Science and the Humanities

Science and the Humanities – A plea from Robert M Young, Professor of Psychoanalysis at Sheffield Uni, and co-editor of NIBBS – Human Nature Review. [via David Morey on the MoQ Discuss Forum] In conclusion he writes ….

[Quote] In my opinion psychoanalysis, seen as a discipline in the humanities, is centrally complementary to biological approaches…. Among the most Socratic books I have read are two which I have recently had occasion to re-read and give to my children. Both are about many things, but the first looks centrally at what’s gone wrong with our conceptions of the relations between the technical and the world of values — Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974). The other is not as celebrated. Seventeen years after Robert Pirsig wrote Zen? he wrote Lila: An Enquiry into Morals. The central question in the book is whether a derelict, feckless, mendacious wreck of a woman had value. Throughout the book the issue hangs in the balance. I want to live in an academic world in which it is thought important and even natural that students in science, technology and medicine should read and reflect upon those books. [Unquote]

Like Dr James Willis and Bruce Charlton, he sees enormous significance of Pirsig to every day life of science, technology and medicine. Interesting too are the number of respected, best-selling science writers who pay homage to the superior quality of thinking by those writing in the arts and humanities (Pinker, Dawkins, Gell-Mann, Dupuy, etc.) Will we ever find a way out of the enormous blind-turn taken by the post-Socratic western world ?

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