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Jacques Maritain 's Philosophy Of Nature Essay

Decent Essays
We live in a world where contemporary science has taken a powerful clench as the sole means of satisfying our hunger for knowledge of all things. But what exactly is science? To define something we most often have to state its boundaries, just like how you know the province of British Columbia by its borderlines. Furthermore, what happened to the philosophy of nature? What fundamental role does it play in our quest for knowledge? I will attempt to answer these questions by defining philosophy of nature and the contemporary sciences and how they relate to each other as detailed in Jacques Maritain’s Philosophy of Nature.

To understand the philosophy of nature, we must define the three ways our mind abstracts or conceptualizes knowledge; Maritain calls it the three degrees of abstractive visualization. At the first degree we have “being as subject to change” (Maritain 13). The mind abstracts from singular sensible matter, matter that is changeable, and leaving behind certain aspects like its location, colour, and size to know what it is. For example, looking upon a tree, the mind leaves behind its whereabouts and wants to get at what it is – namely, treeness.

At the second level of abstraction, the mind knows being as quantity or mathematical knowledge. This notion must use matter but it can be conceived without sensible matter (13). For example, you see a pizza and you can conceive of a circle with two cuts you will have four slices. Now, you can abstract that
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