Modern Materialism: Its Attitude Towards Theology

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Williams & Norgate, 1876 - 80 pages

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Page 21 - ... the passage from the physics of the brain to the corresponding facts of consciousness is unthinkable. Granted that a definite thought, and a definite molecular action in the brain occur simultaneously ; we do not possess the intellectual organ, nor apparently any rudiment of the orgau, which would enable us to pass by a process of reasoning from the one phenomenon to the other.
Page 43 - It is our own immediate consciousness of effort, when we exert force to put matter in motion, or to oppose and neutralize force, which gives us this internal conviction of power and causation, so far as it refers to the material world, and compels us to believe that whenever we...
Page 25 - are conformed," we are assured, " to a constant type with a precision which is not to be found in the sensible properties of the bodies which they constitute. In the first place, the mass of each individual," " and all its other properties, are absolutely unalterable. In the second place, the properties of all " " of the same kind are absolutely identical.
Page 31 - ... molecule. A new state of things thenceforward is the result. But a simple elementary atom is truly an immortal being, and enjoys the privilege of remaining unaltered and essentially unaffected amid the most powerful blows that can be dealt against it...
Page 29 - It has been asserted," says Professor Clerk Maxwell, " that metaphysical speculation is a thing of the past, and that physical science has extirpated it. The discussion of the categories of existence, however, does not appear to be in danger of coming to an end in our time ; and the exercise of speculation continues as fascinating to every fresh mind as it was in the days of Thales.
Page 18 - ... properties, brought about without any changes to be called chemical, are interpretable only as due to molecular rearrangements ; and, by showing that difference of property is producible by difference of arrangement, they support the inference otherwise to be drawn, that the properties of different elements result from differences of arrangement arising by the compounding and recompounding of ultimate homogeneous units.
Page 17 - This is not a process of reasoning, but an act of will — a decretal enveloped in a scientific nimbus. Nothing can be less relevant than to show (and nothing else is attempted) that the forces of heat, of attraction, of life, of consciousness, are attached to material media and organisms, which they move and weave and animate : this is questioned by no one.
Page 8 - I do not think he is entitled to say that his molecular groupings and his molecular motions explain everything. In reality they explain nothing. The utmost he can affirm is the association of two classes of phenomena, of whose real bond of union he is in absolute ignorance.
Page 19 - In common with all logical atomists, he appeals to the case of isomeric bodies, and especially to the allotropic varieties of carbon and phosphorus, to prove that, without any change of elements in kind or proportion, and even without any composition at all, substances present themselves with marked differences of physical and chemical property. There are several distinct compounds formed out of the same relative weights of carbon and hydrogen. And the simple carbon itself appears as charcoal, as...
Page 1 - That the upper zones of human affection, above the clouds of self and passion, take us into the sphere of a Divine communion. Into this overarching scene it is that growing thought and enthusiasm have expanded to catch their light and fire.

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