Northwest Philosophy Conference
October 4-5, 2013
"Jesus Meets Plato: The Theology of the Gospel of Thomas"
Thursday, October 17, 2013
4:15PM, Eaton 424
* * *
Jeff Jordan has recently challenged the idea, widely accepted among theistic philosophers, that "God’s love must be maximally extended and equally intense." By way of a response, I suggest a way to sidestep Jordan’s argument entirely and then try to show that his own argument is multiply flawed. I thus conclude that his challenge is unsuccessful.
* * *
* * *
The place of the elements (earth, air, fire, and water) in Aristotle's account of natural teleology has been widely misunderstood, and as a result the account has been interpreted with an overly biological focus. Scholars have thought that Aristotle's natural teleology applies exclusively to biological things such as plants and animals (for example, plants grow leaves for the sake of protecting their fruit), while the movement of elements have no teleological explanation (water doesn't fall down for the sake of anything). This general misunderstanding of Aristotle's natural teleology is well evidenced in their interpretation of Aristotle's Meteorology. Scholars have agreed that Aristotle's Meteorology is completely free of teleology, offering solely mechanistic explanations for meteorological phenomena. In this paper I show the kinds of explanations found in Aristotle's Meteorlogy to mimic the explanations we find in his biological works. My new reading of the Meteorologica suggests a fresh understanding of Aristotle's natural teleology more generally. The Meteorologica shows the causal history of any given non-teleological change to terminate in at least one teleological change. If teleological change maintains ontological priority even at the lowest level of the elements, Aristotle's dispute with his materialist predecessors can be seen to run much deeper than a disagreement over biological things, as scholars have thought. On my view, the dispute centers on the very notion of causation itself, as it operates even at the lowest, elemental level of natural phenomena.
* * *
Pacific University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference
April 4-5, 2013
Please check back -- more events will be announced as information becomes available.