I want to ask a few questions and sort of vent my frustration as well as analyze an acknowledged ignorance of the subject matter on this post. I possess a minuscule but possibly still workable idea of what Aristotelian and thus neo-Aristotelian ontologies or metaphysics assume or entail. Concepts such as potentiality, actuality, his four causes, substance, and beyond these ideas I have not spent the dedicated time to greater cement an understanding. Though, as of late, I've noticed a deficit in my greater world view precisely in regards to this subject matter and the religious position I hold.
I am an atheist or at least a nonreligious non-theist. I've noticed that when Aristotelian/Thomistic/neo-scholastic arguments are raised, atheists often disagree from a perspective of an unacknowledged logical positivism and outspoken physicalism. In these conversations, the participants talk past each other ontologically and metaphysically.
Now this and a book by Steven Duncan have prompted me to reconsider a philosophy along the neo-Aristotelian lines. I must mention in passing that I still feel (without real argument or evidence) that the neo-Aristotelian outlook is unscientific or rather outdated, especially Aristotle's physics. I feel contrarily, though, some of his metaphysics could be compatible with my own contemporary views about science.
So, what defenses in academic philosophy as well as in the history of philosophy have been given to holding onto a philosophy in the same vein as Aristotelianism or neo-Aristotelianism? What benefits does such a world view possess with respect to something a logical positivist may profess or in that manner a physicalist? Lastly, how is scientific understanding warped by the application of this philosophy? Could you also hopefully give an example of a scientific theory interpreted through a neo-Aristotelian lens?
Lastly, lastly, the book by Steven Duncan is rather curious to me personally because it does profess a materialism but through the application of form and matter in response to physicalist interpretations of matter. Rather curious. . .