Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Notes on Teilhard de Chardin: metaphysics of evolution

Reflecting on the conversion of the word, Teilhard envisioned it in three steps: philosophical, dogmatic and moral:
A first step would consist in developing (along the lines of "perennial philosophy": primacy of being, act, and potency:) a correct physics and metaphysics of evolution. I am convinced that an honest interpretation of the new achievements of scientific thought justifiably leads not to a materialistic but to a spiritualistic interpretation of evolution:  -- the world we know is not developing by chance, but it is structurally controlled bya personal Center of universal convergence.
A very interesting quote. Once again his Aquinas like approach "primacy of being, act, and potency", from which everything else would follow.  From reading his work I got a very clear impression of his vision of a final cause in evolution, a point of convergence that would become easier to be seen as science develops. I tend to agree more and more with him.

For the scientist out there, as I see it, his comment of the world being developed not by chance does not contradict darwinistic evolution. Random mutations are one part of the evolution paradigm, and act as the pre-condition for natural selection, a step in which there is transfer of information between the system to the species. Whatever Teilhard thought in these terms I don't yet know, but it is clear that he sees emergence of interiority (concience etc) as point toward which evolution leads (which is where his Omega point enters into the equation).

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Notes on Teilhard the Chardin: Initial Postulate

Reading an introduction to Teilhard the Cardin. Some bits are very worth remembering. 

 "No reflective construction would be possible without the initial choice which make us incline heart and mind for existence rather than non-existence." That is the Initial Postulate that Teilhard habitually ask to be granted at the beginning. He explains it in Letters from a Traveler:
  Last night I had a long talk with the Doctor and another passanger on questions of moral philosophy. We finally had to admit that we differ in such fundamentals as: "Is it better to be or not?".
  I believe, in fact, that this is a fundamental option of all thought, a postulate that cannot be proved, but from which everything is deduced. Once it is admitted that being is better than its opposite, it is difficult to stop short of God; if it is not admitted, discussion ceases to be possible.
I found this very in the line of Aquinas. First discuss being and non-being, then everything else follows.
[1] L'energie Humaine (1937)
[2] Henri de Luback, Teilhard Explained, New York Paulist Press, 1968