God & Nature

God & Nature

God & Nature

God & Nature

Excerpt

G. F. Stout Mind and Matter, published in 1931, is described.on the title-page as 'the first of two volumes based on the Gifford Lectures delivered in the University of Edinburgh in 1919 and 1921'. It was a new work, based indeed on both courses as delivered, but including no verbatim transcription from either. In the Preface the author explained that he was confining himself in this first volume 'to an examination of certain aspects of ordinary experience -- those involved in the knowledge of the physical world, of the self and of minds other than our own'. He reserved 'the express treatment of more ultimate problems for a future work to be entitled God and Nature'.

My father never set himself to write a new book in fulfilment of this promise. Much of the ground he intended to cover had been treated in those parts of the original Lectures which he had not used in writing Mind and Matter, and it was understood between us that if they had not been published before his death I was to edit them for publication. (He was already past his seventy-first birthday when Mind and Matter was published.) When he visited St John's College, Cambridge (of which he was an Honorary Fellow) in 1938, he told friends who asked him about the promised sequel to Mind and Matter that he was not sure that he would himself be able to publish the Lectures, but that he had left them in a state in which they could be published.

He had gone through the Lectures with me in 1935, and it was then that he discarded the four Lectures of the First Course (II-V) which dealt with Materialism, saying, 'These are no good now' -- because they were replaced by the reconsidered and fuller treatment in Mind and Matter. At various times between the publication of Mind and Matter and his sailing for Sydney with myself and my family in . . .

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