Outlines of Cosmic Philosophy, based on the Doctrine of Evolution, with Criticisms on the Positive Philosophy

Abstract

WE have repeatedly expressed our admiration of the system of philosophy which Mr. Spencer is engaged in working out. Mr. Fiske, in giving an outline of this philosophy, has called it Cosmic; a name which he thinks peculiarly fitting, because “the term ‘Cosmos’ connotes the orderly succession of phenomena quite as forcibly as it denotes the totality of phenomena; and with anything absolute or ontological, with anything save the ‘Mundus’ or orderly world of phenomena, it has nothing whatever to do.” But Mr. Spencer is far from ignoring I the absolute, and the ontological element in his speculations has frequently been the subject of criticism; and surely Mr. Fiske goes beyond an account of the orderly succession of phenomena in all that he has to say about the “Infinite Power manifested in the world of phenomena,” which he finds that we are clearly bound to symbolise as quasi-psychical rather than as quasi-material, so that we may say with meaning, “God is Spirit, though we may not say, in thematerialistic sense, that God is Force.”

Outlines of Cosmic Philosophy, based on the Doctrine of Evolution, with Criticisms on the Positive Philosophy.

By John Fiske, Assistant Librarian, and formerly Lecturer on Philosophy, at Harvard University. 2 vols. (London: Macmillan and Co., 1874.)

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SPALDING, D. Outlines of Cosmic Philosophy, based on the Doctrine of Evolution, with Criticisms on the Positive Philosophy . Nature 12, 267–270 (1875). https://doi.org/10.1038/012267a0

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