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William Paley (1743–1805) argues for the existence of God as the intelligent creator of the world in this, his last book, published in 1802. He builds on early modern natural theology including the works of John Ray, William Derham, and Bernard Nieuwentyt, and most of his examples are taken from medicine and natural history. Paley uses analogy and metaphors, including a particularly well-written version of the 'watchmaker analogy', to prove that the world is designed and sustained by God. This sixth edition also contains a detailed bibliography, appendices on Paley's courses, and background notes on key figures. It was an influential best-seller throughout the nineteenth century, read by theologians and scientists alike, and reprinted in cheap editions for the middle classes. It inspired many nineteenth-century works on natural theology, including the Bridgewater Treatises (which also appear in this series), and is a landmark of Western thought.
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- Edition: 6th Edition
- Date Published: July 2009
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781108003551
- length: 604 pages
- dimensions: 216 x 140 x 34 mm
- weight: 0.76kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. State of the argument
2. State of the argument continued
3. Application of the argument
4. Of the succession of plants and animals
5. Application of the argument continued
6. The argument cumulative
7. Of the mechanical and immechanical functions of animals and vegetables
8. Of mechanical arrangement in the human frame—of the bones
9. Of the muscles
10. Of the vessels of animal bodies
11. Of the animal structure regarded as a mass
12. Comparative anatomy
13. Peculiar organisations
14. Prospective contrivances
17. The relation of animated bodies to inanimate nature
19. Of insects
20. Of plants
21. Of the elements
23. Personality of the Deity
24. Of the natural attributes of the Deity
25. Of the unity of the Deity
26. The goodness of the Deity
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