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Samuel Alexander

1859-1938. Jewish philosopher. Born in Sydney, Australia, he became a fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, and (in 1893) professor of philosophy at Manchester. Alexander is best known for his work Space, Time and Deity (1920), in which he sought to reconcile philosophy with the ideas of his day, dominated by materialism, evolution, belief in progress, and (later) relativity. Starting with Spinoza's* static concept of the god-world, he made it dynamic by “taking time seriously.” Matter, he taught, “emerges” from motion in space-time; mind from brain structure; deity from cosmic structure (in fact, several deities may emerge). God exists only in the sense that the universe tends, in evolution, to produce a deity-quality.