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Paley's Natural Theology; Part 2. Revised to harmonize with modern science.
Paley, William. Revised by F. le Gros Clark.

Paley's Natural Theology; Part 2. Revised to harmonize with modern science.
Paley's Natural Theology; Part 2. Revised to harmonize with modern science.

Description/Condition

Very good+. Spine a little sunned, otherwise as new.

£5.00 Add to Basket

Detailed Information

Item No: B27217
Published by: Elibron Classics.
Edition: , Facsimile edition of the edition of 1890 published by The Christian Evidence Committee of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
Dimensions: 8vo. 8 1/2".
Cover: Soft
About this title:

The author`s best known work; an exposition of the teleological argument for the existence of God in his work Natural Theology, which made use of the watchmaker analogy. As he states in the preface, he saw the book as a preamble to his other philosophical and theological books; in fact, he suggests that Natural Theology should be read first, so as to build a systematic understanding of his arguments. The main thrust of his argument was that God`s design of the whole creation could be seen in the general happiness, or well-being, that was evident in the physical and social order of things. Such a book fell within the broad tradition of natural theology works written during the Enlightenment; and this explains why Paley based much of his thought on Ray (1691) and Derham (1711) and Nieuwentyt (1750). Includes a chapter on astronomy, written by the author`s old friend John Law and the Dublin Astronomer Royal John Brinkley. Paley`s argument is built mainly around anatomy and natural history. "For my part," he says, "I take my stand in human anatomy"; elsewhere he insists upon "the necessity, in each particular case, of an intelligent designing mind for the contriving and determining of the forms which organized bodies bear." In making his argument, Paley employed a wide variety of metaphors and analogies. Perhaps the most famous is his analogy between a watch and the world. Historians, philosophers and theologians often call this the Watchmaker analogy. The germ of the idea is to be found in ancient writers who used sundials and prolemiac epicycles to illustrate the divine order of the world. These types of examples can be seen in the work of the ancient philosopher Cicero, especially in his De natura deorum, ii. 87 and 97 (see Hallam, Literature of Europe, ii. 385, note.). The watch analogy was widely used in the Enlightenment, by deists and Christians alike. Thus, Paley`s use of the watch (and other mechanical objects like it) continued a long and fruitful tradition of analogical reasoning that was well received by those who read Natural Theology when it was published in 1802. In addition to Moral and Political Philosophy and the Evidences Charles Darwin read Natural Theology during his student years and later stated in his autobiography that he was initially convinced by the argument. His views, of course, changed with time. Today Paley`s name evokes both reverence and revulsion and his work is cited accordingly by authors seeking to frame the history of human thought. Even Richard Dawkins, an opponent of the design argument, described himself as a neo-paleyan in The Blind Watchmaker. Today, as in his own time (though for different reasons) Paley is a controversial figure, as a lightening rod for both sides in the contemporary "war between science and religion". Consequently, it is well to bear in mind that it is difficult to read him with objectivity. His writings reflect the thought of his time, but, as Dawkins observed, his was a strong and logical approach to evidence, whether human or natural. And it is not without significance that the Oxford constitutional theorist A.V. Dicey had his pupils read the Evidences to teach them about legal reasoning. It is for such reasons that Paley`s writings, Natural Theology included, stand as a notable body of work in the canon of Western thought. Source - Wikipedia.