Author: John Leslie
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2003
John Leslie unfolds his view of the nature of the universe in this book - a view which is unusual yet rich in philosophical inspiration and suggestion. Over the last three decades he has been developing his theory in a series of publications, and with this title he brings it to its definitive conclusion.
We are all captivated and puzzled by the infinite, in its many varied guises; by the endlessness of space and time; by the thought that between any two points in space, however close, there is always another; by the fact that numbers go on forever; and by the idea of an all-knowing, all-powerful God. In this acclaimed introduction to the infinite, A. W. Moore takes us on a journey back to early Greek thought about the infinite, from its inception to Aristotle. He then examines medieval and early modern conceptions of the infinite, including a brief history of the calculus, before turning to Kant and post-Kantian ideas. He also gives an account of Cantor’s remarkable discovery that some infinities are bigger than others. In the second part of the book, Moore develops his own views, drawing on technical advances in the mathematics of the infinite, including the celebrated theorems of Skolem and Gödel, and deriving inspiration from Wittgenstein. He concludes this part with a discussion of death and human finitude. For this third edition Moore has added a new part, ‘Infinity superseded’, which contains two new chapters refining his own ideas through a re-examination of the ideas of Spinoza, Hegel, and Nietzsche. This new part is heavily influenced by the work of Deleuze. Also new for the third edition are: a technical appendix on still unresolved questions about different infinite sizes; an expanded glossary; and updated references and further reading. The Infinite, Third Edition is ideal reading for anyone interested in an engaging and historically informed account of this fascinating topic, whether from a philosophical point of view, a mathematical point of view, or a religious point of view.
Author: Andreas Losch
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 2017-07-31
Approaches from the sciences, philosophy and theology, including the emerging field of astrobiology, can provide fresh perspectives to the age-old question 'What is Life?'. Has the secret of life been unveiled and is it nothing more than physical chemistry? Modern philosophers will ask if we can even define life at all, as we still don't know much about its origins here on Earth. Others regard life as something that cannot simply be reduced to just physics and chemistry, while biologists emphasize the historical component intrinsic to life on Earth. How can theology constructively interpret scientific findings? Can it contribute constructively to scientific discussions? Written for a broad interdisciplinary audience, this probing volume discusses life, intelligence and more against the background of contemporary biology and the wider contexts of astrobiology and cosmology. It also considers the challenging implications for science and theology if extraterrestrial life is discovered in the future.
Author: Thomas Nagel
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2012-10-01
The modern materialist approach to life has conspicuously failed to explain such central mind-related features of our world as consciousness, intentionality, meaning, and value. This failure to account for something so integral to nature as mind, argues philosopher Thomas Nagel, is a major problem, threatening to unravel the entire naturalistic world picture, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology. Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history, either. An adequate conception of nature would have to explain the appearance in the universe of materially irreducible conscious minds, as such. Nagel's skepticism is not based on religious belief or on a belief in any definite alternative. In Mind and Cosmos, he does suggest that if the materialist account is wrong, then principles of a different kind may also be at work in the history of nature, principles of the growth of order that are in their logical form teleological rather than mechanistic. In spite of the great achievements of the physical sciences, reductive materialism is a world view ripe for displacement. Nagel shows that to recognize its limits is the first step in looking for alternatives, or at least in being open to their possibility.
Author: John Leslie
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2008-04-15
Might we be parts of a divine mind? Could anything like anafterlife make sense? Starting with a Platonic answer to why theworld exists, Immortality Defended suggests we could well beimmortal in all of three separate ways. Tackles the fundamental questions posed by our very existence,among them, "why does the cosmos exist?", "is there a divine mindor God?", and "in what sense might we have afterlives?" Defends a belief in immortality, without the need for areligious affiliation or rejection of modern science Explores the ideas of "Einsteinian immortality", the divineafterlife, and the theory of an infinite and divine mind Draws from the work of a wide-range of philosophers, fromancient Greece to the present day, and incorporates up-to-datescientific findings Written in a thought-provoking and engaging manner, accessibleto anyone intrigued by the wonder of our being
Author: L. Sweeney
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2012-12-06
Throughout the long centuries of western metaphysics the problem of the infinite has kept surfacing in different but important ways. It had confronted Greek philosophical speculation from earliest times. It appeared in the definition of the divine attributed to Thales in Diogenes Laertius (I, 36) under the description "that which has neither beginning nor end. " It was presented on the scroll of Anaximander with enough precision to allow doxographers to transmit it in the technical terminology of the unlimited (apeiron) and the indeterminate (aoriston). The respective quanti tative and qualitative implications of these terms could hardly avoid causing trouble. The formation of the words, moreover, was clearly negative or privative in bearing. Yet in the philosophical framework the notion in its earliest use meant something highly positive, signifying fruitful content for the first principle of all the things that have positive status in the universe. These tensions could not help but make themselves felt through the course of later Greek thought. In one extreme the notion of the infinite was refined in a way that left it appropriated to the Aristotelian category of quantity. In Aristotle (Phys. III 6-8) it came to appear as essentially re quiring imperfection and lack. It meant the capacity for never-ending increase. It was always potential, never completely actualized.
A hopeful and controversial view of the universe and ourselves based on the principles of quantum physics, offering a way of making our lives and the world better, with a foreword by Deepak Chopra In Infinite Potential, physical chemist Lothar Schäfer presents a stunning view of the universe as interconnected, nonmaterial, composed of a field of infinite potential, and conscious. With his own research as well as that of some of the most distinguished scientists of our time, Schäfer moves us from a reality of Darwinian competition to cooperation, a meaningless universe to a meaningful one, and a disconnected, isolated existence to an interconnected one. In so doing, he shows us that our potential is infinite and calls us to live in accordance with the order of the universe, creating a society based on the cosmic principle of connection, emphasizing cooperation and community.
Author: Eugene F. Bales
Publisher: University Press of America
Release Date: 1987
Offers a summary account of the history of philosophical thought through the 19th century, an unusually updated and balanced account of 20th century thought, and lengthy chapters on the history of Chinese and Indian thought. Selected by Choice as an Outstanding Academic Book of 1988-1989.