From Publishers Weekly
Artigas takes on the ambitious task of building a philosophical "bridge between science and religion" along pragmatic and humanistic lines. A professor of natural science at the University of Navarra (Spain), the author intends this book to be an expanded version of a previous project, and it shows. The leisurely pace and references to a generous collection of authors and arguments give the book an unnecessarily academic tone, considering that the main argument is quite simple and informal. Unlike many bridge-builders attempting to mediate between science and religion, Artigas has little hope that direct "dialogue" is going to accomplish much, barring a major compromise (or confusion) in scientific or religious methodology. He focuses instead on the presuppositions of science, viewed not as metaphysical postulates but as "states of affairs" pragmatically assumed whenever science is done--the sense in which going fishing "presupposes" that there are some fish in the lake. Artigas's discussion of scientific presuppositions turns up some of the usual suspects (an ordered universe, competent human rationality, value commitments to truth and some idea of social improvement through science), but he gives them an unusual treatment by reflecting on how "feedback" from scientific progress informs and vindicates these presuppositions. As portrayed here, the philosophical stance presupposed by science is actually a liberal humanism set in an orderly and apparently purposeful universe, something not unlike the philosophy called for by Pope John Paul II in Fides et Ratio. Coincidence? Perhaps, though as Artigas's mentor says, coincidence may just be God's way of remaining anonymous. (Apr.)
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