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- Henry David Thoreau
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If religion and philosophy are views of the same thing the ultimate
nature of the universe then the true religion and the true philosophy
must coincide, though they may differ in the vocabulary which they use
to express the same facts.
- R.G. Collingwood, - Faith and Reason, p. 55.

The Scientific Method
Updated: 06/30/2021

The Foundation of Science is Theology

At the beginning of the seventeenth century no one could foresee the triumphs which science was one day to achieve. It was not, therefore, a foreknowledge of these triumphs that encouraged innumerable men to persevere in almost incredibly detailed inquiries concerning the laws of nature, in a corporate effort shared by all parts of the civilized world and extending over many generations. The will to pursue those inquiries was not based on any conception of their future outcome, but it was based on something: it was based on the belief that nature is a single system of laws. In adopting this idea, civilized man was setting aside his immemorial belief in demonic agencies, magical influences, and the inscrutable caprices of individual things, and accepting a new view of the world, not received on faith, and not arrived at by scientific induction, but thought out and stated in a systematic form by the philosophers of the sixteenth century.

The notion of a uniformly law-abiding natural world is so familiar to ourselves that we are apt to forget how recent a thing it is in the history of thought, how hardly it was won by Renaissance thinkers for example, with what difficulty sixteenth-century thought gave up Aristotle's doctrine that the law of gravitation holds good only in the sublunary sphere and how dramatic was its verification by one scientific discovery after another. This philosophical conception of nature has played the part, in relation to scientific research, of a constant stimulus to effort, a reasoned refutation of defeatism, a promise that all scientific problems are in principle soluble.

R. G. Collingwood, "The Present Need of a Philosophy", 1934.

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