C. S. Peirce's indictment that "the chief cause of [metaphysics'] backward condition is that its leading professors have been theo- (Collected Papers 6:3) falls heavily at my door. For it logians" was out of reflection upon religious experience and its meaning that the present relational metaphysic was conceived. My hope, however, is that its scope is sufficiently wider than its theological origins to justify its appearance as a work in philosophy. Having been nurtured in existential philosophy and having reached some measure of maturity with the wise counsel of Professor Dr. Fritz Buri, of Basel, I came to feel that theology as a modern discipline had reached an impasse owing to its overextended commitments to a subject-object paradigm of thought. Even those theologians who despaired of these ties seemed unable to find an independent alternative idiom for their ideas. A second tension in my thinking resulted from the inordinate neglect by theologians of the natural world. Also, my natural interest in physical understanding seemed unfulfilled within the narrow confines of theology, even of philosophical theology as then practiced. As I turned decisively toward the study of modern physics, and especially of cosmology, a new world seemed to open up to me. After extensive study with prominent astronomers and physicists, it began to dawn on me that the new physics has devised conceptual paradigms of thought which could be generalized into a metaphysical system of universal interest.
A Relational Metaphysic
av H. H. Oliver
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