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"Rational Scientific Theories from Theism"

 

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Previous: 5.5 Analysis of generative sequences Up: II. Ontology Next: 6.1 Dispositions as units of understanding

6. A Dynamic Ontology

The previous two chapters investigated what kind of ontology is needed to describe general dynamical processes, where we include both physical and psychological activities. Chapter 4 established a ‘dynamic ontology’ that sees substances not as self-sufficient beings but as essentially dynamical and process-oriented. Chapter 5 showed how a ‘multi-level dynamic ontology’ must be allowed whenever the action of a disposition is to produce another disposition (as distinct from producing final events which themselves have no power apart from the fact of their existence).

This chapter reflects on these proposals in a more general way and comes back to some of the basic philosophical principles that are needed. We compare the new theory to historical proposed ontologies. We also see how it is related to a number of contemporary issues concerning natural laws, identity of objects, reductionism and simplicity.

This Part II is independent of the theism to be presented later but is designed to provide the necessary ontological foundation for understanding theism as well as the natural world. Part II could stand as a thesis in its own right, but it needs to be presented here because such concepts are not sufficiently widely known.


Previous: 5.5 Analysis of generative sequences Up: II. Ontology Next: 6.1 Dispositions as units of understanding

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