Fides et Ratio
I am Mariano Artigas, doctor in physics and in philosophy, professor of philosophy of science at the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain. I have entered the decade of the 60-agers two days ago, and was ordered as a Roman Catholic priest in 1964. Even though I am well acquainted with the Templeton Foundation, this is my first posting to Meta. Please forgive mistakes in my English (if the moderator has patience enough, he has my permission to correct them), I am not going to have the text revised by an English-native speaker as if it were to be published.
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I am working on the encyclical *Fides et ratio* but need more time to submit my own reflections, which focus mainly on *truth*. Now I would only like to make a few comments on John Dale’s posting. I think his presentation is quite good, and I would only add a few things.
1. Encyclicals are not the most authoritative form of papal teaching. They do not intend by themselves to be infallible teaching and they sometimes deal with highly contingent facts. It depends on the kind of subject and on the context. Certainly they are more authoritative than papal speeches or addresses or letters to particular people or groups, and sometimes they are used to present a doctrine as something that should be held by all Catholics even in a definitive way. It can be said that they are a quite authoritative form of papal teaching. In my opinion, *Fides et ratio* includes a very wide range of appreciations that have different strengths.
2. *Perhaps someone here knows whether any more are to appear before the millenium*. In relation to the millenium another encyclical was issued, entitled *Tertio millenio adveniente* (When the third Millenium is arriving: 10 November 1994), which deals specifically with a three-year preparation for the millenium. Following the lines of that encyclical, Roman Catholics have begun just now the third and last year of preparation; the first was devoted to the Holy Spirit, the second to Jesus Christ, and this last one to God the Father. This will culminate with year 2000 as the Holy Year of the Redemption including important ecumenical celebrations. The Pope has issued on November 29 another document (not an encyclical: it is a *bula*, but for me *bull* reminds too heavily our feasts here in Pamplona), entitled *Incarnationis Mysterium* (The Mystery of Incarnation), which deals with the concrete way of celebrating this extraordinary Jubilee. I have not read it yet, but it can also be found in the Vatican web site http://www.vatican.va: all important novelties are there in six languages (English, French, German, Italian, Portoghese, Spanish).
3. *Should we therefore be on the look-out in this encyclical for a concept such as: “religion is the beginning of understanding, and science is the fullness thereof”?* I think the answer is: No. Of course you can think that way if you like it, but it can be safely assumed that this idea has nothing to do with the Pope’s ideas. I think also it is quite difficult to maintain it if you have in mind the methodological gap that exists between empirical science and religion (even though there are particular over-lappings). You can fill this gap with philosophical bridges, but this is neither science nor religion. Of course much more can be said about this and many nuances should be introduced.
4. I do not find Bartley’s pancriticism acceptable. I am not a Popperian, but I have studied Popper and lectured on his work since the late 1960s. My last book, published a month ago in Spanish, is entitled: *LOGIC AND ETHICS IN KARL POPPER. Including Popper’s unpublished comments on Bartley and critical rationalism* (Eunsa, Pamplona 1998, 159 pages). People who know Popper well have said that this book establishes a divide between before and after, and this is related to Popper’s view of Bartley’s pancriticism. I have the English text revised by a former assistant of Karl Popper, but I am searching a publisher (the usual suspects do not find in it a perspective of abundant eternal material returns: they are right, but it could be published without loosing money, suggestions would be welcome). I am ashamed of this propaganda, but there is no other writing like that in the market, if only because the previously unpublished text that is included and analyzed there is unique; I owe it personally to the heirs of Popper. Pancriticism is a hard issue. If there is interest in the audience about pancriticism, I am ready. But I think I have occupied already the extension for a single posting.
Department of Philosophy
University of Navarra
31080 Pamplona (Spain)