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Infinity, Causality and Determinism

Cosmological Enterprises and their Preconditions


Eeva Martikainen

Cosmological theories have been unpopular within philosophy and theology for a long time. Meanwhile, particulary during the last decades, speculative cosmology has been transformed into a discipline that follows the rigorous and exact methods of physics. If the physicists were successful in their efforts to find common ground for quantum physics and the theory of relativity in the Theory of Everything, would philosophy and theology be able to join the discussion? This discussion has already been opened by physicists. The discoveries of quantum physics have, in fact, shed new light on our understanding of the foundations of reality, and they have challenged the mechanistic notions of Western thinking. The classic debates between realism and idealism, and between realism and nominalism, are in this new situation once again brought to life. The relationship between physics and metaphysics is also not just an antiquarian problem but very actual indeed. This book, based on an international and interdisciplinary colloquium, offers philosophical, theological, and physical approaches to historical and contemporary cosmology.
Contents: Eeva Martikainen: Introduction: Physics, Philosophy, and Theology Facing Cosmological Challenges – Taneli Kukkonen: Causality and Cosmology. The Arabic Debate – Reijo Työrinoja: God, Causality, and Nature. Some Problems of Causality in Medieval Theology – Olli Koistinen: On the Relationship between Metaphysics and Physics – Jussi Kotkavirta: The Concept of Infinity in Kant and Hegel – Tarja Kallio-Tamminen: The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics and the Question of Causality – Sami Pihlström: Subject and Object in the Study of Nature – Jaakko Hintikka: Causes, Causes, Causes. Three Aspects of the Idea of Cause – I. A. Kieseppä: Quantum Mechanics and Emergence – Kari Enqvist: Time and Causality in the Theory of Everything – Raimo Lehti: The Concept of Space in Relativity Theory and Cosmology – Rainer E. Zimmermann: Spinoza in Context. A Holistic Approach in Modern Terms – Juhani Pietarinen: Spinoza and Modern Physics. Comments on Professor Zimmermann’s ‘Spinoza in Context’ – Stanley L. Jaki: Cosmology in Science and Theology. Some Perennial Differences – Juleon M. Schins: An Axiomatic Foundation of Quantum Mechanics. Paradoxes, Causality, and the Unification of Sciences – Heikki Kirjavainen: Cosmology, Theology, and the Question of Ultimate Explanation.