'n Ondersoek na die verhouding tussen geloof en wetenskap in die filosofie van C.A. van Peursen
Kruger, Jacob Petrus
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The central issue in this study is the question of how insight into the relation between faith and science in the philosophy of CA van Peursen can contribute to the wide ranging faith-science debate in contemporary thought. The study is contextualized by asking how the resultant insight into the relation between faith and science can be brought to bear on the notion of a "Christian science" as it has developed within a specific philosophical tradition. It is argued that CA van Peursen's philosophy relies on the basic distinction between thought and reality, and more specifically, the interrelation between the two. Van Peursen utilizes a broad definition of rationality as networks of symbols with which human consciousness works, in order to facilitate an appropriate response to the challenges of its surroundings. At this point Van Peursen also makes use of the notion of "narrative" to emphasize the dynamic character of the symbolic networks that exist. Objective reality and subjective rationality can never be separated, but they are attuned to each other, and the one should, as it where, be "read off' against the other. A typology of the faith-science debate, that is developed in the initial stages of the study, is subsequently used as a heuristic instrument to draw out the implications of Van Peursen's philosophy for the question regarding the relation between faith and science. It is argued that Van Peursen's thought is consistently non-reductionist, in the sense that he grants both faith and science their own integrity. Faith and science are not equal, however. Faith constitutes a much broader, more immediate and concrete reaction to the challenges of reality than science does. Science strives towards objectivity and abstraction, and therein lies it's power, but it nevertheless always remains bound to the real world of everyday experience. Science therefore has a "relational autonomy". The insights gained into the relation between faith and science problematizes the idea of a separate Christian science that is construed as being antithetical to so called secular science. The notion of Christian science can be salvaged along two ways: Christian science may be seen as a commitment to good science, and it may be seen as a dialogue between the narratives of western science and Christian faith.
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