A major goal of Zygon is to represent a community of scientists and scholars, academics and professionals, experts in various disciplines and laypersons in those disciplines—all in dialogue with one another. The focus of this dialogue is to explore ways of responding to fundamental questions about lifes meaning and purpose, about the foundations of morality and motivation to do good, about the grounds for hope in the face of adversity. Zygon seeks to address such religious and moral questions in a manner that unites or yokes together as a team (zygon) the insights of religious and philosophical traditions, tested historically through centuries of human living, with knowledge from the contemporary sciences, tested according to the canons of modern rational-empirical research.
Critical realists would have us believe that representations have a connection to the world, that of truth or reference for example, which is independent of their usefulness to us. They would have us believe further that knowledge about this connection serves to put religion and science in their proper places with respect to one another. This essay raises pragmatic objections to these beliefs.
models • pragmatism • reference • scientific realism • world structure
J. Wesley Robbins is professor of philosophy at Indiana University at South Bend, P.O. Box 7111, South Bend, Indiana 46634.
Experience and Explanation: The Justification of Cognitive Claims in Theology by Wentzel van Huyssteen
The justification of cognitive claims in theology can be dealt with adequately only if the epistemological issues of metaphorical reference, experiential adequacy, and explanatory progress are seen as crucial problems for the more encompassing problem of rationality in theology. In order to guarantee any claim to reality depiction the theologian will have to argue for a plausible theory of reference on the basis of interpreted religious experience. In this discussion important analogies between the rationality of theological theorizing and the rationality of science are revealed.
approximate truth • epistemic values • epistemological and experiential adequacy • explanatory progress • reference • qualified critical realism
Wentzel van Huyssteen is professor of systematic theology and head of the department of Biblical Studies, University of Port Elizabeth, P.O. Box 1600, Port Elizabeth 6000, South Africa.
Theologys Truth and Scientific Formulation by Philip Hefner
One of the basic intentions of theology is to extend the explanatory function of the communitys faith beyond the community to the realm of wider human experience. In this sense, theology may be called scientific, and it will benefit from conforming as much as possible to the characteristics of scientific theory formation. Using the work of Karl Popper and Imre Lakatos as a guide, the following theological theory is proposed: Homo sapiens is Gods created co-creator, whose purpose is the stretching/enabling of the systems of nature so that they can participate in Gods purposes in the mode of freedom. It is argued that this research program produces new knowledge in relating the Christian faith to scientific views of human being as comprised of both genes and cultures to a theory of technological civilization; to freedom, determinism, and natural selection; and to credible notions of human purpose. Traditional Christian doctrines are related to this research program.
anthropology • created co-creator • falsification • methodology • technological civilization • theory-formation
Philip Hefner is professor of systematic theology at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and director of the Chicago Center for Religion and Science, 1100 E. 55th St., Chicago, Illinois 60615. The author dedicates this article to Joseph Sittler and expresses his appreciation to David Breed.
Critical Realism in Theory and Practice: Response to Robbins, van Huyssteen, and Hefner by Mary Gerhart
I read Robbinss essay as a hermeneutics of suspicion against the claims of critical realism, especially the tendency of critical realism to achieve correspondence with the world rather than participation in changing it. I read van Huyssteens essay as an application of critical realism which tends toward correspondence in spite of his correct statement of the theory. I read Hefners paper as an exposition of both claims and methods capable of conveying truth and genuine knowledge. As such, Hefners paper illustrates an adequate application of the theory of critical realism and overcomes the suspicion suggested by Robbins.
correspondence • critical realism • falsifiability • metaphor • pragmatism • reference
Mary Gerhart is professor of religious studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, New York 14456-3397.
From Critical Realism to a Methodological Approach: Response to Robbins, van Huyssteen, and Hefner by Nancey C. Murphy
Critical realism is a problematic philosophical doctrine that unnecessarily complicates attempts to relate theology and science. A more satisfactory approach employs the scientific methodology of Imre Lakatos for the reconstruction of theology along scientific lines. Theological research programs would automatically include auxiliary hypotheses of both theological and scientific origin.
critical realism • Imre Lakatos • theology and science
Nancey C. Murphy is visiting assistant professor of religion at Whittier College, Whittier, California 90608.
A Tale of Two Controversies: Dissonance in the Theory and Practice of Rationality by Martin Eger
The relation between rationality in science and rationality in moral discourse is of interest to philosophers and sociologists of science, to educators and moral philosophers. Apparently conflicting conceptions of rationality can be detected at the core of two current socio-educational controversies: the creation/evolution controversy and that concerning moral education. This paper takes as its starting point the recorded views of participants in these controversies; exhibits the contradictions and their effect on the public; relates these contradictions to developments in the philosophy and history of science; and suggests, in a preliminary way, one approach for dealing with the problem.
creation/evolution controversy • moral philosophy • philosophy of education • philosophy of science • rationality • science education
Martin Eger, associate professor, teaches physics and philosophy of science at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island, 130 Stuyvesant Place, Staten Island, New York 10301. The author wishes to thank Nathan Glazer, Thomas Green, Mary Hesse, Larry Laudan, Alasdair MacIntyre, Larry Nachman, Philip Quinn, Israel Scheffler, Diane Ravitch, Abner Shimony, and Kenneth Strike for their helpful comments and criticisms, and Holmes Rolston III for valuable stylistic suggestions.
Martin Egers comparison of controversies in science and morals is extended to a consideration of the nature of rationality in each. Both theoretical science and moral philosophy are held to be relativist in social and historical terms, but science also has definitive non-relativist pragmatic criteria of truth. The problem for moral philosophy is to delineate its own appropriate types of social criteria of validity.
morals • rationality • science
Mary Hesse is emeritus professor of philosophy of science at the University of Cambridge, Free School Lane, Cambridge CB2 3RH England.
On Martin Egers A Tale of Two Controversies by Abner Shimony
Criticisms are presented against Egers challenge to the demarcation between the natural sciences and ethics. Arguments are given both against his endorsement of the new philosophy of science and against his rejection of the fact-value dichotomy. However, his educational recommendations are reinforced rather than weakened by these criticisms.
creation/evolution • fact • moral education • New philosophy of science • normative fact • value
Abner Shimony is professor of philosophy and physics at Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts 02215.
A Tale of Two Controversies: Comment by Thomas F. Green
The educational controversies that Martin Eger discusses regarding moral education and the teaching of creationism arise from taking a single aspect of moral education and making it the whole, and from taking a single aspect of scientific work and assuming that it is the whole. The distinction between teaching science as application and teaching it as education is crucial in confronting these problems.
autonomy • formalism • indoctrination • moral education • pedagogy • tradition
Thomas F. Green is the Margaret Slocum professor of education at Syracuse University, 259 Huntington Hall, Syracuse, New York 13244-2340.
Science Education and Moral Education by Holmes Rolston III
Both science and ethics are embedded in cultural traditions where truths are shared through education; both need competent critics educated within such traditions. Education in both ought to be directed although moral education demands levels of responsible agency that science education does not. Evolutionary science often carries an implicit or explicit understanding of who and what humans are, one which may not be coherent with the implicit or explicit human self-understanding in moral education. The latter in turn may not be coherent with classical human self-understandings. Moral education may enlighten and elevate the human nature that has evolved biologically.
Darwinism • ethics • evolution • moral education • nature and culture • science education • values clarification
Holmes Rolston III is professor of philosophy at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523. He is the author of Science and Religion: A Critical Survey (Random House, 1987) and Environmental Ethics (Temple Univ. Press, 1988).
Comments on Egers A Tale of Two Controversies by Daniel R. DeNicola
This commentary on Martin Egers A Tale of Two Controversies focuses on three criticisms: first, the shifting status of the claims of creationism in the article; second, new developments in moral philosophy which run counter to Egers discussion; and third, the inadequate treatment of pedagogical and curricular principles.
creationism • Martin Eger • moral theory
Daniel R. DeNicola is vice president for academic affairs, provost, and professor of philosophy at Rollins College, Winter Park. Florida 32789. His scholarly work includes both ethical theory and philosophy of education.
Comments on my essay, A Tale of Two Controversies, were made by Daniel R. DeNicola, Thomas F. Green, Mary Hesse, Holmes Rolston III, and Abner Shimony. This reply focuses first on three issues: that very recently moral philosophy has taken a turn toward a more traditional, particularistic approach, which could mitigate the problems I described; second, that because creationism is essentially antiscientific, my more philosophical concerns miss the mark; third, that the relativism of the new philosophy of science ought not be uncritically accepted. Finally, I compare Hesses position with that of Shimony, indicating how the former implies a narrowing of distance between scientific description and moral prescription.
creation/evolution • morals • philosophy of science
Martin Eger, associate professor, teaches physics and philosophy of science at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island, New York 10301.
Actual Minds, Possible Worlds by Jerome Bruner, reviewed by William F. Ricketson