Matter and Mathematics
An Essentialist Account of Laws of Nature
To borrow a phrase from Galileo: What does it mean that the story of the creation is "written in the language of mathematics?" This book is an attempt to understand the natural world, its consistency, and the ontology of what we call laws of nature, with a special focus on their mathematical expression. It does this by arguing in favor of the Essentialist interpretation over that of the Humean and Anti-Humean accounts. It re-examines and critiques Descartes' notion of laws of nature following from God's activity in the world as mover of extended bodies, as well as Hume's arguments against causality and induction. It then presents an Aristotelian-Thomistic account of laws of nature based on mathematical abstraction, necessity, and teleology, finally offering a definition for laws of nature within this framework.
About the Author
Andrew Younan is professor of philosophy at John Paul the Great Catholic University. San Diego, CA. Michael J. Dodds, OP, is a professor of philosophy and theology at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology and the author of The One Creator God in Thomas Aquinas and Contemporary Theology, Unlocking Divine Action: Contemporary Science and Thomas Aquinas and The Unchanging God of Love: Thomas Aquinas and Contemporary Theology on Divine Immutability (all CUA Press).
"What is "A Law of Nature"? It's a question that's vexed philosophers and scientists ever since Descartes first coined the term. Fr. Andrew Younan explores it in this insightful book. After carefully reviewing the positions of Humeans and Anti-Humeans, he employs the philosophy of Aristotle and Aquinas to argue for an essentialist understanding. His study leads him back to the beginnings of modern science and then forward to quantum mechanics. The philosophical account of how the laws of nature arise from observed regularities in the world is followed by a theological discussion of the nature and action of the Lawgiver. - from the foreword by Michael J. Dodds, OP."—Michael J. Dodds, OP
Other Titles in PHILOSOPHY / Religious
Xavier Tilliette, translated by Jonathan Martin Ciraulo
Jan 2023 - The Catholic University of America Press
$34.95 USD - Paperback / softback