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Cosmos & Transcendence

Cosmos & Transcendence

Breaking Through the Barrier of Scientistic Belief

By Wolfgang Smith

180 pp

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About the Book

In the present work, Wolfgang Smith presents an insider’s critique of the scientific world-view based upon the sharp but often overlooked distinction between scientific truth and scientistic faith. With elegance and clarity, he demonstrates that major tenets promulgated in the name of Science are not in fact scientific truths but rather scientistic speculations—for which there is no evidence at all. Step by step the reader is led to the astonishing realization that the specifically ‘modern’ world is based intellectually upon nothing more substantial than a syndrome of Promethean myths. But this is only half of what the book accomplishes. Its primary contribution is to recover and reaffirm the deep metaphysical and religious insights that have come down to us through the teachings of Christianity. And herein lies the true worth of this remarkable treatise: having broken the grip of scientistic presuppositions, the author succeeds admirably in bringing to view great truths that had long been obscured.

 




Praise

“Cosmos and Transcendence is an excellent book, and would be an asset in any course dealing with science and philosophy, or the history of science. It is also most fascinating reading, and would be a welcome addition to any library.”

— HAROLD HUGHESDON
The Wanderer

“Wolfgang Smith is as important a thinker as our times boast.”

— HUSTON SMITH
author of The World’s Religions

“Having traced the degeneration of the mechanistic outlook into subjectivism and pseudoscience, Dr. Smith concludes his book with a profound reflection on the fall of man and its implications for the pursuit of knowledge. . . . This is a serious work which will repay close attention.”

— ROBERT P. ROONEY
Homiletic & Pastoral Review

“We are astounded to see the revival of philosophical doctrines long thought dead in a scientific context. . . . This book will repay study, especially its brilliant third chapter, ‘Lost Horizons’.”

— JOHN C. CAIAZZA
Modern Age

“This is a very interesting book for the general reader as for the scientist.”

— FELLOWSHIP OF CATHOLIC SCHOLARS NEWSLETTER




About the Author

Wolfgang Smith was born in Vienna in 1930. At age eighteen he graduated from Cornell University with majors in physics, mathematics, and philosophy. At age twenty he received his Master’s degree in theoretical physics from Purdue University, and climbed the Matterhorn. After contributing to the theoretical solution of the re-entry problem as an aerodynamicist at Bell Aircraft Corporation, Smith earned his doctorate in Mathematics at Columbia University, subsequently embarking upon a 30-year career as a Professor of Mathematics at MIT, UCLA, and Oregon State University. Despite his impeccable credentials in physics, mathematics, and philosophy, Wolfgang Smith is at heart an outsider not only in regard to these academic disciplines, but more profoundly, in reference to the post-Enlightenment premises of our contemporary world. Finding himself, thus, irreconcilably at odds with the prevailing Zeitgeist, Smith decided to forego a professional career in the fields of his primary interest—i.e., physics and philosophy—in favor of pure mathematics: the one and only academic discipline, he avers, in which “political correctness” can find no foothold. And so he enjoyed the luxury of pursuing a respected university career while being at liberty, as he puts it, “to remain perfectly sane.” It is no wonder, then, that when he finally confronted the so-called quantum enigma, Smith perceived the issue in a very different light than his peers. The problem all along had actually not been “technical”! It was not a question to be resolved by way of differential equations, nor primarily a matter of finding something new—but one of jettisoning an entire Weltanschauung. And for Wolfgang Smith this posed no difficulty: he had in fact done so decades earlier, as can be discerned in his remarkable series of publications.

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