PHILOSOPHICAL ASPECTS OF MODERN SCIENCE By the same Author ESSAYS IN COMMON-SENSE PHILOSOPHY Second Impression Published by the Oxford University Press MATTER, LIFE AND VALUE INTRODUCTION TO MODERN PHILOSOPHY INTRODUCTION TO MODERN POLITICAL THEORY Messrs. Ernest Benu THE PRESENT AND FUTURE OF RELIGION THE MIND AND ITS WORKINGS Messrs. Routledge Sons THE BABBIT WARREN A SURVEY OF MODERN CIVILIZATION THRASYMACHUS THE FUTURE OF MORALS DIOGENES THE FUTURE OF LEISURE Messrs. Methuen Co. COMMON-SENSE ETHICS Messrs. Nisbet Co. MIND AND MATTER ETC. C-E-M-JOAD PHILOSOPHICAL ASPECTS OF MODERN SCIENCE LONDON GEORGE ALLEN V UNWIN LTD MUSEUM STREET CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE INTRODUCTION 9 I. THE IDEALISM OF PROFESSOR EDDINGTON 1 9 II. THE IDEALISM OF SIR JAMES JEANS 48 in. MR. RUSSELLS NEUTRAL STUFF 83 IV. A CRITICISM OF METHOD 112 V. SENSE DATA AND PHYSICAL OBJECTS 1 25 VI. SENSE DATA AND SCIENTIFIC OBJECTS 141 VII. PHYSICAL OBJECTS AND SCIENTIFIC OBJECTS 155 VIII. CONCEPTIONS OF REALITY SPONSORED BY MODERN SCIENCE 1 86 IX. CRITICISM OF THE CONCEPTIONS OF REALITY SPONSORED BY MODERN SCIENCE 226 X. A THEORY OF VALUE ADVANCED IN RELATION TO THE CONCLUSIONS OF MODERN SCIENCE 258 XI. CONCLUSION. PHILOSOPHY AND THE TEMPER OF SCIENCE 313 INDEX 343 NOTE The bulk of Chapter VII first appeared as an article in Mind, and my thanks are due to the editor for permission to reprint it. Part of the matter contained in Chapters VIII and IX originally formed part of a paper read to the Aristotelian Society under the title Modern Science and Religion, in January 1931. INTRODUCTION IT is often said that current developments in physical science have no bearing upon philosophical problems, and tEat the metaphysician may ignore them as lying outside his province. There are, no doubt, good reasons for this view. There is, it is obvious, a sense in which the precise formula for the analysis of matter which happens to be current among physicists at the moment, has little or no metaphysical significance. There is, however another sense in which the work of scientists such as Professor Eddington and Sir James Jeans seems to me to have an important bearing upon metaphysical problems. I will try to make clear what this sense is. The conceptions of the physical universe sponsored by modern science are changing with extreme rapidity, but the various pictures with which we are presented have at least this feature in common, that they are all extremely remote from the world of common sense, and the later ones are more remote than the earlier. Being different from the world we know they are imaginatively dTfficuTrto gnceiv Hence the question arises, What is the real status of these world pictures Are the objects which physics affirms in any sense independent of the mind of the physicist who conceives them, and, if they are, whatjs their reladonjqjthe objects of the common-sense world Is a chair, for instance, a square piece of wood resting on four wooden legs, or is it a dance of atoms and electrons which are neither square nor wooden or is it in some mysterious fashion both at once And, if it is both at once, what is the relation of the one description to the other These questions are, I think, strictly philosophical. For it is the business of philosophy to correlate the evidence collected by the special sciences, and to try to fit it into a coherent scheme of the universe as 3, whole. Nor is it only io PHILOSOPHICAL ASPECTS OF MODERN SCIENCE the special sciences which afford data for the philosopher, for the vision of the artist, the religious consciousness of the saint, and the day-to-day experience of the plain man are equally facts of which philosophy must take cognizance. If they conflict, he should try to harmonize them, even if the attempt involves, as it so often has done, the necessity of stigmatizing some of them as in some sense illusory...
- Dewey Decimal: 100
- Physical Description: 5.5"x8.3"x1.0"; 0.9 lb; 348 pages
- Edition Info: Paperback; 2007-03-15
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