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In terms, metaphysics (CR:115) (LH:6) (TL:121) refers to []


The following are quotes:

“Our earth, our skies, every thing contributes to the formation of species. The uniformity of organisms is not surprising, because all animals and plants are formed under the same circumstances; but it must be true that in the same measure as our knowledge of mechanics will increase, the necessity of metaphysics will diminish and when one is perfect the other will be zero, that is to say nil.”
Henri Boulainvilliers (c.1710), “Origin of Beings and Species”; cited by Philipp Blom (2010) in A Wicked Company (pg. 19)[1]
“I should have liked to use the word ‘metaphysics’ in the title of this book, but there are certain words which have accumulated such evil implications that they must be abandoned, or withdrawn for a period of purification. Two such words, ‘phlogiston’ and ‘ether’, we shall have occasion to discuss in later lectures. However, in its best sense metaphysics might well be defined as the study of the major abstractions of the human mind, such as space, time, matter, life, love, duty, patriotism—we need not enumerate further. A more or less complete list of our major and minor abstractions is furnished by any unabridged dictionary.”
Gilbert Lewis (1925), The Anatomy of Science (pgs. 2-3) [2]

End matter


  1. (a) Boulainvilliers, Henri. (c.1710). “Origin of Beings and Species: Fruit of an Imperfectly Retained Conversation” (“Origine des etres et especies, fruit d’une conversation retenue imparfaitement”), Rivista di Storia della Filosofia (1994), 1:169-92.
    (b) Note: Blom says that his quote appeared in an anonymous publication; but cited Boulainvilliers in quotes.
  2. Lewis, Gilbert N. (1925). The Anatomy of Science (pgs. 2-3). Silliman Lectures; Yale, 1926.

External links

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