Levels of Analysis in Philosophy, Religion, and Science
This is a pre-edited version of the paper published in Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, vol. 50, no. 2 (June 2015), p. 304-328. For edited version see http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/zygo.12179/abstract
This article introduces a model of levels of analysis applied to statements found in philosophical, scientific, and religious discourses in order to facilitate a more accurate description of the relation between science and religion. The empirical levels prove to be the most crucial for the relation between science and religion, because they include statements that are important parts of both scientific and religious discourse, whereas statements from metaphysical levels are only important in terms of religion (and philosophy) and are neutral in relation to particular scientific theories. In particular, the rejection of certain ontological assumptions behind special divine action logically entails the rejection of the literal meaning of empirical statements describing special open expression of supernatural factors in nature. Such a rejection also entails an essential revision of many religious systems of beliefs, including traditional Christian theism.
Keywords: divine action, metaphysics, miracles, philosophy of science, popular religion, religion, science, scientific method, theology and science.
Published on webpage: 22 May 2015.