Natural Theology

Front Cover
OUP Oxford, Apr 13, 2006 - Science - 384 pages
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'The consciousness of knowing little, need not beget a distrust of that which he does not know.' In Natural Theology William Paley set out to prove the existence of God from the evidence of the beauty and order of the natural world. Famously beginning by comparing the world to a watch, whose design is self-evident, he goes on to provide examples from biology, anatomy, and astronomy in order to demonstrate the intricacy and ingenuity of design that could only come from a wise and benevolent deity. Paley's legalistic approach and skilful use of metaphor and analogy were hugely successful, and equally controversial. Charles Darwin, whose investigations led to very different conclusions in the Origin of Species, was greatly influenced by the book's cumulative structure and accessible style. This edition reprints the original text of 1802, and sets the book in the context of the theological, philosophical, and scientific debates of the nineteenth century. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
 

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Contents

I State of the Argument
7
II State of the Argument Continued
11
III Application of the Argument
16
IV Of the Succession of Plants and Animals
32
V Application of the Argument Continued
35
VI The Argument Cumulative
45
VII Of the Mechanical and Immechanical Functions of Animals and Vegetables
47
VIII Of Mechanical Arrangement in the Human FrameOf the Bones
54
XVI Compensation
147
XVII The Relation of Animated Bodies to Inanimate Nature
155
XVIII Instincts
160
XIX Of Insects
170
XX Of Plants
183
XXI The Elements
194
XXII Astronomy
199
XXIII Of the Personality of the Deity
213

IX Of the Muscles
69
X Of the Vessels of Animal Bodies
82
XI Of the Animal Structure Regarded as a Mass
101
XII Comparative Anatomy
114
XIII Peculiar Organizations
129
XIV Prospective Contrivances
135
XV Relations
140
XXIV Of the Natural Attributes of the Deity
230
XXV The Unity of the Deity
234
XXVI The Goodness of the Deity
237
XXVII Conclusion
277
Further Reading
284
Explanatory Notes
294
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Matthew D. Eddy is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary and the University of Durham and has recently held fellowships at the Dibner Institute (MIT), Harvard University, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (Berlin) and the University of Notre Dame's Erasmus Institute. He has just finished editing (with David M. Knight) Science and Beliefs: From Natural Philosophy to Natural Science, 1700-1900 (Ashgate,2005). David Knight has edited the British Journal for the History of Science and served as President of the British Society for the History of Science. In 2003 he received the American Chemical Society's Edelstein Award for History of Chemistry.

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