Pythagorean Triangle: or The Science of Numbers by George Oliver

By George Oliver

Contents: The Pythagorean Triangle defined, with a Dissertation at the Peculiarities of Masonic quantity; The Monad or element mentioned because the foundation of All Calculation; The Duad or Line Exemplified; representation of the Triad or Superfice; (The Superfice, or Equilateral Triangle, Triad, Ternary, or the quantity Three); innovative new release of the Tetrad or stable, Representing hearth; Geometrical program of the Pentad or Pyramid, Representing Water; limitless Divisibility of the Hexad or Double Triangle, Representing Earth; striking homes of the Heptad; Mysterious References of the Ogdoad or dice, Representing Air; historical Superstitions hooked up to the Ennead or Triple Triangle; excellent Nature of the Decad or Circle, and the appliance of the Dodecaedron as a illustration of the method of the Universe.

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Obvious examples would be statements such as this: "If intelligent life were to be found on other worlds, it would compromise the Christian revelation"; or (to borrow from T. H. Huxley), "If all cellular tissue is ultimately composed from the same basic elements, then we can speak of a physical basis of life"; or (to borrow from a nineteenth-century Catholic evolutionist, St. '9 Could we then use as a criterion for asserting "religious" or antireligious influence on scientific content the presence of such conditional statements, where (a) they feature as part of a clearly discernible polemical program, and (b) where the subject or their collaborators were actively engaged in substantiating the hypothesis?

JaegwonKim and ErnestSosa (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995), pp. 24-5. 9 "Metaphysics,"in Kim and Sosa, Companionto Metaphysics(cit. n. 8), p. 310. '0Peter Van Inwagen, Metaphysics (Boulder: Westview, 1993), p. 1; subsequentquotationson pp. 4-5. 34 STEPHENJ. WYKSTRA 2. Why does a Worldexist, a Worldwith the featuresidentifiedin 1? 3. How do we humansfit into it? VanInwagenthen sketchestwo opposing metaphysicalanswersto these questions. " Religious Beliefs But let us now pick up the distinctionfrom the otherend.

250-1. RELIGIOUSBELIEFS, METAPHYSICALBELIEFS,AND SCIENCE 33 first used in connection with Aristotle's famous work of that title, but the title seems not to come from Aristotle himself. "8 But to say the questions "go beyond physics" tells us more about what the questions are not than about what they are. What positive defining characteristics make metaphysical questions "metaphysical"? Looking at what current philosophers say on this, perhaps the most striking thing is their reticence to answer it.

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