IN A letter to the editor at The New Oxford Review, the Rev. Kenneth Baker writes:
Radical informality is an assault on form. Form in our culture has taken a big hit since the 17th century. Jay Richards, in his book God and Evolution, points out that Descartes identified quantity with essence and thereby eliminated form. We know from Aristotle that there are four causes: material, formal, efficient, and final. Since Descartes, science has discarded formal and final causality; for modern science, the only real causes are material and efficient. One result is that, if there is no form to make a thing be what it is, then each thing is just an accumulation of atoms and molecules that can be arranged in any way. According to this thinking, there is no formal difference between a dog and a cat. And if there is no formal or final cause, then nothing really makes any sense — and you can do or dress as you will.
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