The Uncaused Being and the Criterion of Truth;

The Uncaused Being and the Criterion of Truth; : To Which Is Appended an Examination of the Views of Sir Oliver Lodge Concerning the Ether of Space

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It is refreshing in this age of indifference and often of avowed hostility to metaphysics to find a writer who, as the author of this volume, is nothing if not metaphysical, and whose metaphysic is invariably clear, sound and impressive.
Dr. Derr's aim is twofold; first, to prove the necessity of an "Uncaused Being" and, second, to establish a "criterion of truth." His argument for an Uncaused Being is, that if anything exists, an Uncaused Being exists; that the world exists; and that the world itself can not be the Uncaused Being: for inasmuch as the atoms or ultimate elements of the universe are in motion, it cannot be a continuum, it cannot be as large, consequently, as if it were a continuum, and hence it cannot be infinite and so uncaused; and, on the other hand, no more may we say that the world is the uncaused being, if we regard it pantheistically, for that would mean that we, though only parts of the great whole or God, were comprehending and so judging him, and this would violate the a priori and so necessary axium that the whole is greater than the parts. That is, unless the universe is a caused thing like man himself, it cannot offer, as it does, a legitimate field of conquest for the human mind. In a word, we can not entertain the idea of cosmic evolution without violating an axiomatic truth. To be reasonable, therefore, we must hold to a First and Infinite and so Uncaused Cause; and while we can know him only in so far as he reveals himself to us, we must conceive of him as at least personal, intelligent, conscious and free-as at least all that dignifies us, who are most like him, only without limitation.
As to "the criterion of truth," the author finds it in "the concordance between pure or priori conceptions of the understanding and senst perception." Whatever will not stand this test in both respects, he would reject; whatever will, he would accept.
It is evident at once that such a discussion as the above must reckon with the pluralism of Prof. James and with Sir Oliver Lodge's teaching that the ether is a continuum and that universal space is a plenum of it. This Dr. Derr does; and his criterion, though brief, is effective and even adequate.
We regard this book as a valuable addition to our literature in fundamental apologetics.
-The Princeton Theological Review, Volume 9 [1911]
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  • Paperback | 118 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 6.86mm | 231.33g
  • Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 151413263X
  • 9781514132630