Pragmatic metaphysics, continued

I’m having a fruitful conversation with Digitalap3 in response to yesterday’s post, Pragmatic metaphysics. It inspired one possible answer to the question I posed: What pragmatic difference is there between pantheism and panentheism?

I think the “difference that makes a difference” (to put it in Rortian terms) may be that pantheism sees nature as a stable, intelligible order, and panentheism does not.

Pantheism conceives both nature and God to be available to us through reason. We can expect linear progress in knowing more and more deeply and thoroughly.

Panentheism, on the other hand, expects deep, epiphanic disruptions to our understanding. Reason is always tentative, and its stability is never long assured.

By this understanding, Thomas Kuhn’s innovation was the introduction of a panentheistic conception of science!

I’ve said before that mine is a metaphysics of surprise. Maybe this gets at it:

Pantheism is a metaphysics of radical reason.
Panentheism is a metaphysics of radical surprise.

One thought on “Pragmatic metaphysics, continued

  1. Maybe better to answer the question here – is the difference between the two the belief in a God that takes action vs a set of rules that one interacts with?

    Interestingly, ‘radical reason’ makes me think of the concept of Nature’s God which is absolutely panentheistic.

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