Physics without Physis: On Form and Teleology in Modern Science

Our next monthly meeting will be held on Friday, January 8th from 3:00pm to 4:30pm. We will be discussing “Physics without Physis: On Form and Teleology in Modern Science” by Simon Oliver from the Fall-Winter (Volume 46.3-4) issue of Communio entitled Nature in Theology. The PDF can be downloaded here.

The following is taken from the Introduction to the issue:
In “Physics without Physis: On Form and Teleology in Modern Science,” Simon Oliver examines how mechanistic physics loses a coherent vision of the cosmos by its attempt to conceive nature exclusively in terms of the principle of matter. This reductive understanding results in an account of bodies as simply external or even opposed to one another, so that causality is reimagined as a necessarily violent impingement of one thing upon the next. “Mechanistic cosmology did not abandon final causes altogether, but construed teleology in entirely extrinsic terms as derived from the inscrutable will of God.” Taking recourse to David Bohm’s reflections on quantum theory, Oliver suggests that contemporary physics is poised to retrieve Aristotelian principles through a new recognition that all natural entities interdependently pursue a common purpose, and, in so doing, express in action the unified fabric of being in which they share together.

We will be holding an online only meeting.

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