The sixth issue:
The Logic of Palamism
The teaching of St. Gregory Palamas (1296–1359) is usually considered as a paradigmatic case of Eastern Christian mystical theology. It is held that it goes beyond rational thinking and is based on antinomic premises. Contrary to this widespread view, I try to give a consistent account of two crucial ideas of Palamism: the distinction between essence and energies, and the concept of deification. In doing this, I discuss and develop some formal analyses by Pavel Florensky (1882–1937). It proves that Palamas’ teaching is no less rational than any other metaphysical theory.
The Logic of the Incarnation
The problem of the incarnation is that, supposedly, there once was a person who was both fully human and fully divine, at the same time, in the same place. But humanity entails being limited in certain ways, which is ruled out by divinity, and divinity entails not being limited in certain ways, which is ruled out by humanity. So, how can one and the same person have ever been fully human and fully divine?
It is very likely to speak about the “Modern Crisis” and the fundamental political aspect of it in these days. Also it has been common to consider these issues with respect to “the Ancient Greek Thoughts”. It has been admitted, but not generally, that the same attitude was taken, proposed and cultivated by one of our contemporary thinkers: Leo Strauss.
The Reverse Logic of Resolving the Contradictions
The principle of non-contradiction corresponds to traditional notions of reality: nothing can be something and can be not something at the same time (to be snow and to be not snow to be a quantum and to be not a quantum) or a single object can not simultaneously have the opposite qualities (to be high and low, positive and negative, salty and unsalted). In full compliance with the ontological obviousness of such an idea one of the main laws of logic is a law of non-contradiction.
Thinking about Mentalese
Whereas the notion of thinking is not difficult to understand to us, since we know what thinking is (because we sometimes think, cogitate and observe ourselves thinking), the notion of mentalese or thought-language seems to be more than ambiguous. Its ambiguity does not rise from Jerry Fodor's conception only but rather from different epistemological views of our mentality. If we are physicalists (as Fodor and his followers are) we think about our thinking processes as brain events only.
Interview: The Christian Orthodoxy in the Modern World
The interview of Andrew Schumann, the managing editor of Studia Humana, with with Basil Lourié, the editor in chief of the Scrinium. Revue de patrologie, d`hagiographie critique et d`histoire ecclésiastique published by Gorigais Press and of its two supplement series: Orientalia Judaica Christiana and Scripta ecclesiastica.