God and the Astronomers: Containing the Warburton Lectures, 1931-1933

God and the Astronomers: Containing the Warburton Lectures, 1931-1933

God and the Astronomers: Containing the Warburton Lectures, 1931-1933

God and the Astronomers: Containing the Warburton Lectures, 1931-1933

Excerpt

A philosopher or theologian who wishes to write on cosmology-on the relation of God to the universe-must in these days acquire some knowledge of modern astronomy and physics, two closely allied sciences in which new discoveries and new theories are being published almost every year. It is no longer possible to brush these researches aside as irrelevant to metaphysics or to theology. A hundred years ago some philosophers followed this high a priori road, with the result that natural science turned contemptuously away from philosophy as nothing but useless chatter. What else could be expected, after such performances as Hegel's definition of heat? "Heat is the self-restoration of matter in its formlessness, its liquidity the triumph of its abstract homogeneity over specific definiteness; its abstract, purely self-existing continuity as negation of negation is here set as activity." It may well be that the philosopher may come to the conclusion that such physical laws as entropy are not decisive of the ultimate basis of reality; but he must at least try to understand what these laws mean, and what conclusions specialists . . .

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