Monday, April 20, 2009

What Are We Doing?

Making plans... that's what we're doing. Making plans about what we we should be doing.

One of our purposes is to study Duhem and Jaki and all that relates to the subject of the history of science, especially as relating to Catholicism. Another, related to this purpose, is to make that work known - the individual work of our masters, of other historians, and our own work.

For now, I am trying to bring the Jaki bibliography (in his A Mind's Matter and the Duhem bibliography (in Jaki's Uneasy Genius) into a form that can be posted here - some form that might be useful at least in a simple fashion, though clearly not the most desireable. But that takes time.

Other projects, suitable for the talents of others, may be to acquire the works of our masters, to begin to study them, or use them, or - perhaps - translate them. Especially in regard to the works of Duhem, chief among the needs for some of us is to have them in our native tongue. (At some point perhaps I shall make a kind of appeal about that.)

But you do not wish to hear about my plans, or my lack of advance - or of my wishes for the future. You would prefer to have some enlightenment. I would advise you to get some Jaki - or some Duhem - and read them. Perhaps read some of the reference works they refer to. But for today, since I have other business at hand, I shall offer you the next best thing: the beginnings of a "Jaki Sampler" - or "The Quotable Jaki".

Science, it must not be forgotten, lives by hope no less than does religion.
[Jaki, Catholic Essays 27]

For it is the very soul of science to call a fact a fact in all truth and honesty. Such an attitude cannot emerge in the relatively narrow field of scientific pursuit if parodies of facts, norms, and values are taken for genuine along much of the gamut of human experience.
[Jaki, Science and Creation 156]

Mechanistic ideology was not simply a generalized aspect of physics. It was rather a philosophical preference eager to hide behind the glittering intellectual edifice of physics.
[Jaki, Brain Mind and Computers 168]

More science is needed to cope with problems created by science, although much more than science is also needed.
[Jaki, Scientist and Catholic: Pierre Duhem 127]

Either science is seen as a supreme seal on man's autonomy or it will be seen as a gift from above.
[Jaki, Scientist and Catholic: Pierre Duhem 127]

On more than one occasion I have felt it appropriate to define physical science as the quantitative study of the quantitative aspects of things in motion.
[Jaki, The Limits of a Limitless Science and Other Essays 67]

...prayer, without which religion is as defective as physics is without mathematics.
[Jaki, Numbers Decide note 58 on page 30]

The wider is the bearing a physical theory wants to achieve, the more such scaffolding it needs.
[Jaki, Numbers Decide 37-8]

Of lace, Samuel Johnson said, one can never have enough. I would say the same about science: of science no one can ever have enough.
[Jaki, Numbers Decide 94]

...neither the Ptolemaic, nor the Copernican, nor the Newtonian, nor the Einsteinian cosmology can contain a refutation of two basic propositions of theological cosmology. One is the absolute, ontological dependence of all things on a Creator. The second is that all was created for the sake of man. Only if one assumes that one can evaluate these propositions quantitatively would it be possible to construct against them a scientific proof, which, let this not be overlooked, derives from quantitative verification. ... A proof of the existence of the universe can only come from metaphysics.
[Jaki, Numbers Decide 170-1]

I will add to these as time goes on. I will also provide a selection of the famous lines of others which he frequently quoted.

Don't forget to start your novena for Fr. Jaki tomorrow.

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