By Hugo A. Meynell
This is an creation to the philosophy of a Christian philosopher of the twentieth century. the writer pursues his thesis via arithmetic, empirical technological know-how, logic, intensity psychology and social thought, into metaphysics, ethics and traditional theology.
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Additional resources for An Introduction to the Philosophy of Bernard Lonergan
Now whether the world process as a whole is systematic or non-systematic does not seem to be a matter which can be settled a priori. ) One can only work out the consequences of the assumption that it is one or the other, and compare these consequences with the observable facts. If world process as a whole turns out to be non-systematic, it will follow that some forms of science at least will be irreducibly statistical, and hence that a science which is content with the assigning of probabilities is not a mere cloak for ignorancc.
Both sorts of theory have to be verified, since insight as such grasps only a possibility; but the mode of verification is different in the two cases. Roughly, classical laws state what would happen if conditions were fulfilled; statistical laws, how often one can expect conditions to be fulfilled. Thus the kind and manner of prediction involved differ from one another. Classical predictions can be exact within assignable limits; but statistical predictions cannot be so, just because relative actual frequencies differ at random from probabilities.
Classical laws merely assign limits on which, other things being equal, huge numbers of data converge. Does not admission of any divergence between data, and classical law, it might be asked, imply that classical laws are not really verifiable? Not at all, if their verification is understood in the way that we have described. The divergence only goes to show that classical laws cannot constitute the whole of our knowledge, not that they cannot be a part of it. Quantum physics, it is true, provides a general theory which includes Newtonian physics as a special case.
An Introduction to the Philosophy of Bernard Lonergan by Hugo A. Meynell