Metaphysics of Exo-Life: Toward a Constructive Whiteheadian Cosmotheology
In Metaphysics of Exo-Life, Andrew M. Davis offers a constructive philosophical response to historian Steven J. Dick’s “naturalistic cosmotheology” from within the process metaphysics of Alfred North Whitehead. Davis articulates how Dick’s six core principles of cosmotheology, developed over the last two decades, can be substantially deepened when inversely approached through Whitehead’s organic metaphysics. Detailing how Whitehead’s aesthetic cosmotheological realism addresses significant metaphysical problems wedded to Dick’s proposal, Davis develops six alternative principles that include Dick’s naturalistic intuitions, but also transcend key conceptual and explanatory limitations of his antirealist cosmotheology. The result is a deeper Whiteheadian cosmotheology in a universe pervaded with life, mind, and meaning.
In Appendix A, Davis makes a case for the inclusion of process theology in current and future discussions of God and extraterrestrial life by reviewing a variety of neglected statements made by past and present process philosophers and theologians, including core thematic affirmations that emerge. Appendix B republishes Lewis S. Ford’s pioneering 1968 article “Theological Reflections on Extraterrestrial Life” as the first sustained consideration of the topic from the perspective of process philosophy and theology.