Catholic Thomistic Natural Law and Terrence Deacon’s Incomplete Nature: A Match Made in Heaven?

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Taylor & Francis


Catholic Thomistic natural law is Aristotelian and pre-scientific, and this has made it somewhat difficult to reconcile with contemporary science. Thomistic natural law needs an updated philosophy of nature in order to engage contemporary science. Terrence Deacon's emergent dynamics theory may serve this function; it is both neo-Aristotelian and well integrated with contemporary science. This paper will investigate some points of concordance and discordance between Catholic Thomistic natural law theory and emergent dynamics theory. If these two theories are reconcilable, then Thomistic natural law may have found a philosophy of nature that permits it to productively engage contemporary science.