The New Philosophy Vol 59 No 4, October 1956
The teaching of the Writings is that the heavens, as a kingdom of uses regarded, constitute a human form or a grand man (maximus homo). This is true of the angelic heavens from the entire universe—from all inhabited earths and satellites—taken together. For these are all needed to compose a perfect functional whole. But it may also be said that every complete society is, as to its uses, a human form; and a country, or a church, is thus a “man” in this wide sense of the word. Sometimes, also, the Writings indicate that the human race on our own earth, or all the spirits who now survive in the heavens from this particular planet, must be regarded as a Maximus Homo, with a history (or biography) of its own; a collective man which was born and passed through stages corresponding to infancy, childhood, youth, and manhood.
The three decades before the American Civil War were an age of idealism, romanticism, and philosophical transcendentalism. But the Civil War wrought a great change in the American scene. Industrialism mushroomed almost overnight; it had transformed practices of agriculture, and had encouraged a heedless exploitation of our natural resources. America became industrial-minded, business-minded. What the American people demanded from their industrialists and financiers was practical results. It was not long before a philosophical method came to reflect the qualities of the American character. Practical, democratic, opportunistic, individualistic, spontaneous and hopeful, the philosophical method of pragmatism was accurately adapted to the American temper-ament.
Science vs. Religion--A reference is made elsewhere in this issue to the relation of religion to science. In the review of Schroedinger’s book he is quoted as follows: “The comparative truce [i.e., between religion and science] we witness today, at least among cultured people, was not reached by setting in harmony with one an- other the two kinds of outlook . . . but rather by a resolve to ignore each other . . . little short of contempt.”
Modern authors who write about the scientific and philosophic thought of today more often than not devote part of their labors to analyzing the basis of modern thought in ancient writings. Schrodinger, being no exception, offers the reason that he “had been swept along unwittingly, as happens so often, by a trend of thought rooted somehow in the intellectual situation of our time” (p. 2). Assuming that a trend exists, he then proceeds to ask: “How did it originate? what were its causes? and what does it really mean?” (p. 3). Two situations are offered in answer to these questions.