Western civilization was built on the concept of God. Today modern science, based on the critical method and so-called objective facts, denies even the existence of our soul. There is only matter: atoms, molecules, and DNA sequences. There is no freedom; there are no well-grounded beliefs. The decline of Western civilisation is not the simple consequence of decadence, hedonism, and malevolence. Modern critical science has liberated us from the old dogmas but failed to establish our freedoms, values, and beliefs.
However, human knowledge is not objective but personal. We are the children of evolution. Everybody sees the world from his own personal point of view anchored into his or her body. We use our evolutionary skills and cultural heritage to recognise and acknowledge the personal facts of our reality, freedom, and most important natural beliefs, respect and speaking the truth. In reality, even science itself is based on our personal knowledge. Only our false conceptual dichotomies paralyse our thinking.
God or matter? There is a third choice: the emergence of life and human persons. This is the only way to defend our freedoms and the Christian moral dynamism of free Western societies.
List of Figures and Tables
Part One: Personal Knowledge
1. The Origin of Personal Reality
2. The Laplacian Ideal of Knowledge
3. Personal Knowledge
4. The Meaning of Randomness
Part Two: Emergence
6. Space, Time, and Matter
7. The Theory of Boundary Conditions
List of Figures and Tables
Part Three: Evolution
8. The Logic of Achievement
10. Cultural Evolution
Part Four: Personal Reality
11. Scientific and Cultural Reality
12. Moral and Intellectual Reality
13. The Future of Personal Reality
Endorsements and Reviews
Addressed to current controversy concerning the origin and explanation of biological life and human culture, Hungarian philosopher Daniel Paksi aims to establish a coherent, scientifically grounded concept of evolutionary emergence as a more viable alternative to both reductionist materialism(s) and ontological dualism(s), providing a sounder conceptual foundation for cultural meaning. Paksi’s argument draws on philosopher-scientist Michael Polanyi’s Personal Knowledge and Samuel Alexander’s Space, Time, and Deity. Developed in dialogue with previous efforts toward this goal, Paksi articulates a hopeful intellectual vision for humankind in the twenty-first century.
Dale Cannon, Western Oregon University
This is a thorough examination of Neo-Darwinism’s denial of the reality and significance of emergence, using and developing Michael Polanyi’s and other philosophies plus more empirical detail, followed by an account of the meaning and reality of the emergence of genuinely new orders of existence and how they can be related by the boundary conditions of a lower level being determined by the next higher. Perhaps how emergence is itself possible is more open than Paski allows.
R.T. Allen, author of The Necessity of God