2023-03Thematic Section
God and Some Limits of Science


Some problems are too subjective, too intimate, too proximal, to admit in principle of any scientific solution: Why is anything you? Is there free will? Is death the end? Other problems are too objective, too macroscopic: Why is there a universe? Why is there anything? What is it to be? Why does mathematics exist? Why does anything happen? Scientific explanation is therefore essentially subject to at least two types of limit, subjective and objective, even though other problems prima facie straddle the subjective/objective divide: What is consciousness? Why is there such a time as the present? Why is there any distinction between right and wrong? Classical (Newtonian-Einsteinian) science largely brackets these problems, but the interpretations of quantum physics variously force them upon us. They only admit of solutions if God exists, there is free-will, and, if some existence is your existence, then you are an immortal soul.


science, God, subjectivity, objectivity, free will, Being, consciousness, universe

How to cite:

Priest, Stephen. “God and Some Limits of Science.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 7, no. 3 (2023):  4-30. https://doi.org/10.14394/eidos.jpc.2023.0021.


Stephen Priest
Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford
St Giles, Oxford OX1 3LY, United Kingdom


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