In this essay we shall examine some of the historical-philosophical premises which, during the first half of the eighteenth century, formed the background for discussions on cosmology. We shall particularly dwell on Emanuel Swedenborg’s cosmogonic system, profoundly influenced by the mechanistic Cartesian model. Swedenborg, who came into contact with the English Newtonian environment about 1710, attempted to mediate between vortex and universal gravitational physics. This attempt, though hardly convincing with regard to the mathematical definition of phenomena, is particularly interesting in relation to the evolutionistic cosmologic hypotheses formulated in the eighteenth century.
ABOUT THE FIRST AND LAST THINGS SAID: THREE SITUATIONS, TWO INVOLVING EMANUEL SWEDENBORG SOMETIME IN 1734- 1744, AND ONE INVOLVING THE PHYSICIST MAX BORN AROUND 1948
The period of transition.
We are pleased to present here the report given by Rev. Jonathan Rose on his attendance at the Seventh International Congress of the International Association for NeoLatin Studies.
In the Baltic states, as in Poland, Serbia, and Ukraine, religion and politics suddenly became one: the church—Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox—is a symbol of freedom or identity. But there is also a general longing for spirituality. The Swedenborg Societies report on contacts received from Hungary, the Soviet Union, Poland, Latvia, East Germany, and from the association in Yugoslavia. Old Swedenborgian circles are revivified or searched for, new are in the melting pot. Russian translations are in demand, and are under way. This way too Change is symbolized. The new, seen from one angle, takes form of a renaissance; and there is a long history behind all this leading up to the moment when everything erupts.
TOWARD A SOLUTION OF THE MIND/BODY PROBLEM. In our examination of his thoughts in his Rational Psychology (written in 1742 but published posthumously) we were preoccupied with the singularity of his sudden abandonment of the term “influx,” finally satisfying ourselves as to the probable reasoning behind that particular move. But little was done with the overall concept of the soul which that work reflects. Because it is a psychology, however, it is peculiarly well adapted to our present needs: that of getting an accurate picture of the author’s preconceptions (prejudices would hardly be too strong a word) about the soul just prior to his illumination.