Rediscovering the Integral Cosmos: Physics, Metaphysics, and Vertical Causality
Publisher: Angelico Press
Publication Date: November 14, 2018
When a physicist who becomes a metaphysician, and a metaphysician who studies physics, join together to deal philosophically with science (quantum physics and cosmogenesis in particular), explosive results might well be expected—and this pivotal text does not disappoint. Co-author Jean Borella, professor of philosophy and metaphysics, also earned a degree in physics. And in co-author Wolfgang Smith we have a professor of mathematics and physics who became a metaphysician.
Smith explores the implications of what he terms “vertical causality,” a hitherto unrecognized mode of causation which proves to be the missing ingredient needed to make sense out of quantum physics. He explains how vertical causality brings to light the long-forgotten fact that the integral cosmos replicates the corpus/anima/spiritus constitution of man; and, moreover, that this cosmic trichotomy proves essential both to a recovery of traditional cosmology and to the advancement of contemporary science. Finally, he shows on scriptural grounds that the trichotomous cosmology accords with the teachings of Christ. Still, it was necessary for philosophy to try to explain how and why science became atheistic in the first place; and this is just what Jean Borella has undertaken in his contribution: “Is Science Through with God?” Whether we follow Borella or Smith, we return to a Weltanschauung that can finally account for the world in all its dimensions, and, especially, find its meaning—a meaning weakened by several centuries of mechanical determinism.
After graduating from Cornell University at age eighteen with majors in physics, mathematics and philosophy, Wolfgang Smith took an M.S. from Purdue, following which he spent three years at Bell Aircraft Corporation as an aerodynamicist. During this period he gained recognition for his pioneering papers on the effect of diffusion fields, which provided a theoretical solution to the so-called re-entry problem for space flight. After receiving a Ph.D. in mathematics from Columbia University, Dr. Smith pursued a professorial career in that field. Soon however his center of interest shifted from the pursuit of science to the critique of scientism and the rediscovery of metaphysics as a theological discipline. He has authored six books and numerous articles, and is today widely recognized as a leading authority in these twin fields.