Cosmos, the Meaningful Construct
According to the modern conception, nature is essentially a mechanism devoid of will. However, the distinction between the scientific and the artistic modes of describing nature appears to be a result of the evolution of human thought. The ancients did not draw a distinction between cosmic and psychic phenomena. According to the Platonic view, the physical existence embodies value and meaning: it is the product of a will. The Epicureans, in contrast, viewed nature as a mechanism without value, but they too introduced will as a power capable of changing the deterministic causal order. Epicurus, like Plato, saw human life as having an aim; he too introduced value by recognizing free will as a constitutive power of the cosmos. Although modern natural sciences avoid teleology in their descriptions of the structure of nature, the modern conception of the human being as capable of understanding the mathematical language of the cosmos seems to bear a teleological element in the will to understand this language. Conceiving cosmos as a part of the world in which science is a practice among others, I argue that attribution of value to it is not only possible, but fruitful, provided that naïve and wicked views are avoided.