Monday, February 6, 2012

Ludwig Feuerbach 10: science & history

“Anatomy, physiology, medicine, chemistry know nothing about the soul, God, etc. We only know about them from history.” — Ludwig Feuerbach

I haven't sourced this quote. I found it in one of the secondary works I've been reading. It's different from what I've been quoting from Feuerbach, which emphasizes nature, the concrete, and immediacy. But emphasizing nature is not equivalent to emphasizing the natural sciences. Feuerbach's dictum would contradict today's "new atheist" conceit that religion can be read off directly from evolutionary theory and brain science. Of course, we have to know something about the biological underpinnings of imagination, projection, etc. to determine both the basis and propensity for the idealistic inversion of reality, but I've been arguing along similar lines: we can't understand these supernaturalist concepts from raw physical science alone, excising real history.

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