Potential Being and the Source of Cosmic Order





Document Type



contemporary cosmology, evolutionary science, potential being, philosophy


This paper argues (a) that the concept of "potential being" is central to the theory and practice of contemporary cosmology and evolutionary science, and (b) that the reality of potential being points to the existence of an intelligent and purposive cause of the intelligible order among potential beings that existed from the first moments of the Big Bang. The paper introduces and explains the concept of "potential being" and then traces the existence of potential beings back to the beginnings of the cosmos at the instant of the Big Bang. This primeval existence of potential beings is shown to possess a character and order that points to a cause external to that order. The paper concludes with a consideration of the features that must be possessed by that external cause in order to make sense of what we know.

Published in

Philosophical Quarterly

Citation/Other Information

Atkinson, G. M. (2006). Potential being and the source of cosmic order. International Philosophical Quarterly, 46, 345-69.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.