The Problem of the Eternity and Eternity of the WorldJune 26, 2021
Boethius Dacus, according to some, has a nominalist understanding that goes beyond its time. According to him, it is impossible to make correct propositions about things that do not exist. This approach completely determines the field of action of Boethius Dacus, who deals with the problem of the eternal-eternity of the world.
The thought expressed by the theologians about the creation of the world is that the world was created by the divine will and out of nothing. However, Boethius Dacus argues that the proposition that the world was created by such a will cannot be properly explained by science. According to him, it is not possible for such an approach to indicate a situation that emerges out of necessity. Because the scientific propositions and laws to be put forward regarding the world do not contain any absolute necessity. This is because “thing states” in the world do not necessarily arise. This is an approach that transcends its time (Bazan, 2006: 227).
The most basic epistemological understanding of Boethius Dacus, who is understood to have an extremely sensitive structure about the limits of science, is that he shaped science in the context of rational principles. Any thing or issue outside these limits can never be the subject of that science, and that science cannot get the opportunity to say anything about it. For Dacus, who puts a serious test on the autonomy of philosophy, the principles of reason are more important than the truths of revelation (Bazan, 2006: 228).
According to Boethius Dacus, who argued that different kinds of sciences should deal independently within their own fields, there are several sciences. One of them is physics and natural science. The field of physics is nature itself. Nature, that is, the physis in Ancient Philosophy, takes beings as the subject of research. This means structures that are subject to formation. Therefore, the act of creation is absolutely outside the scope of this science. In other words, physical science cannot come up with any propositions about creation. It is impossible to state that motion has an absolute beginning in a physical world where formation and decay dominate and where general principles feed this approach. According to Boethius, Aristotle himself was already in Chapter VIII of his Physics. He expressed this view in his book. According to Aristotle, for all these reasons, the world is eternal. Because becoming is the most fundamental observed state of the physical world, and it is impossible to point out the absolute source of motion as long as only natural causation remains. The same is true when staying within the boundaries of mathematics (Bazan, 2006: 228).
However, Boethius also has a metaphysician aspect, and in this aspect, Boethius Dacus is close to the creationist line. According to him, a metaphysician can reveal the contingency of everything in the world and therefore the existence of a First Cause with the help of mental tools. What the metaphysician, that is, the philosopher, still cannot do is to ‘prove’ that the world is eternal. Already in the 1277 accusation, the most important of the accusations Boethius Dacus was exposed to was related to his famous proposition: “Creation is impossible; however, the opposing view expressed by faith must also be embraced.” Another proposition that expresses a similar approach is notable but unique in that it points to the deep and heavy pressures of his time: “The Nature Philosopher must deny that the world had a beginning in time, even though it is contrary to the Christian faith.” (Maurer, 1982: 199-200).
The approaches tried to be shown above have produced a two-dimensional image. One of them is the relationship between reason and faith. According to Boethius Dacus, philosophy is a work of the human mind. This work, first of all, contains the principles of the universe, which emerged as a result of mental investigation, with natural causes. Faith, on the other hand, is built on a supernatural revelation with God’s miracles. In this respect, they each have their own distinct areas. The second dimension also becomes apparent in parallel and in parallel with this. According to this dimension, the propositions put forward by those who deal with natural philosophy will be correct as long as they stay in their own field. Propositions that fall within the domain of faith are also true, even when they contradict the propositions of physics. Although there have been some who call this doctrine “the doctrine of double truth” in the history of philosophy, some historians of philosophy state that this approach of Boethius has nothing to do with double truth, although it is stated in the accusation of 1277 (Maurer, 1982: 201; Bazan, 2006: 229).
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook