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Stages of ThoughtThe Co-Evolution of Religious Thought and Science$
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Michael Horace Barnes

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195396270

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195396270.001.0001

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The Decline and Recovery of Classical Rationality in the West

The Decline and Recovery of Classical Rationality in the West

Chapter:
(p.132) 7 The Decline and Recovery of Classical Rationality in the West
Source:
Stages of Thought
Author(s):

Michael Horace Barnes

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195396270.003.0008

In religious thought, the issue that most directly indicates a tension between concrete operational and formal operational thought is that of miracles. From Augustine and on into the 16th and 17th centuries, this was a troublesome topic. The fewer the miracles, the greater the intelligibility of the world. For a religion which believes that an Intelligent Being designed and created the universe, there is only one miracle compatible with an orderly natural world—the ongoing miracle of creation. Augustine's approach to miracles carried great authority, but even he had a difficult time making up his mind on how to deal with them. He ended up with as many as four different theories about miracles. The resurgence of western Europe began with the creation of new wealth, as a result of many technological advances. Learning also expanded greatly. Meanwhile, 13th-century nominalism focused on the dispute over God's power.

Keywords:   miracles, Augustine, God's power, nominalism, Francis Bacon

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