind and Cosmos. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 68.

[58] Plantinga, Alvin. Why Darwinist Materialism is Wrong. The New Republic. November 16, 2012. Plantinga maintains that the thesis of Darwinist Materialism is “what there is in our world are the elementary particles described in physics, together with things composed of these particles” (3).

[59] Nagel 2012, 123.

[60] Ibid., 59.

[61] Ibid., 66.

[62] Ibid., 93.

[63] Ibid., 92.

[64] Ibid., 89.

[65] Ibid., 95.

[66] Freeman, Walter J. (2008). Nonlinear Brain Dynamics and Intention according to Aquinas. Mind and Matter 6, No. 2, 207.

[67] Ibid., 210.

[68] Ibid., 213.

[69] Allen, Colin, Teleological Notions in Biology. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2009 Edition). Edward N. Zalta, ed. http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2009/entries/teleology-biology/. Accessed 10/16/15.

[70] William Wallace describes chance as “an interference between, or an intersection of, two lines of natural causality not determined, by the nature of either, to interfere with one another” (Wallace, William A. [1977]. Elements of Philosophy: A Compendium for Philosophers and Theologians [New York: Alba House], 47).

[71] Dodds, Michael J. (2012). Unlocking Divine Action: Contemporary Science and Thomas Aquinas. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 38.

[72] SCG III, 74, no. 2.

[73] Peacocke, Arthur (1990). Theology in an Age of Science. Oxford: Blackwell, 117.

[74] Dodds 2012, 103.

[75] Shanahan, Timothy (2004). The Evolution of Darwinism: Selection, Adaptation and Progress in Evolutionary Biology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 24.

[76] Ibid., 83–4.

[77] ST 1.105.5 sol.

[78] Tkacz 2008. Section: An Earlier Creation Crisis.

[79] Baldner 1997. p. 44–45.

[80] Goris, Harm J.M.J. (1996). Free Creatures of an Eternal God: Thomas Aquinas on God’s Infallible Foreknowledge and Irresistible Will. Peeters Leuven: Thomas Instituut Te Utrecht, 304.

[81] Thomas Aquinas (1952). Quaestiones Disputatae De Potentia Dei. Translated by the English Dominican Fathers. Westminster, Maryland: The Newman Press.

[82] ST I, Q85, A1.

[83] Carroll, William E. (2000). Creation, Evolution, and Thomas Aquinas. Revue des Questions Scientifique 171, No. 4, 319-347.

[84] Ibid., 7.

Thomas Aquinas, Teleology and the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis