Thinkers on “Possibility”
God, Evil, and Possibility | Lecture 3 of 6
Whereas in the first of his Kantzer lectures, Blocher introduced the function of possibility in explanation of evil in the thought of many important theologians and philosophers, in this his third lecture, he considers various philosophers’ concept of possibility itself. After Leibniz, Blocher argues, possibility is such a common concept in human reason that it is difficult to interrogate. He analyzes possibility under the rubric of potentia (“potential”) in ancient Greek philosophy, handed down from Plato to Aristotle and eventually to Plotinus. Blocher continues his typology by arguing that Augustine, Aquinas, and Scotus adopted an increasingly problematic notion of possibility under the rubric of freedom. Scotus culminates this movement when he assigns possibility to God’s very essence. Subsequently, Blocher characterizes the clash of determinism resulting from scientific advances and the possibility inherent in the libertarian accounts of freedom resident within modern philosophy.
Henri A. G. Blocher is Professor of Systematic Theology, Faculte Libre de Theologie Evangelique, Vaux-sur-Seine, France. He is also an internationally recognized theologian, author, and teacher; he has taught in Africa, Australia, Canada, Europe and the United States.