He felt that a God who framed the laws of nature in such a way as to lead to the necessary formation of planetary systems was more to be admired than a God who first created mechanical laws and then had to violate them in order to make a world. I believe all scientists today should read this since they are showing signs of departing from a true sense of the scientific method, thereby adopting positions as fact which are truly incapable of absolute proof. Abstract. Requisites for social progress Index. We are somewhere in the 1920's, Whitehead starts assuming that we did our homework; meaning that we know a great deal about Bacon, Harvey, Kepler, Galileo, Descartes, Pascal, Huygens, Boyle, Newton, Locke, Spinoza and Leibniz. But we need no preparation for asking the second question: What does science know about man? No_Favorite. Our next step will be the question: how did science come to play the ambiguous rôle in which we find it today? Alfred North Whitehead's SCIENCE AND THE MODERN WORLD, originally published in 1925, redefines the concept of modern science. He takes it and knows how to lead others along it. Best place to start with Whiteheads books. It is their understanding of a common truth by which they recognize each other. Ritual contains the rules of right behaviour towards those superhuman powers on which we depend all our life. Are we prepared to organize that peace which weapons can make imperative without making it possible at the same time? It is a system of acquiring knowledge based on empiricism, experimentation and methodological naturalism, as well as to the organized body of knowledge human beings have gained by such research. Therefore I think the question of success is relevant. Other reviewers have commented on the convoluted language, which I didn't find a problem early on in the text, but toward the end it becomes more and more of a problem. Religious agnosticism is most probably the dominant attitude of the western mind in our times. I do not deny that just by transforming war into an all-out catastrophe these weapons may contribute to the preservation of peace in our time. I am afraid, the most conspicuous contributions in our time are guided missiles and atomic bombs. The Romantic period provoked everyone to rebellion and two of the greatest revolutions, the American and French, were an outcome of that period. The pace of technological innovation began to quicken. close. If you know how to work the knobs you will be able to drive a car at 60 mph. Whether or not one agrees with his conclusions they are necessary reading for understanding the history of scientific developement and the relationships between science and philosophy, and between science and religion. Alfred North Whitehead was born at Ramsgate, England, on February 15, 1861. Man would not have made any progress in the absence of science. Its admirers certainly considered the argument to be particularly stringent because it gave science its recognized place within the religious explanation: it was just Newton’s success in deducing the actual motions of the planets which transformed his failure to explain the origin of the system from a mere admission of ignorance into a positive argument for a divine Maker. First of all it is certain that our time has no other dominating religion. Science seems somehow to represent the character and the fate of our age. As the old joke has it, he may be crazy, but he's never stupid. Planning is inevitable in a scientific world like ours. But if the inherent dialectic of these effects turns black into white once, is there a guarantee that it will not turn white into black again? The steam engine of the 18th century was still developed largely out of the traditions of mining and of handicraft; the electromotor of the 19th century would have been impossible without the preceding scientific discoveries of Ampère and Faraday; the nuclear reactor of our century was devised and first built by the atomic physicists themselves. I had gained the impression that there are some very interesting ideas in Whitehead's philosophy, and I bought this book in the hope that it might prepare me for Process and Reality, but now I find it difficult to determine whether the ideas are as impressive or as interesting as I. I propose to treat in detail the original meaning of both the Platonic and the biblical view, their merging in Christianity and their modern transformation. A must for all students of historiography, theology, or philosphy! -- The nineteenth century. By Sarah Everts ... Before World War I most lettuce consumed on the East Coast was leaf or butter lettuce, and it was eaten only during the spring and summer growing seasons, she says. This was a perspective-altering book. Let us go on and say that the meaning of scientism is as ambiguous as the effects of science. If you take a European point of view you can rightly say that the dominating religion of the Middle Ages and even of the 19th century was Christianity. Pavlov’s study of conditioned reflexes seems to be the historical origin of the method now called brainwashing. These lectures are not intended to offer solutions for our problems but to make a step towards an investigation into their roots. This outline of the problem should suffice to illustrate the plan for the following lectures. by Free Press. Alfred North Whitehead's SCIENCE AND THE MODERN WORLD, originally published in 1925, redefines the concept of modern science. If the religion of science has its faith, does it have a church? There would probably have been no changes between the world of today and that of three centuries ago if necessity and serendipitous discoveries had not driven men to achieve great things. Try Prime EN Hello, Sign in Account & Lists Sign in Account & Lists Returns & Orders Try Prime Cart. With great intellectual splendour, which cannot but touch the modern reader as somewhat haughty, he sets out to refute atheism. But the key we seem to have lost is just the key to human nature. I see just two solutions to this problem, a preliminary one and a final one. About the Course: Explores how science, technology and/or medicine have helped shape modern societies (roughly 1850-present). In The Handbook of Science and Technology Studies, 3rd Ed., ed. Abstraction 11. “Nature is probably quite indifferent to the aesthetic preferences of mathematicians.”, “The essence of dramatic tragedy is not unhappiness. Kant was not sufficiently trained as a historian of philosophy and theology; else he would have realized that these two opposed interpretations of God’s work have their origin in the two roots of the traditional Christian views about creation: in Plato’s Timaeus and in the Old Testament. But that scientific knowledge would supply us with the ethical greatness needed to bear this responsibility is a hope not warranted by the facts. One lecture will be devoted to true mythology; three lectures will consider the views on the origin of the world in the Old Testament, in Greek philosophy, and in Christian theology; two lectures will investigate the origin of the problem raised by modern science from the 16th to the 18th century; two lectures will describe the cosmogony accepted by the science of our century; and the last of this first series of lectures will return to the question of the first one: science and the modern world; it will do so under the particular aspect of the secularization of Christian faith. Can we assert that mankind will be equal to such an enormous task? Presaging by more than half a century most of today's cutting-edge thought on the cultural ramifications of science and technology, Whitehead demands that readers understand and celebrate the contemporary, historical, and cultural context of scientific discovery. The Modern period is a cultural movement that has a lasting impact on the world. Yet the psychological situation of the average man in our time who faces science is just like that of a believer towards his revealed faith. I can now describe them as lectures on the historical origin of scientism. If we do not want to rely on a break-down of our civilization I see no final answer but general birth control. Alfred North Whitehead, OM FRS (15 February 1861 – 30 December 1947) was an English mathematician and philosopher. Diagnostics need infinite patience of investigation and they need an eye for the inconspicuous symptoms, for the hidden causes of great effects. Kant himself considered and rejected the possible atheistic implications of his theory. It aims to provide the reader with some of the background knowledge needed to make informed and intelligent contributions to contemporary debates on the interaction between science, technology, and society. Read it in concert with Process and Reality: the two books illuminate and interfuse with each other. 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