Religious Beliefs And Peirce's Scientific Realism
Robert Donald Reuter
Advisor: William L. Rowe
Source: DAI, 58, no. 09A, (1997): 3567
The nature of the interaction between science and theology has most often been considered by scientists and philosophers to be either one of conflict or simply non-existent (since science and theology allegedly deal with completely different subject matter). This dissertation is an attempt to establish that both of these positions are untenable, and to show that science, traditional theology, and metaphysics can interact in a mutually supportive way. I use the philosophy of science and "scholastic" realism of Charles Sanders Peirce as a model to defend the view that mutually supportive interaction is possible if (1) some religious propositions, such as "God exists," are treated as viable hypotheses, and (2) we are willing to expand our notions of acceptable evidence for confirming these religious propositions. I conclude that, although Peirce provides a good start at a theory of how science and theology can interact positively, he has difficult in establishing necessary and sufficient conditions for testing the hypothesis that God is real. I suggest, however, that Peirce's version of pragmatism (which he insists is a logical extension of Matthew 7:16) provides a clue as to a way to strengthen the Peircean model and establish the mutual support between metaphysics, science, and a traditional theology.
RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY OF
Accession No: AAG9808510