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Dialogues between Faith and ReasonThe Death and Return of God in Modern German Thought$
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John H. Smith

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449277

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449277.001.0001

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God and the Logos of Scientific Calculation (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Pascal)

God and the Logos of Scientific Calculation (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Pascal)

(p.45) Chapter 2 God and the Logos of Scientific Calculation (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Pascal)
Dialogues between Faith and Reason

John H. Smith

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the emergence in the seventeenth century of a new kind of logos modeled on the natural sciences (especially physics) and mathematics and places it in the context of (Judeo-Christian) religious thinking. It begins with a discussion of René Descartes's arguments on the inherence of reason, in the form of mathematical ratio, within faith, and how his modern philosophy sparked new tensions between reason and faith. It then considers the three major ideas that Baruch Spinoza contributed to modern thinking about God as well as Georg Wilhelm Leibniz's conceptions of God, man, and the universe. In particular, it explores Leibniz's “proof” for the existence of God based on the principle of sufficient reason. It also comments on Blaise Pascal's conception of faith based on feeling and nonrational experience.

Keywords:   logos, natural sciences, mathematics, René Descartes, reason, faith, Baruch Spinoza, God, Georg Wilhelm Leibniz, Blaise Pascal

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