Lecture 36

A quote from The origins of modern science 1300-1800 Free Press Paperback edition.
Ch 10 The place of scientific revolution [p. 179 in my edn Bell & Sons, 1935]
Science is a creative product of the West, so capable of growth and so many sided that it consciously assumes a directing role. Just as Christianity in the middle ages had done.

Science sought control of the other factors.

The rise of science and the wars of Christians: that is why Locke, though he professed to be a Christian, we should try and prove as much so there is little left for revelation. He was trying to find a consensus to avoid these Christian wars. Reason is always everywhere the same – a fund of a priori and latent ideas. On the basis of that faith, neoplatonic stoic faith rediscovered in the seventeenth century, an increasing number of intellectuals said that Christianity must take second place and sought it in this age old tradition of rationality.

There was the rise of science and retreat of Christianity into their schools of theology – Lutheran, Calvinist, Anabaptist – and withdraw from political and public life, they privatise themselves. They have been so ever since the seventeenth century. We are only now waking up to the fact that it can continue this way. We are called to be agents of Christ’s redemption.

Commitment to science was the indubitable way to knowledge, this is where we get scientism.

It would be interesting to go through a science textbook that deals with the question, what is science? Nothing what is said is an adequate description of science!

Looking at Dooyeweerd’s modal aspects, the Greeks split the world round about the psychical aspects (psuche) – a group of function that are regarded as one substantial entity called body and another group of functions they think of a substantial entity which they call rational soul, the mind. The outer man, the external world and the inner man – the rational soul.

We never just have logical functioning – we have logical functioning of me and I am the point where all of this concentrates itself.

There is a difference in the way philosophers talk about body and soul.

Men works from models that consist of a lower body and a higher rational soul. Science is taken to be from the latter, it was viewed as being objective. It goes back to Aristotle (384-322 BC). During the second Athenian residence, he found a rival school, the peripatous (they were called the walk around-ers!) or peripatetic philosophy. (Plato academy – academics). In that period Aristotle known as a heilozoist. Heilozoism (zoe = life) Hylomorphism (from the Greek for matter (hulê) and form or shape (morphê))

In that last period of twelve years there were two successive philosophical periods – two different forms of hylomorphism – in Aristotle’s thought. Every thing made up of matter and form.

Phase I in this one the form is individual and matter is universal. A plant has a physical functionality it becomes a plant, a form that is imminent in its physical. Animal has all this as well as the psychical, man all that the animal has plus the new form of logical thought as its matter. The material part is the individual part and the form the universal part.
We each have a different soul, that’s what makes us different. All our bodies are the same – we can’t see any difference the difference is the nous. Nous is what individuates.

In phase II he took the opposite, it is a little more complicated. The form is the rational soul, the same in a certain sense, he talks about the knowledge that comes from outside, the divine intellect, and pours the knowledge into each man’s soul and makes rationality the universal. He brings in divine intellect which informs the individual soul and so our knowledge is universal and the material body is the principle of individuation.

If we all follow our rational thought we come to consensus.

These ideas developed into natural law theory. Since rational thought is in common it is objective, my emotional life, my private life, is subjective. The rational is above subjective inference.

There are different meanings given to the word objective. It is deeply involved with Greek thought.

The divine arouses the human, the potential becomes active. An instance of thinking is

We have to remember that because men work with a lower and higher aspect, science was taken to be part of the latter and hence objective

Generalisation – this is presented in textbooks as science explaining phenomenon which are presented to our senses in general laws, science brings order. As Christians we know from the outset that there is law, there is order. We know that there are limits and bounds set up in creation, we know that things are ordered and that therefore for us to arrive at general laws may not be science at all.

How can we know if all swans are white when we haven’t seen all swans? But he forgets we can detect that there are classes and orders in creation. It is only if there are no fixed orders can we speak about induction in this way. If we beign from a n individual state of affairs, how do we get to a general law? We cant! Generalisation takes place in everyday life. Proverbs and Ecclesiastes is full of humanly acquired wisdom and the regularity in creation.

What makes science science is that we abstract from the total creature one of its functions. Scientific thinking is modal abstraction. Not narrowing down to a piece of the whole.

The Rise of Scientific Philosophy(1951) Hans Reichenbach p 5 ‘Generalization is the essence of science’.

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