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The following are quotes:
- “It is absurd to hope that another Newton will arise in the future who shall make comprehensible by us the production of a blade of grass according to natural laws which no design has ordered.”
- “It is not only in those departments of science where the uniformity of natural law would seem to be a legitimate deduction that the scientific method has found favor with investigators, for at the present time many of the writers on ethics and sociology and theology are attempting to apply the methods and the laws of physical science in their fields of investigation. It is noticeable, however, that it is not the new physics of energy, but the old physics of forces, which is being thus applied. The physics which has been rendered obsolete by the investigation of the century has been taken up by the sociologist, and we have this mighty organism, man, still struggling with as many forces as were formerly supposed to battle for the control of the physical bodies of his individual members. ... If there is any spiritual universe, the phenomena of ethics are spiritual phenomena. The assumption of natural law, that is, physical law, in the spiritual universe means that there is no spiritual universe. A universe governed by the laws of physics is a universe in which there is no right or wrong, justice or injustice, reward or punishment: nothing but inevitable consequences. . . . This much, at least, is certain: if there is not a uniformity of nature in social phenomena so that effects follow causes with the same certainty as they do in the physical universe, then is there no science of sociology, and no such thing as a moral or social law. In so far as man is a free, moral agent, capable of determining his own conduct, all attempts at predicting what he will do under given circumstances must fail. Only in so far as man is governed, not merely influenced, by laws as unalterable and unvarying as are the laws of the physical universe, can his actions furnish the materials of scientific study. If, on the other hand, there are such laws, then all attempts of man at influencing the social order will be as successful as would attempts at revising the law of gravitation.”
- — Fernando Sanford (1899), “The Scientific Method and its Limitations”
- (a) Kant, Immanuel. (1790). Critique of Judgment. Publisher.
(b) Rosenberg, Alex. (2011). The Atheist’s Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life without Illusions (pg. 47). Norton.
- (a) Sanford, Fernando. (1899). “The Scientific Method and its Limitations” (pg. 19-21), Address at the eight Annual Commencement, Leland Stanford Junior University, May 24.
(b) Ward, Lester. (1903). Pure Sociology: a Treatise on the Origin and Spontaneous Development of Society (pgs. 166-67). MacMillan, 1907.
- Natural law – Hmolpedia 2020.