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(1,048 words)

Author(s): Klaus Riesenhuber
Voluntarism is the doctrine which accords the will precedence over reason. It takes various forms, according to whether the will is regarded as spontaneity, freedom, love, act or drive, and according to the starting-point of the enquiry — theological, ontological or anthropological. 1. Theological voluntarism, which generally occurs in connection with a voluntarist theory of knowledge, dissociates the will of God from any fixed order — of being, nature or knowledge — which would be previous to the act of God’s will. Any such (apparent) …


(1,045 words)

Author(s): Klaus Riesenhuber
Irrationalism is the doctrine which holds that reality, in whole or in part, is not amenable to the conceptual thought of the intellect, or to reason or the spirit in general. Reality is said to be wholly incomprehensible or basically attainable only by acts independent of the intellect, such as feeling, experience, intuition, love, sympathy, attunement, faith, instinct or action. 1. The main forms of irrationalism. (i) The irrationalism which derives from nominalism and empiricism holds that it is impossible to have rational knowledge of the essence and meta…

Natural Theology

(3,458 words)

Author(s): Klaus Riesenhuber
A. The Philosophical Problem 1. The history of natural theology. The extremely complex nature of the problems set by natural theology (or “philosophical theology") may be seen from a critical examination of some aspects of its history. The traditional philosophy in question was orientated apologetically in the Church, and its scholastic inheritance was elaborated into a special discipline of natural theology at the beginning of modern times. From the time of the early Christian apologists of the 2nd cent…