McMullin’s Augustinian Settlement: The Consonance between Faith and Science


Abstract
In developing his trademark use of “consonance” to prescribe a relationship between Christian faith and the natural sciences, Ernan McMullin drew on severaldistinctly Augustinian philosophical and theological themes during his fifty years of scholarship. Particularly prominent in McMullin’s work were an emphasis placed on Augustine’s biblical hermeneutic, which prioritized both literal and non-literal interpretive techniques, and Augustine’s epistemology of divine illumination. This paper examines several elements as part of an expository account of McMullin’s contribution toward the consonance between Christian faith and the natural sciences. It also outlines McMullin’s theory of retroduction and his account of scientific realism, both of which are philosophical positions that provide additional support for consonance from an epistemological perspective. I conclude that for McMullin, consonance is a differentiated term that hints at underlying metaphysical claims without necessarily delineating the nature of those claims.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  History of Philosophy  Philosophy and Religion
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ISBN(s) 1051-3558
DOI acpq201286224
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