Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association

Volume 93, 2019

A Perennial Philosophy of Nature

John G. Brungardt
Pages 151-176

Is Aristotelian-Thomistic Natural Philosophy Still Relevant to Cosmology?

Do advances in the natural sciences leave the followers of Aristotle and Aquinas without a cosmos? Is their natural philosophy irrelevant to modern cosmology and its Big Bang theory? The following essay answers these questions and argues that natural philosophy is perennially relevant to cosmology. It defends the idea that Aristotelian-Thomistic natural philosophy reaches a true, general definition of the universe: the unity of order of all mobile beings according to place, duration, and agent causality. The essay defends this conclusion while answering three opposing views, those of Jonathan Schaffer, Peter Simons, and Immanuel Kant. The true account is attained through reasoning about the nature of place, duration, and agent causality. Objections against these lines of argument are answered to clarify their continued relevance. Since it provides even our modern scientific cosmology with the necessarily assumed notion of the universe, Aristotelian-Thomistic natural philosophy is perennially relevant to cosmology.