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Order as the Telos of the Universe in Aquinas and De Koninck

Order as the Telos of the Universe in Aquinas and De Koninck

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Published by Sancrucensis
Order as the Telos of the Universe in Aquinas and De Koninck - Christian Philosophy Conference “The Future of Creation Order” - VU University Amsterdam
16– 19 August 2011 - Contributed Paper - P. Edmund Waldstein, O.Cist.

The Laval School Thomist Charles De Koninck (1906-1965) was convinced that a new defense of Aquinas’ thesis that the order of the universe is its intrinsic telos or final cause could be formulated in the light of modern natural science. Aquinas had argued that God created things outside of himself in order that they might participate in the divine goodness and beauty by way of likeness. Since no single creature can reflect the infinite perfection of the divine essence, he created a multitude of creatures. But since unity belongs to the very account of goodness and beauty, the multitude of creatures had to be gathered into the unity of order.
According to De Koninck, Aquinas’s view was tied to his radically participatory account of created causality. He saw God’s causality as working from within the nature of created causes, and thus the effects of created causes as caused wholly by the created cause and wholly by God. The abandonment of this conception of causality in the early modern period was an element in the development of modern science. But, De Koninck argues, it is precisely from within modern science that certain truths have come to light that tend to contradict the modern view of divine causality, and thus support a return to Aquinas. Cosmic and biological evolution show a causal order of dependence among the various parts of the universe even more radical than that recognized by Aquinas himself, but fully in harmony with his participatory account of causality.
Order as the Telos of the Universe in Aquinas and De Koninck - Christian Philosophy Conference “The Future of Creation Order” - VU University Amsterdam
16– 19 August 2011 - Contributed Paper - P. Edmund Waldstein, O.Cist.

The Laval School Thomist Charles De Koninck (1906-1965) was convinced that a new defense of Aquinas’ thesis that the order of the universe is its intrinsic telos or final cause could be formulated in the light of modern natural science. Aquinas had argued that God created things outside of himself in order that they might participate in the divine goodness and beauty by way of likeness. Since no single creature can reflect the infinite perfection of the divine essence, he created a multitude of creatures. But since unity belongs to the very account of goodness and beauty, the multitude of creatures had to be gathered into the unity of order.
According to De Koninck, Aquinas’s view was tied to his radically participatory account of created causality. He saw God’s causality as working from within the nature of created causes, and thus the effects of created causes as caused wholly by the created cause and wholly by God. The abandonment of this conception of causality in the early modern period was an element in the development of modern science. But, De Koninck argues, it is precisely from within modern science that certain truths have come to light that tend to contradict the modern view of divine causality, and thus support a return to Aquinas. Cosmic and biological evolution show a causal order of dependence among the various parts of the universe even more radical than that recognized by Aquinas himself, but fully in harmony with his participatory account of causality.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Sancrucensis on May 14, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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