Access over 20 million homework & study documents
search

UCL The Crisis of Science without Civilization Analysis

Content type

User Generated

Subject

Philosophy

School

University College London

Type

Other

Rating

Showing Page:
1/39
1
Can Humanity Learn to become Civilized?
The Crisis of Science without Civilization
(Published in Journal of Applied Philosophy 17, 2000, 29-44.)
Nicholas Maxwell
Emeritus Reader in Philosophy of Science at University College
London
Email: nicholas.maxwell@ucl.ac.uk
Website: http://www.nick-maxwell.demon.co.uk
Abstract
Two great problems of learning confront humanity: learning
about the nature of the universe and our place in it, and
learning how to become civilized. The first problem was
solved, in essence, in the 17th century, with the creation of
modern science. But the second problem has not yet been
solved. Solving the first problem without also solving the
second puts us in a situation of great danger. All our current
global problems have arisen as a result. What we need to do,
in response to this unprecedented crisis, is learn from our
solution to the first problem how to solve the second. This
was the basic idea of the 18th century Enlightenment.
Unfortunately, in carrying out this programme, the
Enlightenment made three blunders, and it is this defective
version of the Enlightenment programme that we have
institutionalized in 20th century academic inquiry. In order
to solve the second great problem of learning we need to
correct the three blunders of the traditional Enlightenment.
This involves changing the nature of social inquiry, so that
social science becomes social methodology or social philosophy,

Sign up to view the full document!

lock_open Sign Up
Showing Page:
2/39
2
concerned to help us build into social life the progress-
achieving methods of aim-oriented rationality, arrived at by
generalizing the progress-achieving methods of science. It
also involves, more generally, bringing about a revolution in
the nature of academic inquiry as a whole, so that it takes up
its proper task of helping humanity learn how to become wiser
by increasingly cooperatively rational means. The scientific
task of improving knowledge and understanding of nature becomes
a part of the broader task of improving global wisdom.
--------------
Humanity faces two great problems of learning: learning
about the nature of the universe and our place in it, and
learning how to become civilized.
The first problem was cracked, in essence, in the 17th
century, with the birth of modern science. A method was
discovered for progressively improving knowledge and
understanding of the natural world, the famous empirical method
of science. There is of course much that we still do not know
and understand, three or four centuries after the birth of
modern science; nevertheless, during this time, science has
immensely increased our knowledge and understanding, at an ever
accelerating rate. And with this unprecedented increase in
scientific knowledge and understanding has come a cascade of
technological discoveries and developments which have
transformed the human condition [1]. It is this that has made
the modern world possible, so different in a multitude of ways

Sign up to view the full document!

lock_open Sign Up
Showing Page:
3/39

Sign up to view the full document!

lock_open Sign Up

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Can Humanity Learn to become Civilized? The Crisis of Science without Civilization (Published in Journal of Applied Philosophy 17, 2000, 29-44.) Nicholas Maxwell Emeritus Reader in Philosophy of Science at University College London Email: nicholas.maxwell@ucl.ac.uk Website: http://www.nick-maxwell.demon.co.uk Abstract Two great problems of learning confront humanity: learning about the nature of the universe and our place in it, and learning how to become civilized. The first problem was solved, in essence, in the 17th century, with the creation of modern science. solved. But the second problem has not yet been Solving the first problem without also solving the second puts us in a situation of great danger. global problems have arisen as a result. All our current What we need to do, in response to this unprecedented crisis, is learn from our solution to the first problem how to solve the second. This was the basic idea of the 18th century Enlightenment. Unfortunately, in carrying out this programme, the Enlightenment made three blunders, and it is this defective version of the Enlightenment programme that we have institutionalized in 20th century academic inquiry. In order to solve the second great problem of learning we need to correct the three blunders of the traditional Enlightenment. This involves changing the nature of social inquiry, so that social science becomes social methodology or social philosophy, 1 concerned to help us build into social life the ...
Purchase document to see full attachment
User generated content is uploaded by users for the purposes of learning and should be used following Studypool's honor code & terms of service.

Anonymous
Really helped me to better understand my coursework. Super recommended.

Studypool
4.7
Trustpilot
4.5
Sitejabber
4.4