Kinds of Knowledge

A writer in the April number of the Atlantic Monthly, one having intimate experience for twenty years with physical science, said that there are three kinds of knowledge: intuitive, mathematical, and scientific; and he said that "all three types of knowledge are more similar than most laymen think." "It is very doubtful whether any of our theories about the formation of the universe have much greater validity than myths, for the simple reason that we are now and seem destined to remain ignorant of the initial condition of the matter composing this universe." Other quotations from the same writer follow:

"The religious person or the mystic has intuitive knowledge. This knowledge has emotional validity, and that emotional validity, for the persons accepting it, is its truth. It does not depend upon logic, nor does it require verification in experience. Its certitude is compelling and final."

"The paramount thing in science is checking up against the phenomena our senses bring us, which we call reality. As we apprehend reality more completely, scientific principles must fall and be rebuilt, using logic and mathematics in the process. But scientific exactitude (and therefore scientific certainty) can never be absolute. Such certitude is possible only in a theoretical system like mathematics, or in an intuitive but emotionally valid system like a religion."

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Spiritual Gravitation and Reward
May 2, 1931

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