Addenda To “Metaphysical Personhood And The IUD”


Addenda to “Metaphysical Personhood and the IUD”

W. H. Marshner

October 3, 1974

1. Emergence

Fr. Joseph Donceel’s account of ontogeny might be read as presenting an organism which, without changing genetically, undergoes a series of holistic alterations which can best be described as “emergent shifts,” Such shifts are said to occur (by evolutionary theorists) when life, for example, “emerges” in matter previously non-living, or when sensation “emerges” in living matter previously non-sentient, or when consciousness “emerges” in animals previously non-conscious. Teilhard, indeed, seems to extend this series indefinitely, lumping such phenomena as thought, value, history, community, and even the contemporary Zeitgeist into the general category of emergent qualities. Continue reading “Addenda To “Metaphysical Personhood And The IUD””