What is it about?

For all of recorded human history it has been assumed that the world exists and operates for some reason or purpose, which we have variously attributed to God, Universal Reason, History, and other divine or impersonal forces. The essay questions this assumption. Cross-cultural in approach, it begins with a Zen Buddhist interpretation of the famous 'frog' haiku by the seventeenth-century Japanese poet Basho.

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Why is it important?

Our growing knowledge of how matter and energy came into existence -- in a spontaneous Big Bang, without reason or purpose, 13.8 billion years ago -- far outstrips our grasp of the religious and philosophical implications. Sooner or later we will have to reconcile our knowledge and our grasp: this essay argues that now is the time to do it.

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Readers are welcome to make what they will of it. Constructive comment/criticism would be much appreciated (correspondence address is included in the online and print editions of the essay).

Mr Geoffrey M. Wilkinson
Independent author

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This page is a summary of: The Frog and the Basilisk, Comparative and Continental Philosophy, May 2015, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1179/1757063815z.00000000048.
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