The Role of Metaphysics between Science and Faith

Sergio Galvan, Ciro De Florio

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


[Autom. eng. transl.] The article discusses the naturalist position and the fideist position: the first because it makes an undue scientific closure about reality, declaring, in an insufficiently founded manner that the horizon of the world coincides with the description of the world of natural sciences; the second, instead, because it does not account for the unity of reality, assuming a dichotomous point of view on the world: on the one hand, implicitly admitting that reason and scientific reason coincide in fact; on the other hand declaring that the questions of meaning, those existentially relevant and, therefore, also questions of faith, belong to a domain in which rational arguments are not valid. Note that the two models are not the two extremes of a single attitude, but are, in reality, belonging to two very different types: the naturalist (or scientist) attitude admits that, in some cases, the objects of faith and those of science coincide but that the scientific description is the true one (or at least the closest to the truth) while the religious treatment of these problems (for example, the origin of the universe) is mythical and, ultimately, primitive. Fideism, on the other hand, belongs to those non-conflictual pluralist models in which what is relevant is precisely the lack of a common intersection between the sphere of faith and the sphere of rationality (perhaps declined, once again, as a scientific reason) . The non-conflict between the two approaches is given precisely by the irreducible strangeness of the two views on the world with all the practical and theoretical consequences that we have tried to illustrate above. Against the two models expressed, the article argues that an attitude of openness to transcendence would be rational only if supported also by theoretical reasons. And these, how could they be such for the subject if they were in contrast with the metaphysical framework that he made himself starting also from scientific knowledge? But if they are not incompatible and a rational attitude, always in principle, cannot agnostically dispense with a metaphysical outcome, they must necessarily be in favor.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnderstanding Human Experience. Reason and Faith
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Philosophy of religion
  • Reason and Faith


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