The Ninth Bridgewater Treatise

The Ninth Bridgewater Treatise

by Charles Babbage


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Charles Babbage (1791-1871) was an English mathematician, philosopher and mechanical engineer who invented the concept of a programmable computer. From 1828 to 1839 he was Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, a position whose holders have included Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking. A proponent of natural religion, he published The Ninth Bridgewater Treatise in 1837 as his personal response to The Bridgewater Treatises, a series of books on theology and science that had recently appeared. Disputing the claim that science disfavours religion, Babbage wrote 'that there exists no such fatal collision between the words of Scripture and the facts of nature'. He argues on the basis of reason and experience alone, drawing a parallel between his work on the calculating engine and God as the divine programmer of the universe. Eloquently written, and underpinned by mathematical arguments, The Ninth Bridgewater Treatise is a landmark work of natural theology.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781108000000
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 07/20/2009
Series: Cambridge Library Collection - Science and Religion Series
Pages: 252
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Nature of the argument; 2 Argument in favour of design from the changing of laws in natural events; 3. Argument to show that the doctrines in the preceding chapter do not lead to fatalism; 4. On the account of the creation, in the first chapter of Genesis; 5. Further view of the same subject; 6. Of the desire of immortality; 7. On time; 8. Argument from laws intermitting; 9. On the permanent impression of our words and actions on the globe we inhabit; 10. On Hume's argument against miracles; 11. A priori argument in favour of the occurrence of miracles; 12. Thoughts on the nature of future punishments; 13. Reflections on free will; 14. Thoughts on the origins of evil; 15. Conclusion; Appendix.

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