Coming to Be
Toward a Thomistic-Whiteheadian Metaphysics of Becoming
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Synthesizes Thomistic and Whiteheadian metaphysics.
This book explores the possibility of using the twentieth-century "process" philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead to modernize the thirteenth-century metaphysics of St. Thomas Aquinas in order to make better philosophical sense of the evolutionary processes of the world. Due to certain limitations, neither philosophy has been able to provide satisfactory metaphysical accounts of the world. In joining the two, these individual limitations are avoided, and the advantages of each—Thomistic metaphysics with its deeper ontology, Whiteheadian metaphysics with its ability to account for the evolutionary advances now apparent in the universe—provide a revised theory that is a kind of "process-enriched Thomism. "
James W. Felt is John Nobili Professor of Philosophy at Santa Clara University and the author of Making Sense of Your Freedom: Philosophy for the Perplexed.
"James Felt has pulled off a remarkable achievement in creative philosophizing by bringing together in sympathetic yet keenly critical dialogue two quite different major philosophical systems, and sketching out a possible viable synthesis using the strong points of each to correct the weak spots of the other. One does not have to agree with every point to recognize how illuminating and challenging this insightful attempt has turned out to be. " — W. Norris Clarke, S. J., Fordham University
"A synthesis of classical theism and process metaphysics such as Felt proposes is long overdue. " — Joseph A. Bracken, coeditor of Trinity in Process: A Relational Theology of God
"The topic is fundamental in both Whiteheadian and in Thomistic scholarship. The author raises questions that I believe are urgent for both traditions. His argument advances the discussion in significant ways, and its seriousness will be recognized by all. " — David L. Schindler, author of Heart of the World, Center of the Church: Communio, Ecclesiology, Liberalism, and Liberation