November 29, 2005

Quote of the Day

"We know that while there have been, on the one hand, able philosophers who recognized nothing except what is material in the universe, there are, on the other hand, learned and zealous theologians who, shocked at the corpuscular philosophy and not content with checking it's misuse, have felt obliged to maintain tha tthere are phenomena in nature which cannot be explained by mechanical principles; as for example, light, weight, and elastic force. But since they do not reason with exactness in this matter, and it is easy for the corpuscular philosophers to reply to them, they injure religion in trying to render it service, for they merely confirm those in their error who recognize only material principles. The true middle term for satisfying both truth and piety is this: all natural phenomena could be explained mechanically if we understood them well enough, but the principles of mechanics themselves cannot be explained geometrically, since they depend on more sublime principles which show the wisdom of the Author in the order and perfection of his work." - G.W. Leibniz, "Tentanem Anagogicum: An Anagogical Essay in the Investigation of Causes," c. 1696 (tr. Leroy F. Loemaker).

Posted by Kenny at November 29, 2005 3:54 PM
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