|About the Book|
For the past five hundred years the modern Western mind has been driven to assert, ever more forcefully, the primacy of matter over spirit in the fabric of existence. In the course of this development materialism and spiritual nihilism have come toMoreFor the past five hundred years the modern Western mind has been driven to assert, ever more forcefully, the primacy of matter over spirit in the fabric of existence. In the course of this development materialism and spiritual nihilism have come to dominate the academic worldview. In almost every field of intellectual inquiry the central thrust has been to make the real congruent with the physical as mathematics describes it. Nothing is real that cannot be measured or quantified. Where people once believed that humans have souls, that God exists, and that life continues after death, the modern academic establishment quite harshly insists that matter or energy is all that there is. As far as meaning is concerned, so we are told, existence is an absolute nothing---a law-abiding vacuum from which the human self is wholly disconnected.But are we told the truth? Does reason really force us to admit that our human consciousness is pointlessly attached to the physical forces and facts that supposedly constitute reality in its entirety? To show why the answer is ‘’no,’’ this book retraces the development of Western science and philosophy from its origins in Greek antiquity all the way up to present-day modern and post-modern thought. In following the twists and turns of history, the materialistic worldview is rigorously analyzed, acknowledged for its triumphs, but then revealed to be inherently flawed and fallacious. The range of topics that are covered in the process extends from ancient natural philosophy to modern quantum physics, from Stoic thought to Kantian ethics, from medieval scholasticism to Freudian psychoanalysis, from the Copernican Revolution to Darwins theory of evolution, and from Large Hadron colliders to near-death encounters.At every stage along the way, the larger historical and philosophical context is carefully established and then explored with respect to its present-day significance by the books two protagonists, Philonous and Sophie. The dialogues between these two interlocutors serve to enliven the books scholarly story-line by directly linking it to contemporary thought and actual human experience. The resulting interplay between regular prose and subsequent dialogue creates a rhythmic stylistic background against which the chosen theme of overcoming materialism can be pursued more effectively with argumentative flexibility and topical freedom.Note: the electronic version of this book is abridged---all the footnotes have been removed.to make the book more readily compatible with the Kindle format.