The Domain of Natural Science: The Gifford Lectures Delivered in the University of Aberdeen in 1921 and 1922

The Domain of Natural Science: The Gifford Lectures Delivered in the University of Aberdeen in 1921 and 1922

The Domain of Natural Science: The Gifford Lectures Delivered in the University of Aberdeen in 1921 and 1922

The Domain of Natural Science: The Gifford Lectures Delivered in the University of Aberdeen in 1921 and 1922

Excerpt

The prominence which that complex of knowledge and ideas which is denoted by the term Natural Science has attained in the thought and life of the modern world is undeniable, and is indeed fully recognized by all thinking persons. But the question as to the exact position which what is often termed the scientific view of the world should rightly occupy, in relation to the other factors of human experience with which Religion and Philosophy are concerned, is one which gives rise to very divergent opinions amongst earnest thinkers. This is a matter which causes grave perplexity to the minds of great numbers of men and women. The question has been, in various connections, a subject of controversy for centuries, and it has in our time become of inestimable importance, in view of the effects which any generally accepted answer to it may have, not only upon our theoretical views and mental life, but also upon our attitude towards existence in its more practical aspects. My main object in preparing the lectures which are here published was to provide a reasoned contribution towards the clarification of ideas in relation to this fundamentally important question. In order to attain my object it was necessary to undertake an examination, as close as the circumstances permitted, of the historical development, aims, and true characteristics, of various departments of Natural Science, with a view to the characterization of the proper position of Natural Science in relation to Thought in general.

Based upon this examination of the leading features . . .

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