By Donald A. Crosby
An eloquent case for concerning nature itself as religion-as the metaphysical final deserving non secular dedication.
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Additional resources for A Religion of Nature
The need for this working together can be especially appreciated when it comes to concepts of nature. The limited world of our observation and reflection becomes the Universe only through imaginative extension. 10 As we shall see in the next section, the already elusive notion of the totality of nature is made even more complex and mysterious when we reflect on the extent to which the world is not merely a universe but also a pluriverse or multiverse, an order pervaded by volatile forces of diversity, discontinuity, and disorder.
Only a rationalist can repose confidence in notions thought to be purely generic and wholly nonderivative, because a rationalist can hold such notions to be a priori and thus necessary and universal. Whitehead, however, claims to root his metaphysical interpretations in experience, not in a priori principles. Because I strongly endorse his empiricist program, I take issue with his distinction between generic and derivative notions and with the precedence of pattern over change that it implies. 16 This principle means that the many things of the world are continuously being brought into the unifications of events that exhibit widely varying degrees of novelty but are never entirely devoid of novelty.
S. currency, as contrasting with coins of other nations in the present or past, as having a picture of Abraham Lincoln on its face, as ballast for a toy sailboat, as a shim for a wobbly table telephone, and so on. Every new moment of experience of the penny differs from every previous moment of experience of it, if for no other reason than in the new moment I have my fund of memories of all of the previous moments of experiencing it. As for oneself, even though each of us has privileged access to his or her own consciousness, who can be said fully and completely to understand himself or herself—and who can exhaustively encompass the perspectives on oneself one has had in the past or might have in the future, to say nothing of the perspectives of others on oneself?