Paley, Revd William (1743-1805)
priest and philosopher.
Natural Theology and its most popular vehicle, the argument from design, can be
traced back to the Anglican Divine, William Paley.
His 1807 work, The Argument from Design, is the starting point for his
theology of nature, which would later become a standard text for students
reading for the divinity degree at Cambridge University.
argument is one from analogy. It relies on the principle that if two things are
similar in some known respect they are likely to be similar in other respects.
These arguments enable us to draw conclusions as to likely similarities, where
these are not already known. The problem is that they presuppose a sense of
where the analogy holds and will help us to new truths and where it does not it
will let us down. He argues that we would still think something was a watch, so
long as it had the observable properties of a watch, even if we did not about
its origins. Whatever we suppose about its origins, the fact that the various
parts of a watch work together so as to tell the time would be evidence that it
had a designer.
by: Richard P Whaite
To return to the previous topic,
click on your browser's 'Back' button.