The Philosophical Basis of Biology: Donnellan Lectures, University of Dublin, 1930

The Philosophical Basis of Biology: Donnellan Lectures, University of Dublin, 1930

The Philosophical Basis of Biology: Donnellan Lectures, University of Dublin, 1930

The Philosophical Basis of Biology: Donnellan Lectures, University of Dublin, 1930

Excerpt

This volume represents the lectures which I gave under the Donnellan Foundation at Trinity College, Dublin, in the spring of 1930. They are carefully revised and considerably extended, but for various reasons I have retained the lecture form, and particularly because, through their connection with the philosophical ideas of George Berkeley, they are specially associated with the place where they were delivered. A Supplement is, however, added, dealing with three books which have appeared since the original lectures were written. The references to these books will, I think, render more clear the argument of the lectures.

It is difficult to realise the great development which is at present occurring in the scientific interpretation of our experience. Since the time of Galileo and the Renaissance, European thought had become more and more accustomed to the idea that, leaving aside the consideration of invisible spiritual reality, the visible and tangible universe of our experience corresponds with what Galileo and his great successors in physical science represented to themselves as the physical world. This idea had come to be accepted as only "com-

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