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CRITICISM OF MECHANICAL THEORIES

Activity Of Consciousness
Aim And Method Of Naturalism
Autonomy Of Spirit
Consciousness Of The Ego
Constructive Criticism
Contrast Between Darwinian And Post-darwinian Views
Creative Power Of Consciousness
Criticisms Of The Mechanistic Theory Of Life
Crities Of Darwinism
Darwinish In General
Darwinism And Teleology
Darwinism In The Strict Sense
De Vries's Mutation-theory
Differences Of Opinion As To The Factors In Evolution
Eimer's Orthogenesis
Evolution And New Beginnings
Feeling
Feeling Individuality Genius And Mysticism
Freedom Of Spirit
Fundamental Principles Of Naturalism
Genius
Goethe's Attitude To Naturalism
Haeckel's Evolutionist Position
Heredity
How All This Affects The Religious Outlook
How The Religious And The Naturalistic Outlooks Conflict
Immortality
Individual Development
Individuality
Intuitions Of Reality
Irritability
Is There Ageing Of The Mind?
Lamarckism And Neo-lamarckism
Machnical Theories Criticism
Mind And Spirit The Human And The Animal Soul
Mystery : Dependence : Purpose
Mysticism
Natural Selection
Naturalism
Naturalistic Attacks On The Autonomy Of The Spiritual
No Parallelism
Other Instances Of Dissatisfaction With The Theory Of Descent
Parallelism
Personality
Pre-eminence Of Consciousness
Preyer's Position
Religion And The Theory Of Descent
Self-consciousness
Spontaneous Generation
Teleological And Scientific Interpretations Are Alike Necessary
The Antimony Of Our Conception Of Space
The Antimony Of Our Conception Of Time
The Antimony Of The Conditioned And The Unconditioned
The Characteristic Features Of Darwinism
The Conservation Of Matter And Energy
The Constructive Work Of Driesch
The Contingency Of The World
The Dependence Of The Order Of Nature
The Development Of Darwinism
The Ego
The Fundamental Answer
The Law Of The Conservation Of Energy
The Mechanics Of Development
The Mystery Of Existence Remains Unexplained
The Organic And The Inorganic
The Position Of Bunge And Other Physiologists
The Problema Continui
The Real World
The Recognition Of Purpose
The Religious Interpretation Of The World
The Spontaneous Activity Of The Organism
The Supremacy Of Mind
The Theory Of Descent
The True Naturalism
The Two Kinds Of Naturalism
The Unconscious
The Unity Of Consciousness
The Views Of Albrecht And Schneider
The Views Of Botanists Illustrated
The World And God
Theory Of Definite Variation
Theory Of Life
Underivability
Various Forms Of Darwinism
Virchow's Caution
Virchow's Position
Weismann's Evolutionist Position
Weismannism
What Is Distinctive In The Naturalistic Outlook
What Is Distinctive In The Religious Outlook



The Law Of The Conservation Of Energy








Helmholtz's proof established mathematically what Kant had already, by
direct insight, advanced as an a priori fundamental axiom: that in any
given system the sum of energy can neither increase (impossibility of a
perpetuum mobile) nor diminish (there is no disappearance of energy, but
only transformation into another form). But even the vitalist had no need
to deny this proposition. The "energy" which is required for the work of
directing, setting agoing, changing and rearranging the chemico-physical
processes in the body, and bringing about the effective reactions to
stimuli which result in "development," "transmission," "regeneration," and
so on--if indeed any energy is required--of course could not come "from
within" as a spontaneous increase of the existing sum of energy--that
would, indeed, be a magical becoming out of nothing!--but must naturally be
thought of as coming "from without." The appeal to the law of the
conservation of energy is therefore in itself irrelevant; but it conceals
behind it an assertion of a totally different kind, namely, that in
relation to physico-chemical sequences there can be no "without," nothing
transcending them--an assertion which Helmholtz's arguments cannot and were
never intended to establish. But before any definite attitude to this
newly imported assertion could be taken up, it would require to be
distinctly defined, and that would lead us at once into all the depths of
epistemological discussion. Here, therefore, we can only say so much: If
this assertion is accepted it is well to see where it carries us; namely,
back to the first-described naive standpoint, which, without critical
scruples, quite seriously accepts the world as it appears to it for the
reality, and quite seriously speaks of an infinity lying in time behind
us--and therefore come to an end--and is not in the least disturbed from its
"dogmatic slumber" by this or any of the other great antinomies of our
conception of the universe. And it remains, too, for this standpoint to
come to terms with the fact that, in voluntary actions, of which we have
the most direct knowledge, we have through our will the power of
intervention in the physico-chemical nexus of our bodily energies--a fact
which implies the existence of a "without," from which interpolations or
influences may flow into the physico-chemical system, even if there be
none in regard to the domain of "vital" phenomena. And we should require
to find out through what parallelistic or abruptly idealistic system the
"without" was done away with in this case. For if a transcendental basis,
or reverse side, or cause of things, be admitted--even if only in the form
of our materialistic popular metaphysics (the "substance" of Haeckel's
"world-riddle")--then a "without," from which primarily the cosmic system
with its constant sum of matter and energy is explained, is also admitted,
and it is difficult to see why it should have exhausted itself in this
single effort.





Next: Criticisms Of The Mechanistic Theory Of Life

Previous: Machnical Theories Criticism



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