David Bentley Hart on Existence

‘Physical reality cannot account for its own existence for the simple reason that nature – the physical – is that which by definition already exists; existence, even taken as a simple brute fact to which no metaphysical theory is attached, lies logically beyond the system of causes that nature comprises; it is, quite literally, “hyperphysical,” or, shifting into Latin, super naturam. This means not only that at some point nature requires or admits of a supernatural explanation (which it does), but also that at no point is anything purely, self-sufficiently natural in the first place. This is a logical and ontological claim, but a phenomenological, epistemological, and experiential one as well. We have, in fact, no direct access to nature as such; we can approach nature only across the interval of the supernatural. Only through our immediate encounter with the being of a thing are we permitted our wholly mediated experience of that thing as a natural object; we are able to ask what it s only in first knowing that it is; and so in knowing nature we have always already gone beyond its intrinsic limits.’ (David Bentley Hart, ‘The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss’, p.96)

2 thoughts on “David Bentley Hart on Existence

  1. guymax February 27, 2014 / 7:17 am

    Seems spot on.


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