Original Research - Special Collection: A.G.van Aarde Festschrift

‘Epistemology models ontology’− In gesprek met John Polkinghorne

Johan Buitendag
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 67, No 1 | a897 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v67i1.897 | © 2011 Johan Buitendag | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 June 2010 | Published: 11 April 2011

About the author(s)

Johan Buitendag, Department of Dogmatics and Christian Ethics, University of Pretoria, South Africa


Share this article

Bookmark and Share

Abstract

The famous premise of John Polkinghorne, ‘epistemology models ontology’, has been assessed in this article. It is interpreted that its logic is based on a linear trajectory of knowledge → being. Polkinghorne places much emphasis on the fact that he pursues a ‘bottom-up’ approach, that is, an inductive way of going about with reality. He opts for a ‘critical realist’ view of reality that leads him to interpret indeterminacy (Heisenberg) as a sign of actual ontological openness to the future and not primarily as an epistemological deficit. He applies subsequently the doctrine of the Trinity as a hermeneutical tool to understand reality. The author argues that Polkinghorne is inconsistent in this venture and that he should consider a multidimensional approach, where epistemology and ontology model each other mutually, that is, knowledge ↔ being. In order to acknowledge the stratification of reality and the pluriformity of epistemologies, it is suggested that a rather ‘constructive-realist’ approach would serve better the theology of Polkinghorne; this is a shift from epistemology to hermeneutics.

Keywords

Polkinghorne; epistemology; ontology; trinity; hermeneutics

Metrics

Total abstract views: 3047
Total article views: 4738

 

Crossref Citations

1. Panente�sme as �n funksionele, induktiewe konstruk in die gesprek tussen die teologie en die (natuur)wetenskap
Johan Buitendag
Verbum et Ecclesia  vol: 35  issue: 2  year: 2014  
doi: 10.4102/ve.v35i2.879