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Profile: Philippe Gagnon (Bethel University)
  1. Philippe Gagnon (forthcoming). "Le dernier état d'un finalisme contemporain – À propos d'un inédit majeur de Raymond Ruyer" [The final status of a contemporary finalism–Concerning a major unpublished draft of Raymond Ruyer]. [REVIEW] Laval Théologique et Philosophique.
    This is a critical notice/review essay on *L'embryogenèse du monde et le Dieu silencieux*, a manuscript completed by Raymond Ruyer in the early 1980s. It came out as a monograph in November 2013, with the Éditions Klincksieck in Paris. It offers a presentation in an organized fashion of many aspects of his thought. Ruyer considered that a book about God could only be churned into a series of chapters on the unachievable character of our knowledge in different domains of human (...)
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  2. Philippe Gagnon (2014). "Diversité et historique des mouvements écologiques en Amérique du Nord" [Diversity and origins of the ecological movements in North America]. Connaître: Cahiers de l'Association Foi Et Culture Scientifique 40:76-89.
    The development of ecological thinking in North America has been conditioned by the imperative aiming at a valuation of the biotic community. Since the end of WWII, the US population was warned against the dangerous and violent alterations of nature. Many then found in theology an unforeseen ally. I review the roots of the tension which led to debates between radical ecologism or its denial, and I aim at analyzing it philosophically.
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  3. Philippe Gagnon (2014). "Le paradoxe du progrès : Cournot, Stent et Ruyer". In Michel Weber Vincent Berne (ed.), Chromatikon X : Annales de la philosophie en procès – Yearbook of Philosophy in Process. 71-90.
    This text reconsiders the philosophizing into the future of mankind and futurology done by molecular biologist Gunther Stent in *The Coming of the Golden Age* in the light of Raymond Ruyer's critical notice published in the aftermath of the publication of Stent's book in French translation. For Ruyer, it is an occasion to revisit his own take on what he called in his last work a "theology of the opposition between the organic and the rational," and to restate in a (...)
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  4. Philippe Gagnon (2013). Physics in Catholicism in Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions, Vol 3. Anne Runehov and Lluis Oviedo (Eds.) (Pp. 1718-1729). Springer.
    Outline: The reality of Catholicism; The question of the development of science; Historical outlook at some transitional moments; When dogma meets science; Contemporary physics and the worldview of Catholicism; Awaiting a 'Grand Narrative' and the final vision of harmony.
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  5. Philippe Gagnon (2013). An Improbable God Between Simplicity and Complexity: Thinking About Dawkins's Challenge. International Philosophical Quarterly 53 (4):409-433.
    Richard Dawkins has popularized an argument that he thinks sound for showing that there is almost certainly no God. It rests on the assumptions (1) that complex and statistically improbable things are more difficult to explain than those that are not and (2) that an explanatory mechanism must show how this complexity can be built up from simpler means. But what justifies claims about the designer’s own complexity? One comes to a different understanding of order and of simplicity when one (...)
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  6. Philippe Gagnon (2013). "Que reste-t-il de la théologie à l'âge électronique ? Valeur et cybernétique axiologique chez Raymond Ruyer" [What is left of Theology in the Electronic Age? Value and Axiological Cybernetics in Raymond Ruyer]. In Chromatikon IX: Annales de la philosophie en procès — Yearbook of Philosophy in Process, M. Weber & V. Berne (Eds.). 93-120.
    This is the outline: Introduction — La question de la cybernétique et de l'information — Une « pensée du milieu » — Cybernétique et homologie — Une théorie de l'apprentissage — L'information vue de l'autre côté — Champ et domaine unitaire — La thèse des « autres-je » — Le passage par l'axiologie — La rétroaction vraie — L'ontologie de Ruyer — Le bruissement de l'être même.
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  7. Philippe Gagnon (2013). Xavier Verley, Sur le Symbolisme. Cassirer, Whitehead Et Ruyer. [On Symbolism: Cassirer, Whitehead, and Ruyer.]. Process Studies 42 (2):283-288.
  8. Philippe Gagnon (2012). A Look at the Inference Engine Underlying ‘Evolutionary Epistemology’ Accounts of the Production of Heuristics. In Dirk Evers, Antje Jackelén, Michael Fuller & Taede A. Smedes (eds.), Is Religion Natural? Studies in Science and Theology, No. 13. ESSSAT Biennial Yearbook 2011-2012. Martin-Luther-Universität.
    This paper evaluates the claim that it is possible to use nature’s variation in conjunction with retention and selection on the one hand, and the absence of ultimate groundedness of hypotheses generated by the human mind as it knows on the other hand, to discard the ascription of ultimate certainty to the rationality of human conjectures in the cognitive realm. This leads to an evaluation of the further assumption that successful hypotheses with specific applications, in other words heuristics, seem to (...)
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  9. Philippe Gagnon (2012). The Problem of Trans-Humanism in the Light of Philosophy and Theology. In James B. Stump & Alan G. Padgett (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Science and Christianity, pp. 393-405. Blackwell. 393-405.
    Transhumanism is a means of advocating a re-engineering of conditions that surround human existence at both ends. The problem set before us in this chapter is to inquire into what determined its appearance, in particular in the humanism it seeks to overcome. We look at the spirit of overcoming itself, and the impatience with the Self, in order to try to understand why it seeks a saving power in technology. We then consider how the evolutionary account of the production of (...)
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  10. Philippe Gagnon (2012). Review of Yves Tourenne, Introduction À la Métaphysique de Claude Tresmontant. Pour Une Recherche d'Articulation Entre Sciences Expérimentales, Métaphysique, Pensée de l'Église Et Mystique Chrétienne Orthodoxe. [REVIEW] Science Et Esprit 64 (2):304-309.
  11. Philippe Gagnon (2012). Raymond Ruyer, la Biologie Et la Théologie Naturelle [Raymond Ruyer, Biology, and Natural Theology]. In Ronny Desmet & Michel Weber (eds.), Chromatikon VIII: Annales de la philosophie en procès — Yearbook of Philosophy in Process. Éditions Chromatika.
    This is the outline: Introduction : le praticien d’une science-philosophie; Épiphénoménisme retourné et subjectivité délocalisée; Dieu est-il jamais inféré par la science ?; La question du panthéisme; Le pilotage axiologique et la parabole mécaniste; L'unité domaniale comme ce qui reste en dehors de la science.
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  12. Philippe Gagnon (2012). Remarques Sur le Projet Essentialiste de Brian Ellis En Philosophie de la Nature. Eikasia. Revista de Filosofía 43 (March):61-94.
  13. Philippe Gagnon (2011). L’irréductibilité de la connaissance et l’intentionnalité en contexte de découverte abductive. Laval Théologique et Philosophique 67 (2):227-258.
    Knowledge is still an enigma, with its ability to inductively bring out a pattern without restricting itself to an empirical count of situations experienced. Instead of seeing the concept as a weakened object representing an external reality, it is suggested to view knowledge as the bridging of a distance with an ability for the knower to stay connected with outward reality. Attempts at defining an external and quantitative criterion of truth are questioned, as many human performances are not likely to (...)
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  14. Philippe Gagnon (2011). Penser la science et la foi par la passion de la recherche. À propos de Chercheurs en science, chercheurs de sens. Laval Théologique et Philosophique 67 (1):149-154.
    This critical notice was occasioned by the reading of a recent monograph, published at the end of 2009, which features a dialogue and a mutual critical assessment of the work of a microbiologist, also a priest from the Mission de France, and an astrophysicist who was agnostic. The book inquires into the motivations of scientific research, looks at the quest for a Creator behind the said work when done by a believer, and tries to retrieve the spiritual presuppositions that would (...)
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  15. Philippe Gagnon (2011). Nietzsche's Eternal Return of the Same. Twin Cities Review of Political Philosophy 1:25-26.
    In this shorter piece, at the instigation of a former philosophy student, I accepted to contribute alongside two other writers to the "Expert Help" rubric, and attempted to explain the genesis in Nietzsche's mind of the conception of the eternal recurrence. I lay stress on both the internal contradiction that the solitary of Sils-Maria was trying to resolve and the secret desire that this cherished and embraced rather than demonstrated theory be true in the face of conflicting evidence, and I (...)
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  16. Philippe Gagnon (2010). Nietzsche Between the Eternal Return to Humanity and the Voice of the Many. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 84 (2):383-411.
    Thus Spoke Zarathustra expresses a revolt against the quest for “afterworlds.” Nietzsche is seen transferring rationality to the body, welcoming the many in a kingdom of the un-unified multiple, with a burst of enthusiasm at the figure of recurrence. At first, he values an acceptation of suffering through reconciliation with time, and puts the onus on the divine to refute the dismembering of the oneness of meaning and unity of the soul’s quest for joy in eternity. Then confronting Christianity, he (...)
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  17. Philippe Gagnon (2010). L'exigence de l'Explication En Biologie au Regard d'Une Philosophie de la Morphogenèse. Eikasia. Revista de Filosofía 35 (November):123-180.
    In a first part I present the results of the philosophy of scientific explanation with an attempt to apply them to the case of the theory of evolution. Then I observe that the requirements of modelization of phenomena with the help of inductive logic do not capture efficiently the pertinent factors and fail just as much to exclude those which end up being neutral as explanatory premises. I then query in the direction of confirmation theory, and show that probabilistic reasoning (...)
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  18. Philippe Gagnon (2010). “What We Have Learnt From Systems Theory About the Things That Nature’s Understanding Achieves”. In Dirk Evers, Antje Jackelén & Taede Smedes (eds.), How do we Know? Understanding in Science and Theology. Forum Scientiarum.
    The problem of knowledge has been centred around the study of the content of our consciousness, seeing the world through internal representation, without any satisfactory account of the operations of nature that would be a pre-condition for our own performances in terms of concept efficiency in organizing action externally. If we want to better understand where and how meaning fits in nature, we have to find the proper way to decipher its organization, and account for the fact that we have (...)
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  19. Philippe Gagnon (2009). Les Limites du Vivant Sont-Elles Riches D’Une Leçon? Contribution À L’Étude du Déterminisme Morphique. Eikasia. Revista de Filosofía 27 (August):155-186.
    Freedom is first apprehended as the pursuit of an activity which implies the choice to defend a thesis among other possible ones. This translation of the problem of freedom in an articulate language presupposes a complex nervous system and sensory apparatuses which we take for granted. In this study, I try to explore the undergrounds of the problem of freedom along with the suggestion that the notion of coding could enable one to bridge nature and the mind. When organisms invent, (...)
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  20. Philippe Gagnon (2009). À Propos D’Un Texte de Miguel Espinoza Sur le Déterminisme Et la Liberté. Eikasia. Revista de Filosofía 27 (August):281-289.
    This critical notice was occasioned by reading M. Espinoza, "Freedom in a Causally Determined World," Actas de las XIII Jornadas sobre Filosofía y Metodología Actual de la Ciencia, Jornadas sobre Libertad y Determinismo: Ciencias Sociales y Ciencias de la Naturaleza, Universidad de A Coruña, March 2008.
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  21. Philippe Gagnon (2007). Contenu, Enjeux Et Diversité des Acceptions de L’Intelligent Design En Contexte Étatsunien. Connaître. Cahiers de l'Association Foi Et Culture Scientifique 26:9-43.
    This paper aims at introducing a French audience to the Intelligent Design debate. It starts by reviewing recent attacks on any possibility of a rational account of theism in light of the contemporary theory of evolution. A section is devoted to outlining the genesis of the "wedge" strategy, to distinguish it from young earth creationism, and to highlight the questioning of evolution as our meta-narrative bearing on overall conceptions of the scientific endeavor. The arguments propounded by Behe are reviewed in (...)
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  22. Philippe Gagnon (2005). Remarques Sur la Théologie Naturelle Anglo-Saxonne Aujourd’Hui. Connaître. Cahiers de l'Association Foi Et Culture Scientifique 22:83-108.
    This paper first outlines the main ideas of British natural theology, and shows the perennial value some of them have kept. It then outlines ways of searching for connections between God and nature, seeking traces of intelligence, first in the context of the setting of the modern ontology of the laws of nature, and then in the context of the design argument. It contrasts the positions of Hume and Paley. A presentation of recent "intelligent design" proposals is then offered, from (...)
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  23. Philippe Gagnon (2003). Malebranche Et Berkeley: Les Créatures Et les Raisons Éternelles. Bulletin de la Société de Philosophie du Québec 29 (2):15-16.
  24. Philippe Gagnon (2002). La Théologie de la Nature Et la Science À l'Ère de L'Information. Cerf.
    The history of the relationship between Christian theology and the natural sciences has been conditioned by the initial decision of the masters of the "first scientific revolution" to disregard any necessary explanatory premiss to account for the constituting organization and the framing of naturally occurring entities. Not paying any attention to hierarchical control, they ended-up disseminating a vision and understanding in which it was no longer possible for a theology of nature to send questions in the direction of the experimental (...)
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  25. Philippe Gagnon (2002). Ce Que le Théisme Demande À la Science. Laval Théologique et Philosophique 58 (3):457-487.
    Close attention to levels of organization leads one to doubt the random character of the regulations of the cosmos as a whole. Scientific knowledge seems able, after all, to bring into focus the enigma of the individual histories that have shaped the world. Religious consciousness of a personal destiny should be analogically linked to the destiny of the universe in which it is rooted.
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  26. Philippe Gagnon (2002). Temporalité de la Genèse Chez Maurice Blondel Et Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Esquisse D’Un Rapprochement. Science Et Esprit 54 (1):75-95.
    Teilhard has never given up on permanence behind change, whereas Blondel, although interested by permanence, presents a very keen consciousness of irreversibility. Blondel attempts to construct an ontology that integrates this fact of change or becoming. Would this have satisfied Teilhard? Blondel develops a "logic of moral life" insisting on the initial option right to the end of our destiny. Teilhard develops a consciousness of time with a direct hold on a world apprehended first by the senses, whereas Blondel is (...)
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  27. Philippe Gagnon (1999). La Contribution de Claude Tresmontant À la Compréhension des Signes de Crédibilité de la Révélation. Église Et Théologie 30 (3):327-364.
    This study is devoted to the problem of the place and significance of the scientific quest and worldview, and to their articulation with metaphysics as they serve to bring the mind to the consideration of the problem and mystery of the existence of God in the thought of the contemporary French philosopher and theologian Claude Tresmontant (1925-97).
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