The Substance of Consciousness
May 23, 2023
January 22, 2020
TheoLogica An International Journal for Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology
CALL FOR PAPERS
E. J. LOWE’S METAPHYSICS AND ANALYTIC THEOLOGY
Mihretu P. Guta – Biola University, Addis Ababa University & Azusa Pacific
Eric LaRock – Oakland University & University of Michigan, Center for Consciousness Science
Edward Jonathan Lowe was one of the most distinguished metaphysicians of the last 50 plus years. He made immense contributions to analytic philosophy in as diverse areas as metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, philosophical logic, modern philosophy (especially on John Locke) and philosophy of religion.
Lowe was a realist metaphysician. Like Aristotle, he thought that, with sustained reflection and responsible engagement with empirical research, the nature of a mind independent reality can be discovered. In all of this works, Lowe consistently maintained that our common-sense pre-philosophical convictions about reality should not be ignored unless there is a good reason to do so. Even in such cases, Lowe firmly believed that common-sense should rather be corrected and further enriched in light of relevant empirical discoveries. But Lowe never accepted the idea that, in light of the advancement of science, somehow we should entirely stop our reliance on common-sense in our inquiry into the nature of reality. Partly in defence of this very view, Lowe developed his most influential and highly original work: the four-category ontology. The gist of this work concerns metaphysics as an inquiry into the structure of ultimate reality (taken in general), provides a foundation for natural science. Lowe strongly believed that it is metaphysics not science that can set the terms for what is possible and not possible. Lowe believed that figuring out what actually exists in the natural world falls within the purview of science. On Lowe’s view, metaphysics and science can and should work in synergy, each playing its distinctive role in enhancing our knowledge of a mind independent reality. Lowe extended his realist view of reality to causation, laws of nature, modality, personal identity, logic, language, God’s existence, time and space, human ontology, properties and many other issues.
Lowe’s views on ontological issues also have direct implications for issues in philosophical theology as well as philosophy of religion such as incarnation, trinity and divine attributes. One of the things that makes Lowe’s work uniquely suitable to apply to various issues in either philosophical theology or philosophy of religion has to do with its systematic nature. Lowe built an extremely sophisticated ontological system as shown in his the Four-Category Ontology. In so many ways, Lowe’s highly original ontological system will prove relevant to address questions that arise in philosophical theology. Many contemporary metaphysicians influenced by Lowe’s system also have an interest both in philosophical theology and philosophy of religion, and have integrated elements of Lowe’s metaphysics in their treatment of these questions. Yet, to this date, no attempt has been made to take a general look at how Lowe’s metaphysics relates to various issues in the philosophy of religion. This is the first attempt to take concrete steps to fill in the existing gap in this regard. To this effect, we would like to invite paper contributions that connect any relevant aspect of Lowe’s work to any issue in philosophical theology or philosophy of religion, especially incarnation, trinity, divine attributes, human agency and divine sovereignty, unified experience and the existence of God, divine causation, divine temporality or atemporality et cetera.
Deadline for submissions: June 30th, 2020
Full papers should be submitted via our website: https://ojs.uclouvain.be/index.php/theologica/index or sent to: email@example.com. In order to contribute equally to scientific international discussions held in several languages, articles written in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish are accepted. Visit the TheoLogica homepage for a description of the journal and instructions to authors.
For a brief biography on Lowe’s life and work, click on the link below: https://www.jstor.org/stable/43047040?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents
For an extended discussion on Lowe’s work, click the link below: https://www.iep.utm.edu/lowe-ej/
Mihretu P. Guta & Eric LaRock
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