Introduction to scientia & fides' special issue on mariano artigas_INTERESESES

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Introduction to the special issue of Scientia & Fides on Mariano Artigas

Introduction to the special issue of Scientia & Fides on Mariano Artigas

Author: Santiago Collado (University of Navarra)
Published in: Scientia & Fides, Vol. 4, No. 2 (2016), pp. 7-13. Published in: Scientia & Fides, Vol. 4, No. 2 (2016), pp. 7-13.

summary: Spanish version of the presentation to the special issue of Scientia et Fides dedicated to Mariano Artigas, in which the coordinator briefly summarises the contents of the magazine and gives a brief overview of the intellectual interests and achievements of Mariano Artigas.

Scientia & Fides

The occasion for this volume was the tenth anniversary of the death of Mariano Artigas. It happened on Saturday 23 December 2006. Ten years is a good excuse to do something that academic life allows although, paradoxically, its demands do not usually favour it: to stop for a moment, look back and think.

I had the opportunity to work with Mariano during the last six years of his earthly life. Those years left an imprint on me that I now seem to be beginning to realise. In the contributions to this issue , many of those who have participated, not all of whom wished to and have not been able to do so for various reasons, leave a record of the mark that knowing Mariano, or reading his works, has left on their lives, and not only in academic life.

It is difficult to glimpse the influence that one person may have had on others. It is also difficult to make position what the legacy left by personalities such as Mariano's is, even if we have testimonies and specific works that make it visible. I think that what we see in these cases is only the tip of an immense iceberg that extends in space and, above all, in time. In the contributions collected in this volume, one can sense the extent and depth of the influence that Artigas had on those of us who knew him, and that he continues to have and will have for those of us who, like him, are academically committed to the truth. In some of the works collected here, such as that of María Ángeles Victoria, some of the dimensions of this influence are explicitly set out.

One of the realities that he promoted and that continues to grow after these 10 years is the group "Science, reason and faith" (CRYF). Giménez Amaya, who was its director for six years, reflects more calmly on the CRYF and the service it is called to provide to the university. I was fortunate enough to witness its beginnings. When group CRYF was set up in 2002, one of the small but important decisions that had to be made was the choice of a name. Naming has always been a less trivial activity than it may now seem. In some cultures, naming was about expressing the essence of the thing named. That was our goal in putting together the terms for which CRYF is an acronym.

The first book published by Mariano, not directly linked to the results of his three doctoral thesis , was entitled Ciencia, razón y fe ( 1984). Faced with the proposal that this was precisely the name of the group, Mariano initially offered a certain civil service examination. The reason was precisely because that was the name of his first book. He was reluctant to be the protagonist in that small detail. In fact, the reason he chose that name for his book was the same reason that made it the most appropriate name for group: the need to distinguish without separating these three methodical domains. Science1 is obviously a rational activity, but it does not exhaust all the rationality of which human beings are capable: reason, understood as man's capacity to know the truth, is broader than science. Reason, and therefore also science, must not, or perhaps cannot, be separated from faith: "Faith and reason are like the two wings with which the human spirit soars towards the contemplation of truth", as St. John Paul II wrote at the beginning of his encyclical Fides et ratio.

Not separating science from faith does not imply mixing or uniting them in an illegitimate way. To distinguish without separating, or to unite without equating, those realities that are different, that have something in common but are not identified, constitutes one of the great challenges of thinking. Perhaps Parmenides was one of the first thinkers to highlight in a radical way the difficulty and challenges involved in this challenge.

Reason seeks Economics in the understanding of reality, but sometimes there is no choice but to spend. And that is what Mariano did: he spent himself in the effort to understand how science offers authentic truths, and how science itself opened us up to the understanding of other realities that were not scientific. Artigas achieved a scientific training that, although it initially moved in the field of physics, also extended to biology.2.

It could be said that in Mariano's writings we can see the smooth evolution of a way of thinking about science that initially slightly emphasises its limitation3 and which, gradually, manages to express more clearly a conviction that was also his initial conviction: science is the way to reach authentic truths, even if they are not the whole truth. This point seems to me to be decisive in his Philosophy. Articulating the names science, reason and faith, and managing to explain their mutual relationship, involves pointing out the nature of the truths that science, or the sciences, bring us rather than declaring supposed limitations in science. Holding together what these names contain, without superficial skirmishes or deeper enmities between them, was a business that ran throughout his pathway staff , not just academically.

In my opinion, what gives Mariano's entire production its nerve was an authentic Philosophy of science. Philosophy in the classical sense of the word, but in dialogue with the authors and the problems of his time. Today the Philosophy of science, particularly in the Anglo-Saxon sphere, is exercised with renewed interest from a perspective that is indebted to analytical approaches. The problems that arise when contrasting the Philosophy of science made by Artigas and the one made today in the analytical tradition are made clear in the article of Sebastián de Haro. When Mariano tries to understand the truth provided by science, he does so from the empirical results provided by the different sciences but, at the same time, he makes a great effort not to give in to the temptation of creating a "meta-science" that is reduced to a science of science, and to maintain the openness that the Philosophy offers to dimensions of reality that resist the subject of control that is appropriate and demandable from scientific rationality.

I believe that being a realist at Philosophy requires maintaining this openness. It is clear how Professor Artigas, like other important philosophers of science with whom he dialogues, such as Popper, concentrates his attention on dimensions that transcend science itself. It is not by chance that Mariano realises that the core topic of understanding of the Popperian Philosophy , as Alfredo Marcos explains in his contribution, is ethics. Rubén Herce also highlights how the ethical dimension is an important part of the scientific activity in Artigas' thought. In final, a philosophically realistic approach to science requires transcending it also from the methodical point of view. I think that the difficulty of this task is what lies behind many of the difficulties encountered by philosophers who move within the analytic tradition.

In order to understand the work of Mariano Artigas, and the way in which he approached his work as a teacher and researcher, I think it is also very important to take into account his condition as a priest. For him, his academic work did not constitute a task superimposed on his priestly condition, but he lived his priesthood precisely through his academic work . Mariano zealously exercised the acts proper to the priestly ministry, such as administering the sacraments and preaching. But an attentive look at how he developed his academic work allows us to discover that he also lived this priestly condition. I think it is worthwhile to dwell a little on this point, because the dimensions of his academic work that were accentuated by his priesthood are proper to every Christian.

His commitment to truth was reinforced by his priestly status. His concern to highlight the compatibility of science with God's providential action led him to reject superficially the sometimes hasty conclusions inferred by some from the claims proposed by the sciences, especially when they involved some subject conflict with the faith. Their response was not to simply deny the problem or to resort to disqualification of the scientific contribution, but to redouble their efforts to understand better what that contribution entailed. For this reason, a central task of his work was goal to understand the subject of truth that the empirical sciences provide us with.

His priesthood led him to strengthen his willingness to serve others. In a particular way he sought to render this service to those who shared his faith. This explains the orientation of his programs of study towards subjects which were then, and still are now, seen as particularly conflicting between science and faith, and which he was afraid to address. The exhaustive study of the Galileo case, which resulted in a great trilogy on this episode, is an example of this willingness to serve others by serving the truth. José María Valderas's work allows us to trace how these thematic interests were forged, in which it can be said that Mariano was a pioneering author in Spanish language .

His goal was not about academic success. But he also saw clearly that academic excellence was necessary to extend the breadth and depth of the service that animated his work. For this reason, he cultivated and mastered the art of knowledge dissemination, while seeking to understand the epistemological instructions that nourished the background of the problems addressed. In his publications there were many "light" texts addressed to people without a special academic training . But he also sought positively and managed to publish in publishing houses that are essential references for the academic world. He soon realised the importance of being present in the digital world and encouraged the members of the then fledgling CRYF to create and maintain a website, where all his works for which there were no longer publishing rights were soon available.

He did not see the authors he studied as enemies to be fought. He studied their thought carefully and meticulously, and engaged in a dialogue that was always respectful of the person, but critical or very critical of the ideas, when he considered it appropriate in order to defend the truth. The book Oracles of Science, on which Jaume Navarro's contribution focuses, is an example of this attitude. This same disposition led him to support interpretations of the works of some authors that broke with already consolidated stereotypes about them. Alfredo Marcos' work , and those of Francisco Javier López Ruiz and Geoffrey Woollard also highlight this aspect.

In Artigas's bequest , at final, we can appreciate something that is also B in other thinkers of faith and deep convictions, such as George Lemaître, who is discussed in his article Eduardo Riaza and Pablo de Felipe. His faith was never an obstacle to exercising reason with all its consequences. It could even be said that it was precisely his faith that fuelled his passion for truth, which gave him that deep conviction that reality holds treasures waiting to be discovered by reason. This approach goes beyond revealing a respectful harmony, or a simple compatibility between faith and reason. What is discovered is how a man of authentic faith seeks to understand reality by overcoming the difficulties that this task entails(fides quaerens intellectum), and that reason, in all its dimensions and levels, is the great ally of faith(intellego ut credam). One discovers in final the profound reality of the comparison that Fides et ratio makes between faith and reason and the two wings of the spirit in search of truth.

The content of the 26 articles in this volume is very varied. In all of them there is gratitude and admiration for Mariano. Some of them express the way in which Mariano contributed to the author's own intellectual and even vital pathway . Others deal with subjects that Mariano dealt with directly or issues that are directly or indirectly linked to those studied by him. The authors present their personal memories in relation to Mariano, as well as their intellectual concerns or the themes of their own research. I have not been able to mention in this brief introduction all those who have written in the volume. Each and every one of them makes a valuable contribution and, precisely for this reason, mentioning them would have obliged me to go on at greater length in this text than is reasonable.

The criterion followed to order the contributions has been the way in which the topic is linked to Artigas. The publication has been divided into four sections, although the existence of common elements in some of them would have allowed them to be placed in different sections. The first deals with Mariano's life and thought from a historical point of view, in a very broad sense. We could say that in this section Mariano is placed in time. The second brings together contributions that reflect on some of Mariano's proposals. The third contains contributions that relate Mariano's thought to other authors. Finally, the fourth section includes articles on various subjects related to work and Mariano's interests, but which do not refer directly to his thought or to approaches formulated in this way by him. There is also an appendix carefully prepared by José Ángel García Cuadrado. As its contents are taken, for the most part, from the curriculum which was prepared by Mariano himself, with the additions made after his death, it can be said that he is the author. I like the idea of considering it as his posthumous and unpublished contribution which, obviously, he would not have presented in his lifetime as a contribution to a journal.

It only remains for me to express my gratitude to all those who have made the publication of this special issue possible. To the School of Theology at the Nicolaus Copernicus University of Torun and its academic authorities, who make Scientia et Fides possible. To the University of Navarra, where so many of us have found the habitat without which CRYF would not be viable. To the editors of the journal Scientia et Fides, led by Piotr Roszak and Javier Sánchez Cañizares, who have put all the journal's resources, especially human resources, at the service of this work. They have always been able to see the interest of this project from the very beginning, when José Manuel Giménez Amaya, when he was still director of the CRYF, launched the idea. I would also like to express my gratitude to all those who have contributed with their articles, making it possible to learn more about Mariano Artigas' bequest from many different angles. I am grateful for the work of the members of the CRYF, who make it possible to keep alive the university spirit that Mariano lived and that infected those of us who started the group. I cannot fail to mention with gratitude the immense work of meticulous reading, revision and corrections made by Gloria Balderas. Without this work it is certain that we would not have arrived on time. And of course, my thanks go in a particular way, for so many reasons, to Mariano Artigas. As I said at the beginning, what is glimpsed here is only the tip of an iceberg whose depth I hope will continue to bear more and more fruit, and that our limitations will not be able to stop its advance,



(1) When I speak of science in the singular I am referring to empirical science, which is what we ordinarily understand today by science in the ordinary speech . Perhaps it would be more appropriate to speak of science in the plural. Artigas, on the other hand, spoke of empirical science both in the plural and in the singular. I think that his Philosophy of science offers, indirectly, a justification for why we can also speak of it in the singular.

(2) Javier Novo reaches some conclusions in his contribution that are based on this difference in Mariano Artigas' scientific training . It is clear that physical rationality was the most influential in his Philosophy of science.

(3) The Frontiers of Evolutionism was published the year after the first edition of Science, Reason and Faith was published.