Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 59.djvu/371

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SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY.

SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY.
By PROFESSOR R. M. WENLEY,

UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN.

WHETHER the average man recognize the situation or palter with it, there can be no doubt that a dualism, a separation, if not an antagonism, between science and religion forms one conspicuous phenomenon of modern life. True, palliating circumstances may have eased or disguised it somewhat in recent years. But palliation was always a makeshift, and, everything considered, the fundamental opposition remains, little mitigated. Of course, we may allege that religion and theology are by no means identical, and that the latter rather than the former withstands scientific views and conclusions. Yet, when we summon courage to be quite frank with ourselves, we must admit freely that religion, as an organized social factor, is so bound up with theological presuppositions as to render this distinction more of a subterfuge than a solution. Again, many in these days seem to think that another marked contrariety of interest characterizes the relation between science and philosophy. And, indeed, one must admit that, altogether apart from theoretical problems, certain features of the academic world, in such countries as Scotland and the United States, for example, afford basis for this prevalent opinion. In the Scottish universities one-half of the professors of philosophy are clergymen. In the universities and colleges of the United States the theological affiliations are even more intimate. Speaking from memory, I recall that in only three of our nine leading universities do we find the philosophical departments free from clerical influence, while, in the lesser institutions, clerical control constitutes the rule, not the exception. Small wonder, then, if many have identified the tendencies of philosophy with the theological, as opposed to the scientific, side of contemporary controversy.

But, if manifold causes thus support the view that science and philosophy must necessarily conflict, there happen to be other aspects of the matter well worth consideration. In Germany, for instance, the home land of philosophical inquiry during the nineteenth century, the progress of science has been exercising decisive influence on speculative thought for a generation at least. Furthermore, the rise and development of experimental psychology has induced many, whose main work lies on the philosophical rather than on the scientific side