Cosmic Evolution: Outlines of Cosmic Idealism

Cosmic Evolution: Outlines of Cosmic Idealism

Cosmic Evolution: Outlines of Cosmic Idealism

Cosmic Evolution: Outlines of Cosmic Idealism

Excerpt

The time has come for a synthesis of the scattered elements of the new story of creation into an imaginative whole. The data have accumulated with tremendous rapidity in the last generation. But the philosophic interpretation of the data into a world-view, on the one hand consistent with the facts revealed by science and, on the other, giving a significant place to the highest aspirations of the human soul, remains halting and inadequate. There can be no doubt that the general drift of modern science has been toward materialism, in spite of the avowals of well-meaning popularizers of science to the contrary. It is necessary to separate the results of science from a materialistic metaphysics which has been falsely confused with science. To see the true significance of evolution requires both a painstaking survey of the facts as we know them, including the facts of our spiritual as well as our sensuous experience, and a weaving of the many-coloured strands into a harmonious web in the spirit of "natural piety." When this is done, it may be found that what is fundamental in the insight of ages past appears as the golden thread in the new woof.

The philosophic attitude of this book (as well as my previous volumes--Time and Reality, 1904; Truth and Reality, 1911; A Realistic Universe, 1916)--may be characterized as empirical realism and cosmic idealism.

I have the precedent of Immanuel Kant for using two titles in describing my philosophy. Kant in his Critique of Pure Reason characterizes his philosophy as empirical realism and critical idealism. Unfortunately critical idealism proved incompatible with empirical realism, and the latter was submerged in the speculative movement which . . .

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