Lecture 5

Down the ages it has been thought that besides a body man has possessed a mind (rational logic).

Question: is there such a thing as a purely logical thinking – are there other elements?
What is going on in man when he thinks? Can it be restricted to mind or logical/ rational thought?

Who is this man? What is functioning when he thinks- when he is doing the philosophical enterprise? The general philosophical tradition is steeped in cultural elements, that is why I don’t want to speak of just philosophy.

Return to diagram [?]- general framework. (When I repeat things I always add something.)

Matter – the ‘physical universe’ (single quotes indicate that it is up for discussion – an abstraction; an idea in someone’s mind that has come to stand for something real).

There are two reasons why the term ‘physical universe’ is inadequate and is a falsification of what is. By making it the whole she-bang, it means we can’t add things to it.

‘Physical universe’ has nothing to do with creation – it excludes man’s mind. The whole of the cosmos’s history depends on man’s covenant relationship.

The ten commandments are not called that in the scripture – they are know as the ten words. We are not always coventantly obedient but in Christ we are. Christ’s righteousness – right with respect to every word that proceeds from the mouth of God for his creation. Sanctification is a process – justification is an act. Christ’s righteousness is reckoned as our own.

In the traditional pattern the ‘physical universe’ doesn’t include mind. We don’t have auniverse without man in it.
‘Physical universe’ is a hypostatsis (Latin: substantial) = to cause to stand under. Sub = under, hyp = under.

In this sense, that men talk about things having qualities. (Language is subject to law – it is part of God’s creation. Language is normed.)

The traditional way has been to think of things having qualities (red, moist, dry etc.), but what are the qualities of? The things that stand under – the sub-stance. Underneath these qualities are the substance that possess these qualities.

The ‘physical universe’ is a hypothesisation, or substantialisation, of an aspect – there is truth in it but it is also falsification.

Everything that is created has a physical side to it, but that aspect doesn’t exist concretely as a thing. They are falsifying what they are experiencing. It is a distorted way of seeing.

To talk about the ‘physical universe’ is wrong. It is much more than physical – so it is not a physical universe! There isn’t a universe that is just physical.

Matter is a hypostisation, there is no matter that is a thing.
Descartes: res extensa and res cogitas
A physical universe doesn’t exist anywhere – it doesn’t have existence in itself, it’s part of something else.
Logical thinking doesn’t exist by itself, it an only exist in a person.

Created things. A plant exists concretely, its processes do not. They exist as part of the whole.

In the history of western philosophy the ‘realm’ of mind became known as the human subject. Why? Me as a thinking being [end of side 1 of tape]

I is the thinking substance.

Epistemology – man is the thinker who knows the objective world of objects.

Thinking – subject Thought – object.
(subjective) (objective)

The external world is outside the thinking substance/ mind. This is the way that the epistemological problem has been set up right down through the centuries.

How can mind, which has nothing whatsoever in common with matter, know matter, which has nothing whatsoever in common with mind?

When the problem is set up in that way it is unsolvable. They only come back to the same old drivel! How can they come together when they have nothing in common?

Metaphysics (alternative word is ontology)
The Greeks had man and gods existing. If gods exist and humans exist – they have one thing in common: they exist, be-ing. There is a divine and creaturely being.

We can’t take our place in this long history of philosophy!

What is being? Withdraw being from the being you are talking about. This is an abstraction – ‘drawing away from’. (latin a- ab- abs – = away from)

Being – God = faithful to the law, but not under it

– Man = under the law

There is a difference of creator and creaturely being. Abstracted the being from God.
Church fathers and scholastics have taken this over and have adopted this way of talking: ‘being’ in general.

Can’t put it this way – you have to talk about God or man. Can’t talk about ‘being’ as such. Draw it away from the things that are.

Metaphysics is then the study of being the study of something that isn’t!
Don’t find being except in the being that be.
There is nothing called being by itself.

Read Diemer’s Nature and Miracle a second time.

Read S G DeGraaf Promise and Deliverance to understand how I read the scriptures. Intoductions to vol 1 and vol 3. Covenant is the central revelation.

Read my 1968 lecture ‘Christianity and humanism’

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