Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search


Alternative forms[edit]


physico- +‎ theology


physicotheology (plural physicotheologies)

  1. (philosophy, theology, dated) The view that evidence and sound arguments for God's existence can be derived from a study of the natural world; a study of the natural world intended to provide such evidence.
    • 1713, William Derham, Physico-Theology, or, A Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God, from His Works of Creation, 5th ed. (1720), London, book I, p. 36:
      What else can be concluded, but that all was made with magnificent Design, and that all the whole Structure is the Work of some intelligent Being; some Artist, of Power and Skill equivalent to such a Work?
    • 1865, "Büchner's Force and Matter," Anthropological Review, vol. 3, no. 8, p. 28:
      We have been rather severe in the foregoing observations on Dr. Büchner's work, because it belongs to a school of physico-theology, which, whether on the affirmative or negative side, we hold to be equally opposed to the true interests of science.
    • 1989, Thomas B. Gilmore, "Implicit Criticism of Thomson's 'Seasons' in Johnson's 'Dictionary'," Modern Philology, vol. 86, no. 3, p. 269:
      Indeed, Creation, like a number of passages in The Seasons, furnishes excellent examples of physicotheology, helpfully defined by Harry Solomon as "the use of the scientific examination of nature to establish and raise admiration for the existence and providence of God."
    • 2002, "Abstracts of Colloquium Papers: 'On Kant's Only Possible Argument in Support of a Demonstration of the Existence of God' by Martin Schönfeld," Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, vol. 75, no. 3, p. 127:
      Some claim that Kant's discussion amounts to a refutation of physicotheology and thus does not result in an argument from design.

See also[edit]


  • The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Paul Edwards (ed.), Macmillan, 1967. See: "Physicotheology" by Meyrick H. Carré, vol. 6, pp. 300-305.