Re: The naturalist Philosophy

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. (
Date: Sat Aug 31 2002 - 19:17:06 EDT

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    On Sat, 31 Aug 2002 14:26:01 -0400 writes:
    > >
    > The trouble is with the definition of science, though philosophy may
    > play a
    > part in that definition as well. However, which subjects are
    > "science" and
    > which are "speculation", for lack of anothe word? In Theology
    > theologians
    > better work "scientifically" as well. Part of the North American
    > difficulties may be a result of the fact that since the Middle Ages
    > in many
    > Western countries university studies were split in Arts and
    > Sciences, as if
    > in a subject not listed under "Science" people are only guessing.
    > And some
    > subjects are sometimes listed as a science and sometimes under
    > Arts.
    > But, since we serve our God everywhere and always, such a division
    > does not
    > make sense, though I realize that in Anglo-Saxon countries where
    > they used
    > this incorrect division it will be hard to correct.
    > At the reformed Free University, Amsterdam, Netherlands, in my first
    > year's
    > basic philosophy course I learned to divide "science"= (German
    > "Wissenschaft") in 14 categories, from Theology to Arithmetic, but
    > all bound
    > together by our relation or nob-relation to God: "From the heart are
    > the
    > issues of life."
    > I must stop now
    > Jan de Koning
    Here is a clear confusion. Though Wissenschaft is often taken to be
    equivalent to "science," it is not. It is rather equivalent to scientia,
    which applied to every ordered study. This is why theology was Queen of
    the Sciences. The 14 categories do not apply to Naturwissenschaft, the
    archaic natural philosophy, contemporary science. Geisteswissenschaften
    corresponds to "arts" in arts and sciences.

    Properly, philosophy does not play a part in definitions, the province of
    lexicographers who properly report on actual usage, which is continuously
    changing. The philosopher may critique and analyze the usage, but this
    goes beyond what one finds in the dictionary. This is why one of my
    colleague's prime examples of what not to do was the chap who thought to
    end philosophical discussion by quoting Webster's. In any technical
    field, what one finds in the dictionaries is often inadequate, which is
    why one finds such phrases as "In this paper ... shall mean ..."
    Encountering such a qualification, the reader earnestly hopes that the
    author has remembered the restriction and does not also use the term in
    its general signification.

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