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Grand Theories and Everyday Beliefs – Science, Philosophy, and their Histories - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Grand Theories and Everyday Beliefs: Science, Philosophy, and their Histories

Wallace Matson


After a Darwinian-type account of what beliefs are and how they arose in animals acting to cope with their environments–“low beliefs,” virtually all of which are true–Professor Matson shows how the invention of language led to imagination and thence to beliefs formed in other ways (“high beliefs”), not true though thought to be, which could be consolidated into mythologies, the first Grand Unified Theories of Everything. Science began when Thales of Miletus produced a Grand Theory based on low (“everyday”) beliefs. Matson traces the course of science and philosophy through seven centuries to t ... More

Keywords: evolution, Darwin, high/low belief, Christianity, logical possibility, commands, ethics, theology, possible worlds, Thales

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199812691
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199812691.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Wallace Matson, author
University of California, Berkeley