The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the need for a fresh look at health and health care. This book offers a philosophical critique of medicine as applied science, but more positively it stresses the social causes of disease and argues for greater equity in the distribution of resources and the benefits of a wider evidence-base for medical treatments.
This book, a reprint of a special issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies, highlights some excellent examples of the complex nature of first-person thoughts as they figure in linguistics, autism, thought insertion in schizophrenia, and the phenomenon of mental autonomy.
This book views the sublime as the radically other, revealing to us our own finitude, and compares it with ideas of negative theology and post-modernism. Fane argues that art and religion attempt to break through the 'hermeneutic circle of knowledge', turning sleepwalkers into people who are alive to an (unknowable) truth.
This book gives a comprehensive account of the British Idealist approach to international relations from the 1880s to 1930s. In an attempt to historically contextualise the shifts in several British Idealists' approaches to the nature of international relations and human rights, it focuses on on the 2nd Boer War, WWI and the League of Nations.
This Special Issue of Cybernetics and Human Knowing contains rare material related to G. Spencer-Brown's book Laws of Form and its contents. In 1973 there was a conference at Big Sur at which Spencer-Brown discussed his calculus with a group of scientists. In this issue we print Walter Barney’s transcripts of the conference.
Jordan Peterson has attracted a high level of attention. Focusing on Peterson's ideas rather than controversies, this book explores his answers to perennial questions. Champagne unites the different strands of Peterson's thinking in a handy summary and then articulates his main critical concerns.
Free Speech and Tolerance in the Light of the Zero Aggression Principle Gerard Casey
In ZAP, Gerard Casey presents a critical and unified approach to both free speech and tolerance based on the Zero Aggression Principle, keeping the critical discussion topical and grounded by reference to current events.
This book is a collection of eight essays on the work of the twentieth-century English philosophic essayist, Michael Oakeshott. Six of them advance the view in different ways that Oakeshott's multifarious lifework may be understood as variations on a singular insight — that the structure of experiential reality is 'creative' or 'poetic'.
This volume in the St Andrews series contains a collection of essays from leading authors regarding the work of Elizabeth Anscombe, in particular issues in mind and metaphysics, and can be considered a partner work to 2016's The Moral Philosophy of Elizabeth Anscombe (also published by Imprint Academic).
In the 21st century, climate change is projected to increase the already significant immigration pressures that rich countries in Europe and North America face. However, the willingness of citizens in destination countries to let further foreigners immigrate is unlikely to keep pace with that increase. These issues are discussed in this book.
The sixth volume in the series Michael Oakeshott: Selected Writings. From the 1920s to the 1980s Oakeshott filled dozens of notebooks with his private reflections, both personal and intellectual. Their contents range from aphorisms to miniature essays, forming a unique record of his intellectual trajectory over his entire career.
This volume — a companion to Thomas Reid: Selected Philosophical Writings (2012) — makes available material from Thomas Reid's autograph manuscripts and student notes of his lectures. It includes an introductory essay by Nicholas Wolterstorff.
Freedom's Progress is a history of Western political thought, a conceptual map as it were, tracking the fitful journey of one particular concept — liberty — through time. The book covers the full philosophical canon — from Plato to Rawls — but is written from the perspective of the libertarian tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard.
The Many Faces of Coincidence proposes an inclusive categorisation for coincidences of all shapes and sizes. At the same time, some of the implications arising from the various explanations are explored, including the possibility of an underlying unity of mind and matter constituting the ground of being.
Essays by contributors from Britain, Canada, Hong Kong, India, and the USA provide a comprehensive critical assessment of the principal aspects of Oakeshott's thought that account for his contemporary relevance.
A Guide to the Classics is a light-hearted manual on how to pick the Derby winner. This long-awaited edition of Griffith and Oakeshott's classic text includes a new preface and foreword by horse racing journalist and author Sean Magee, and political commentator Peter Oborne.
This collection brings together the text of the monograph Art and Morality by the philosopher Richard Beardsmore along with fourteen other essays (both published and previously unpublished) in which he explores further some of the themes of his seminal book.
The pieces collected in this volume are not presented as amounting to an overall account or theory of our cultural condition. They are offered merely as examples of serious criticism, of what we need if we are to begin to think more profitably about our condition.
In this collection of new essays deriving from a conference held in Oxford aspects of Elizabeth Anscombe's moral philosophy are examined. Anyone interested in Anscombe's work all want to read this volume.
Spinoza: Basic Concepts explores key concepts involved in Spinoza's thinking, relating it to his understanding of philosophy, outlining the arguments and explaining the implications of each concept. Together, the chapters cover the full range of Spinoza’s interdisciplinary system of philosophy.
This fourth and final volume of writings by Elizabeth Anscombe reprints her Introduction to Wittgenstein's Tractatus, together with a number of later essays on thought and language in which she explores issues of reason, representation, truth and existence.
How expert opinions keep changing on life, the universe, and everything Martin Cohen
This book offers vital clues for understanding not only the way knowledge develops, but also into the dangers of accepting too readily or too uncritically the claims of experts of all kinds — even philosophical ones! The claims are invariably presented as objective fact, yet are rooted in human subjectivity.
The book examines why social radicals supported liberal education, why they have moved away from it, and what the implications are for the future of an intellectually stimulating and culturally literate education.
This book comprises eleven essays on Gentile's thought. Seven of these are new pieces written especially for Thought Thinking, supplemented by new English translations of four of Gentile's shorter works, selected to offer some direct insight into his ideas and style of writing.
This book is about education, learning, rational inquiry, philosophy, science studies, problem solving, academic inquiry, global problems, wisdom and, above all, the urgent need for an academic revolution.
Known today mainly as a teacher of Adam Smith (1723–90) and an influence on David Hume (1711–76), Francis Hutcheson (1694–1746) was a first-rate thinker whose work deserves study on its own merit. Spanning his entire literary career, this collection brings together selections from Hutcheson's greater and lesser known works.
In an age of ubiquitous digital media and permanent mutual observation scandals are omnipresent. This books describes recent case-(hi)stories, discussing public figures such as Tiger Woods and Anthony Weiner, the powerful and the helpless that suddenly find themselves in a worldwide pillory.
In this lucid and provocative book, Nicholas Maxwell argues convincingly that we need urgently to bring about a revolution in universities round the world so that their basic aim becomes wisdom, and not just knowledge.
This group of essays follows a similar eclectic pattern to that found in Tom Rubens' previous essay-collections published by Imprint Academic. The author's aim is to appeal widely but also succinctly: in a way that will stimulate readers to develop their own thoughts on, and consult more extensive treatments of, the subjects in question.
Part Two of the Liberal Socialism of T.H. Green Colin Tyler
This book presents a critical reconstruction of the social and political facets of Thomas Hill Green's liberal socialism. It builds on Colin Tyler's The Metaphysics of Self-realisation and Freedom (2010), although it can also be read as a freestanding work.
The Scottish Enlightenment provided the fledgling United States of America and its emerging universities with a philosophical orientation. This volume in the Library of Scottish Philosophy demonstrates the remarkable extent of this philosophical influence.
In this volume, the author sets aside the usual division between theories of punishment that do or do not focus on retribution. In its place he proposes and explores the distinction between internalist and externalist theories.
This book is volume one of a two-part series (volumes sold separately). Taken together, the two volumes of A Philosopher at War examine the political thought of the philosopher and archaeologist, R.G. Collingwood, against the background of the First and Second World Wars.
This collection of essays is eclectic, covering certain political, ethical, cultural and philosophical topics. But running through all the material is the evolutionary-naturalistic perspective stated in the opening essay.
Outline of a Theory from Semiotics, Philosophy and Sociology Martin Staude
This book presents a general and formal theory of meaning, signs, and language. The theory is presented in a clear and consistent way offering novel and provocative insights into the fundamental structures and processes of communication, cognition, and reality.
This book reappraises the idea of "friendship" in contemporary political thought. The author explores the possibilities for theorising friendship in modern times through an examination of three seminal thinkers: Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Schmitt.
This collection of recent scholarship on the thought of Michael Oakeshott includes essays by both distinguished and established authors as well as a fresh crop of younger talent. Together, they address the meanings of Oakeshott's conservatism through the lenses of his ideas on religion, history, and tradition.
This book argues that new concepts of emergent mental properties are needed because of the failure of mainstream approaches satisfactorily to address issues like subjective volition, autonomy and creativity. Personal consciousness is active and classifiable as a subset of the wider problem of biological causation.
This volume contains selections from the philosophical writings of James Frederick Ferrier (1808-1864). Ferrier was the Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of St Andrews between 1845 and 1864 and he was one of the earliest post-Hegelian British idealists.
Are you prepared, either as an atheist or a religious believer, to have your ideas of God, the self, other people, the body, the soul, spirituality, and faith challenged in an unexpected and original way? Here is a book that moves out from under and away from the received notions of those ponderous topics, whether or not you believe in the divine.
The author writes: In this project I set out to provide an answer to two fundamental questions of political philosophy. How can human beings live together, in conditions of co-operation over time, enjoying what Kant famously called 'perpetual peace'? And how much individual freedom can we expect to enjoy?
This book focuses on externalist approaches to art. It is the first fruit of a workshop held in Milan in September 2009, where leading scholars in the emerging field of psychology of art compared their different approaches using a neutral language and discussing freely their goals.
This book continues the discussions in "What a piece of work: on being human" (Imprint Academic 2006) and may be considered its sequel. In this volume the author leaves aside comparisons with our fellow creatures in order to attend to our own experience.
Bronowski was a professional scientist, scientific administrator, poet, philosopher, dramatist and TV and radio personality. His final achievement, the groundbreaking television series The Ascent of Man influenced and inspired millions of ordinary people by bringing an awareness of human evolution and the adventure of science into their homes.
A New Interpretation of the Political Thought of R.H. Tawney Gary Armstrong
This book provides a fresh and accessible guide to the ideas of R.H. Tawney for new readers and to set straight the record of what Tawney's political thought really is, warts and all, in place of the rather over-simplified picture painted by the major commentators.
A Constructivist Epistemology of Journalism and Journalism Education Bernhard Poerksen
In this book, Bernhard Poerksen draws up a new rationale for constructivist thinking and charts out directions for the imaginative examination of personal certainties and the certainties of others, of ideologies great and small.
A discussion of some matters preliminary to the study of political philosophy' and 'The philosophical approach to politics Michael Oakeshott
This volume contains two previously unpublished works, a manuscript entitled 'A Discussion of some Matters Preliminary to the Study of Political Philosophy', and the first version of a course of lectures on 'The Philosophical Approach to Politics' that Oakeshott gave between 1928 and 1930.
This book describes the application of Artificial Life simulation to evolutionary scenarios of wide ethical interest, including the evolution of altruism, rape and abortion, providing a new meaning to "experimental philosophy".
Mary Midgley's critique and reconstruction of evolution and its meanings Nelson Rivera
This book demonstrates that Mary Midgley's philosophy of evolution points the way towards considering the earth as our only true home, since we are products of this planet and its evolving and complex life along with every other organism.
The selections in this volume illustrate Brown's original ideas about mental science, cause and effect, emotions and ethics. They are preceded by an introduction situating Brown’s career and writings in their intellectual and historical context.
The author writes: In this project I set out to provide an answer to two fundamental questions of political philosophy. How can human beings live together, in conditions of co-operation over time, enjoying what Kant famously called 'perpetual peace'? And how much individual freedom can we expect?
This volume contains analyses and interpretations of the Behemoth: the structure of its argument, its relation to Hobbes's other writings, and its place in its philosophical, theological, political, and religious historical context.
The British idealists of the late 19th and early 20th century are best known for their contributions to metaphysics, logic, and political philosophy. Yet they also made important contributions to social and public policy, social and moral philosophy and moral education, as shown by this volume.
This volume brings together for the first time over a hundred of Oakeshott's essays and reviews, written between 1926 and 1951, that until now have remained scattered through a variety of scholarly journals, periodicals and newspapers.
A liberal education reader from Plato to the present day Anthony O'Hear
Liberal education is a term that has fallen from use in Britain, its traditional meaning now freely confused with its opposite. This book is intended to correct that misapprehension, through the presentation of original source material from the high points in the liberal education tradition with particular focus on the British experience.
This study reviews the many different bases for wanting to preserve the environment. By seeing how protagonists approach the same situation from different assumptions, some of the origins of environmental conflict may be established, and ways of resolving conflict can be identified.
A philosophical discussion of religion and its place in society. The book will examine the nature of faith and of the attacks upon it; considering both external and internal criticism - from non-believers and between believers.
A series of essays on the evolution of culture, dealing with topics including the city and consciousness, evolution of the afterlife, literary and mathematical archetypes, machine consciousness and the implications of 9/11, and the invasion of Iraq.
Discourse, Contingency and the Politics of Conversation Michael Minch
This book offers a description, explanation, and evaluation of Michael Oakeshott's democratic theory. He was not a democratic theorist as such, but as a twentieth-century English political theorist for whom liberal theory held deep importance, his thought often engaged democratic theory implicitly, and many times did so explicitly.
This book uses a neo-Aristotelian framework to examine human subjectivity as an embodied being. It examines the varieties of reductionism that affect philosophical writing about human origins and identity.
The Vocabulary of a Modern European State is the companion volume to The Concept of a Philosophical Jurisprudence and completes the enterprise of gathering together Oakeshott's previously scattered essays and reviews.
The new science explaining how the sexes relate at work, at play and in society Steve Moxon
Notwithstanding its provocative title, The Woman Racket is a serious scientific investigation into one of the key myths of our age – that women are oppressed by the 'patriarchal' traditions of Western societies.
Elizabeth Anscombe's forthright philosophy speaks directly to many religious and ethical issues of current concern.This collection of her essays forms a companion volume to the critically acclaimed Human Life, Action and Ethics published in 2005.
The essays in this volume are all inspired by the historical scholarship of J.C. Davis. Davis's analyses of groups like the Levellers and individuals like Gerrard Winstanley and Oliver Cromwell has reoriented the inquiry around the contemporary moral themes of liberty, authority and formality -- around which concepts this volume engages.
This polemical book examines the concept of sustainability and presents a critical exploration of its all-pervasive influence on society, arguing that sustainability, manifested in several guises, represents a pernicious and corrosive doctrine that has survived primarily because there seems to be no alternative to its canon.
Universalism in its old forms has, just like door-to-door milkmen, gone for good. But the search for some universally accepted ethical standards cannot be abandoned. Looking into our world from the classical Greek point of view, Yannis Andricopoulos wonders whether we cannot place Justice again at the heart of our morality.
A.L. Rowse called fellow-historian James Anthony Froude the 'last great Victorian awaiting revival'. The question of power is the problem that perplexes every age: in his historical works Froude examined how it applied to the Tudor period, and defended Carlyle against the charge that he held the doctrine that ‘Might is Right’.
This book argues that Collingwood's philosophy is best understood as a diagnosis of and response to a crisis of Western civilisation. He is demonstrated to be working in the traditions of Romanticism and 'historicism'.
Political Philosophy, Theology and Social Thought Colin Tyler
The British Idealist movement flourished between the 1860s and 1920s and exerted a very significant influence in the USA, India and Canada, most notably on John Dewey and Josiah Royce. This important collection widens access to unpublished material by transcribing, editing and then publishing the most significant pieces.
In his book The Moral Case against Religious Belief (1997), the author argued that some important virtues cease to be virtues at all when set in a religious context, and that a religious life is, in many respects, not a good life to lead. In this sequel he takes up the theme again.
This book argues that the novelist Joseph Conrad's work speaks directly to us in a way that none of his contemporaries can. Conrad's scepticism, pessimism, emphasis on the importance and fragility of community, and the difficulties of escaping our history are important tools for understanding the political world in which we live.
Siegfried J. Schmidt is closely associated in Germany with the cross-disciplinary research programme of Radical Constructivism. In Histories & Discourses he carries out a change of perspective from media and communication studies to studies of culture and the philosophy of language.
The work of Michael Oakeshott has retained a striking currency in philosophical discourse about education. In the light of this continuing interest and of Oakeshott's extensive writing on so many aspects of education, it is timely that a book be published on his thinking on the subject.
A philosopher and historian, Adam Ferguson occupies a unique place within eighteenth-century Scottish thought. Distinguished by a moral and historical bent, his work is framed within a teleological outlook that upholds the importance of action and virtue.
This volume illustrates the way political and social philosophers of 18th-century Scotland tried to answer the following question: 'What is, and what ought to be, the relationship between the modern market and stable, desirable social order?'
This volume concentrates on the period from the beginning of the 18th century to the latter part of the 20th. It is impossible to depict a single school of philosophical theology in Scotland across three centuries, yet several strains have been identified.
This book answers three questions: How did John Grote develop and contribute to modern Cambridge and British philosophy? What is the significance of these contributions to modern philosophy in general and British Idealism and language philosophy in particular? How were his ideas and his idealism incorporated into the modern philosophical tradition?
Dr Hay is Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Aberdeen. A zoologist by profession, his research has been guided by the hypothesis that religious or spiritual awareness is biologically natural to the human species and has been selected for in evolution.
This special double issue of Cybernetics and Human Knowing is comprised of a collection of papers devoted to the cybernetics and mathematics of Charles Sanders Peirce with a special focus on its synergies with George Spencer-Brown's thinking.
Developments in psychology mean that our view of persons is unlike the great teachers of the Axial Age -- the Buddha, Confucius, Zoroaster, etc. -- and therefore the God they made can no longer serve as ours. We have to make our own. So argues Ann Long in this fascinating exploration of personhood, religion and moral value.
Dugald Stewart became one of the most influential academics in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European 'Republic of Letters'. This volume brings together some of Stewart's philosophical writings.
Charles Taylor is a philosopher concerned with morality and the nature of the identity of individuals and groups in the West. This book offers an evaluation of Taylor's conception of self, and its moral and political possibilities.
GAIA, named after the ancient Greek mother-goddess, is the notion that the Earth and the life on it form an active, self-maintaining whole. With global warming now an accepted fact, the lessons of GAIA have never been more relevant and urgent.
Oakeshott's memorable lectures on the history of political thought, delivered each year at the London School of Economics, are now available in print for the first time as Volume II of his Selected Writings.
The Voice of Practice in the Conversation of Michael Oakeshott Andrew Sullivan
In this book Andrew Sullivan examines Oakeshott's transition from his original emphasis on philosophy as providing what was ultimately satisfactory in experience to his later emphasis on practical life.
This volume collects essays by accomplished scientists and philosophers, addressing numerous facets of the concept of determinism. The contributions cover viewpoints from mathematics, physics, cognitive science and social science as well as various branches of philosophy.
What is it for you to be conscious? To be conscious now, for instance, of the room you are in? Theories on offer divide into just two categories, labelled by Ted Honderich as devout physicalism and spiritualism.
This volume presents a collection of essays by the celebrated philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe. This collection includes papers on human nature and practical philosophy, together with the classic 'Modern Moral Philosophy'.
Machiavelli almost succeeded in removing morality from European politics and, indeed, since his day it has sometimes been assumed that morality and politics are separate. Ryder argues that the time has come for public policies to be seen to be based upon moral objectives.
'Politics is a noble, but also a dirty, business. To gain election — and retain office — politicians are frequently compelled to be dishonest. They engage in benevolent lying because obstruction by stupid voters will otherwise stop them advancing the national interest as they see it.' So claims the author of this eye-opening book.
The reality and validity of the moral sense — which ordinary people take for granted — took a battering in the last century. Haslam shows how important the moral sense is to the human personality and exposes the weakness in much current thinking that suggests otherwise.
This book suggests that Darwinian biology sustains conservative social thought by showing how the human capacity for spontaneous order arises from social instincts and a moral sense shaped by natural selection in human evolutionary history.
Gregory Bateson's work continues to touch others in fields as diverse as communication, ecology, anthropology, philosophy, family therapy, education, and mental/spiritual health. The authors in this special issue of Cybernetics & Human Knowing celebrate the Bateson Centennial.
The middle class provides British society with its stability and strength. According to Deane's contentious thesis, our middle class has abstained from its responsibility to uphold societal values, and the enormously damaging collapse of our society’s norms and standards is largely a result of that abdication.
As a child brought up among animals, Lynne Sharpe never doubted they were essentially 'creatures like us'. It came as a shock to learn that others did not agree. Here she exposes the bizarre way in which many philosophers — including even some great and humane ones — have repeatedly talked and written about animals.
This book argues that Oakeshott's characterisations of religious and poetic experience provide a more detailed account of the type of persona that emerged in response to what it perceived as an invitation to participate in moral association in the modern world.
Michael Oakeshott's Conception of Political Activity Suvi Soininen
This book presents a comprehensive study of Oakeshott's conception of political activity. The author first examines Oakeshott in the contexts of liberal, conservative and Idealist thought, and then presents a detailed interpretation of the change in his conception of politics in the context of British postwar political thought.
This volume brings together a diverse range of perspectives reflecting the international appeal and multi-disciplinary interest that Oakeshott now attracts. The essays offer a variety of approaches to Oakeshott's thought.
In this special issue of the Journal of Consciousness Studies David Hodgson defends a simple, robust account of the plain person's position on free will, and intends it to support equally robust views of personal responsibility for conduct.
In this new and entirely revised edition of his study of Green's theory of positive freedom, Ben Wempe argues that the far-reaching and beneficial influence of Green’s political doctrine, on public policy as well as in the field of political theory, was founded on a misinterpretation of his philosophical stand.
Human beings have an evolved but highly adaptable nature. This book sets out to establish a new framework for understanding human nature, from an evolutionary perspective but drawing on existing social sciences.
This brings together moral, social and political philosophers from Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the United States who explore a wide range of issues under the three headings of Philosophy, Society and Culture; Ethics, Economics and Justice; and Rights, Law and Punishment.
This anthology collects, for the first time in one volume, not only generous selections from each of Smith's books but also substantial selections from his other work, including his lectures on jurisprudence, his history and philosophy of science, his criticism and belles lettres, and his philosophy of language.
The philosophy of John Macmurray is only now receiving the attention it deserves. It is in the contemporary climate of dissatisfaction with individualism that Macmurray's emphasis on the relations of persons has come to the fore.
The first part of this selection — the first ever made from Beattie's prose writings — includes several key chapters from the Essay on Truth, along with extracts from all of Beattie's other works on moral philosophy. The second part of the selection is devoted to Beattie's contributions to literary criticism and aesthetics.
This book examines Oakeshott's political philosophy within the context of his more general conception of philosophical understanding. The book stresses the underlying continuity of his major writings on the subject and takes seriously the implications of understanding the world in terms of modality.
This study of T.H. Green views his philosophical opus through his public life and political commitments, and it uses biography as a lens through which to examine Victorian political culture and its moral climate.
This book presents the views of the founders of constructivism and modern systems theory, who are still providing stimulating cues for international scientific debate. Throughout, the central figure of the observer is examined with sophisticated wit and just enough irritating grit to create the pearl in the oyster.
In this book Marnie Hughes-Warrington begins with the facet of Collingwood's work best known to teachers — re-enactment — and locates it in historically-informed discussions on empathy, imagination and history education.
While many commentators have noted the importance of Hobbes for understanding Oakeshott's thought itself, this is the first book to provide a systematic interpretation of Oakeshott’s philosophy by paying close attention to all facets of Oakeshott’s reading of Hobbes.
Although Oakeshott's philosophy has received considerable attention, the vision which underlies it has been almost completely ignored. This vision, which is rooted in the intellectual debates of his epoch, cements his ideas into a coherent whole and provides a compelling defence of modernity.
This book argues that Collingwood developed a complete political philosophy of civilization. It also demonstrates that his philosophical work comprises a unity in which there is no fundamental discontinuity between his earlier and later writings.
The Liberty Option advances the idea that for compelling moral as well as practical reasons it is the free society -- with the rule of law founded on the principles of private property rights, its complete respect for individual sovereignty and properly limited legal authorities -- not one or another version of statism that serves justice best.
We are now so familiar and accepting of the State's pre-eminence in all things that few think to question it, and most suppose that democratic endorsement legitimizes it. The aim of this book is to present a compelling argument against both presumptions.
Philosophy can be very abstract and apparently remote from our everyday concerns. In this book the author brings out for the non-specialist the bearing that thinkers of the past have on the way we live now, on the attitude we have towards our lives, towards each other and our society, towards God and towards the ethical problems that confront us.
God In Us is a radical representation of the Christian faith for the 21st century. Following the example of the Old Testament prophets and the first-century Christians it overturns received ideas about God. God is not an invisible person 'out there' somewhere, but lives in the human heart and mind as 'the sum of all our values and ideals'.
Using theatre as a measure society's health, this book shows that Ancient Greece and Rome, Medieval Christendom and our own contemporary society all follow the same pattern: prosperity thrives on the conviction that the material world alone constitutes true 'reality’; but that very conviction leads to a rejection of the supernatural.