Survey Christian Epistemology: The Greeks

Abstractness and Greek Epistemology

For Plato “abstract” is the opposite of empirical (33).  The sense-world is associated with ultimate plurality.  It is the world of “Becoming.” Because all is in flux, there is no unity in the sense world.  It can only find its unity in the world of ideals.

But the world of Ideas cannot solve the problem of knowledge, either.  Further,  Which Idea is most ultimate and why?  It appears then that the world of Ideas has a diversity in it as well.  The world of the ideas, on the other hand, is Absolute and unchanging.  To which world, then, does the soul belong?

If the soul belongs to the world of Ideals, and as such is eternal, then why did it leave it that world in the first place?

Who Can Think in Eternal categories?

We can’t use temporal categories to talk about the non-temporal world.  Further, we can’t use eternal categories to talk about the temporal world, since the former are immutable and the later mutable.  We need a God who can reveal this manner of speaking to us.

3 comments on “Survey Christian Epistemology: The Greeks

  1. Andrew says:

    I was just listening to one of Colin Gunton’s lectures on creation and he mentions Michael Foster’s essay on the relationship between science and Christianity, in which Foster argues that for the Greeks truth meant necessary truth, and therefore can only be discovered by thought. This results in a way of attending to the world.

    What’s needed (what’s biblical) is a contingent order, and contingent reason (cf. T.F. Torrance), neither of which can be provided by a chain of being ontology, which is basically necessitarian.

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