Abstract

Abstract:

In an essay prompt in 1867, Walter Pater asks the young Gerard Manley Hopkins to comment on the "probable future of metaphysics." In his response, Hopkins neatly characterizes the stakes of the physiological accounts of psychology that were becoming dominant in Britain. "Psychology will exercise its own office over almost all the field now held to belong solely to metaphysics," he writes.1 However, metaphysics will not be made obsolete, because "material explanation cannot be refined into explaining thought and it is all to no purpose to show an organ for each faculty and a nerve vibrating for each idea" (OE 287). Scientific knowledge is perfectly valid, but remains "'scopeless' without metaphysics; this alone gives meaning to laws and sequences and causes and developments" (OE 288).

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-661X
Print ISSN
0028-6087
Pages
pp. 501-522
Launched on MUSE
2020-10-03
Open Access
No
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