Metaphysical and Epistemological Puzzles
By Evan Fales
Routledge – 2010 – 190 pages
This study is a new look at the question of how God can act upon the world, and whether the world can affect God, examining contemporary work on the metaphysics of causation and laws of nature, and current work in the theory of knowledge and mysticism. It has been traditional to address such questions by appealing to God’s omnipotence and omniscience, but this book claims that this is useless unless it can be shown how these two powers "work." Instead of treating the familiar problems associated with omnipotence and omniscience, this book asks directly whether, and how, causal interactions between God and His world could occur: both between God and the physical world (miracles) and between God and other minds (mystical experience), as well as between the world and God (divine perception). Fales examines current thinking (which is diverse) about the very nature of causation, laws of nature, and agency.
Preface Acknowledgments 1 Introduction 2 How Does God Do Things? 3 Divine Governance and the Laws of Nature 4 Trouble With Time 5 Eternal God as Author of Nature 6 What Can God Know? 7 Healed Hearts, Inspired Minds 8 Mystical Revelations 9 Is Science a Mystic’s Friend? 10 Concluding Remarks Notes Bibliography Index
Evan Fales is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Iowa.