Volume 84, Issue 1, Winter 2010
Paul A. Macdonald, Jr.
Christian Theology and the Mind-World Relationship
In this article, I explore how orthodox Christian theology informs a philosophical understanding of the mind-world relationship. First, I contend that the Christian doctrine of creation entails that the world possesses an intrinsic rationality and intelligibility. I then go on to show how three different views of the mind-world relationship are compatible with this fact about the world: (a) realism, (b) idealism, and (c) fallibilism. I also delineate the strengths of each view, in terms of how well each view comports with other basic tenets of Christian orthodoxy. Finally, I show how fallibilism and idealism are incompatible with other important Catholic doctrines, which in turn leads me to recommend realism as the most viable position on the mind-world relationship for the Catholic philosopher to take.