Document Type

Honors Thesis


Lewis’ central argument in The Abolition of Man explains the philosophical consequences of extending assumptions implicit within scientific methodologies and originally used to treat Nature to include a treatment of humans. This thesis elucidates Lewis’ philosophical concept of man’s “Power Over Nature” by providing the historical and philosophical context out of which it developed. Multi-disciplinary research relying on primary source documentation, secondary academic literature, biographical material, and philosophical text was used to synthesize a descriptive philosophical narrative in two parts. The first part consists in the historical basis for the shift in ideas involved in Lewis’ argument as manifest in the philosopher-scientists Galen and Bacon, and the second consists in contextualizing the argument within Lewis’ broader corpus. It was found that Lewis’ argument, when situated within its historical-philosophical context, is understood better both as an argument and in its application to modern philosophies of science.

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