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Creation, Co-operation, and Causality: A Reply to Gregersen

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Abstract:

Niels H. Gregersen seeks to illuminate the nature of continuing divine action in the world and to show that the classical theistic doctrine of continuous creation is consonant with some recent scientific theories of self-productive (“autopoietic”) systems. Central to these theories is the concept of co-operation; central to Gregersen's theological appropriation of these theories is also the notion of structuring causality developed by philosopher Fred Dretske. While supportive of Gregersen's overall aims and emphases, we find significant disanalogies between co-operation as a theological construct and as an evolutionary strategy. We also doubt the utility of Dretske's notion for his project.

Keywords: autopoietic systems; causality; co-operation; creation; divine action; religion and science; structuring causes

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/0591-2385.1951999195

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy at Seattle University, Seattle, WA

Publication date: 1999-03-01

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