Some More Epistemological (and Metaphysical) Thoughts

I maintained in the previous post a kind of realism based relations and relationship – namely, our relationship to the world and the objects it contains. My basic thought is that we are in relation the world and its various objects, and through these relations we know the actual objects – the things in themselves. There remains a fair amount of details to be worked out, but I think this is a line of thought worth pursuing.

A central point here is the rediscovering (for lack of a better term) of the human being as a personal agent. Thomas Torrance makes some extremely perceptive remarks in his ‘Reality and Scientific Theology’:

‘If man is considered only as “thinking thing” poised upon himself over against the world out there, then the world can be brought within the knowledge of the detached subject only by way of observing phenomena, accounting for them through determining phenomenal connections, and reproducing them to rational representation. Thus the “world” is that which is constructed out of the states of man’s consciousness, not something with which he interacts as a personal agent: it is merely the subject of his objectivist and objectifying operations.’

‘But it is action, in which we personally behave in accordance with the nature of the things around us, that connects man and the world in a way that overcomes the detatched relation between man and nature.’ (T.F. Torrance, ‘Reality and Scientific Theology’, p. 57)

Torrance goes on to comment on man’s active agency – which replaces the older dualisms by taking seriously the relations and interrelations between people and the world. This dualism is, I think, a major part of pretty much all science and philosophy – though often at a ‘subconscious’ kind of level.


2 thoughts on “Some More Epistemological (and Metaphysical) Thoughts

  1. facedownphilosophy November 24, 2012 / 12:57 am

    Seems like Torrance is a stone’s throw from idealism, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I think I might read some epistemology tonight for old time’s sake. Anyway, I wrote up a little diddy on the description theory of reference by Frege. I was hoping you had some insight in the field of language that you could share with me. I hope you’re well.

    Yours in Contemplation,

    Liked by 1 person

    • whitefrozen November 25, 2012 / 5:08 pm

      How do you get idealism? Torrance was pretty much THE realist. Interesting that you would say that.


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