Summary Of William Paley S Natural Theology Assignment

Summary Of William Paley S Natural Theology Assignment Words: 506

Charles Darwin read and was influenced by the book. Chapter I. State of the argument. Palely makes his analogical argument for the existence of a deity. The analogy is implicit until Chapter Ill, where Palely makes it explicit. The watch is supposed to be analogous to an organism (or perhaps to an organ, such as the human eye or the human heart). Since we would infer the existence Of a “maker” in the case Of the watch, we should do the same in the case of the organismorgan. Having sketched the argument, Palely states and replies to various Objections: l.

We have never seen a watch made, or known anyone capable of making one; or are we able to make one ourselves, or understand how it is done. II. The watch sometimes goes wrong (or seldom goes exactly right). Ill. There are parts whose function is unknown or of whom it is not known whether they have a function, IV. The watch is “one out of possible combinations of material forms. ” This objection is obscure. V. A principle to order “disposed the parts tooth watch into their present tort and situation. ” VI. The watch is proof not of contrivance but “only a motive to induce the mind to think so. This objection is obscure, VI’. The watch is the result of the laws of metallic nature. VIII. Nothing is known about the matter. Chapter II. State of the argument continued. The watch now produces “another watch like itself. ” What effect would this development have on our thinking? I. It would increase our admiration of the contrivance, and therefore of the skill of the continuer_ If we infer a maker from the first watch, then a fortiori we infer a maker from 1 the second watch. II. Though the first watch made the second watch in some sense, it did not aka it in a second sense.

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Palely discusses the stream of water, the mill, and the ground corn. Someone made the mill, which causes the water to grind the corn. Ill. (Palely calls his argument the “argument from design’ Discuss the question- begging nature of this name. ) “Arrangement, disposition of parts, subservience of means to an end, relation of instruments to an use, imply the presence of intelligence and mind. ” IV. There cannot be an infinite regress of causes, for contrivance would be “still unaccounted for. ” An infinite chain can no ore support itself than a finite chain. Is this a version of the cosmological argument? ) V. The maker of the first watch is also the maker of the second; the second is made through the instrumentality Of the first. It is as though one made a machine to make machines. Chapter Ill. Application of the argument. Palely completes the analogy: “every manifestation of design, which existed in the watch, exists in the works of nature; with the difference, on the side of nature, of being greater and more, and that in a degree which exceeds all computation. ”

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