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Biological Deism

Abstract

Those who still interest themselves in problems connected with God, Freedom, and Immortality are not accustomed to look to natural science for any light on these dark places. It is usually admitted that the scientific method operates with basic assumptions which are far from binding on philosophers, and which indeed have no very satisfactory metaphysical authority. In spite of a few protests by philosophers, scientific thinkers have on the whole felt entitled to neglect the philosophical consequences of their theories, and have gone ahead in the investigation of nature by accepting only such hypotheses as explained the maximum number of known facts, irrespective of their possible results on other fields of work. When a strictly scientific theory is invested with philosophical importance, some form of materialism, however well disguised, usually results.

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page 30 note 1 Wittgenstein L., Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 4.112.

page 30 note 2 Schlick M., Proceedings of the Seventh International Philosophical Congress, 1930.

page 31 note 1 Inge W. R., Science, Religion and Reality, 1925, p. 357.

page 32 note 1 Jeans J., The Universe Around Us, p. 331.

page 33 note 1 Santayana G., Poems, 1922, p. 77.

page 34 note 1 See Boycott A. E., Proc. Roy. Soc. Med., 1928, 22. 55.

page 34 note 2 one µ is one-thousandth part of one millimetre.

page 35 note 1 Peters R. A., Trans. Faraday Soc., 1930.

page 35 note 2 Lillie R. S., “Physical Indeterminism and Vital Action,” Science, 1927, 66.139.

page 35 note 3 Donnan F. G., Journ. Gen. Physiol., 1926, 8. 685.

page 37 note 1 Jennings H. S., The Biological Basis of Human Nature, Faber & Faber, 1930.

page 38 note 1 Graaf R. De, De Mulierum Organis Generationi, Leyden, 1672.

page 38 note 2 Leeuwenhoek A. Von, Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc., 1677,12. 1040.

page 38 note 3 D'aumont M., article “Generation” in Diderot's Encyclopœdia, 1757, vol.7.

page 38 note 4 Cooke J., New Theory of Generation, London, 1762.

page 40 note 1 Henderson L. J., The Fitness of the Environment, Macmillan, 1913.

page 41 note 1 See Stephenson M., Bacterial Metabolism, Longmans Green, 1930.

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Philosophy
  • ISSN: 0031-8191
  • EISSN: 1469-817X
  • URL: /core/journals/philosophy
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