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Science and the Creative Spirit

Science and the Creative Spirit

Series: Heritage
Copyright Date: 1958
Pages: 166
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  • Book Info
    Science and the Creative Spirit
    Book Description:

    Men on both sides of the science-humanities barrier feel an urgent need for mutual understanding. This symposium sponsored by the American Council of Learned Societies, stressed that it is only in a spirit of disinterested yet sincere evaluation that science and humanism can escape disastrous consequences in the future.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-3259-2
    Subjects: Education, General Science, Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Foreword
    (pp. v-vi)
    D. H. Daugherty

    In February of 1950, nine scholars, chosen from the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, were brought to the offices of the American Council of Learned Societies, in Washington, to join with representatives of the staff in an informal conference on “Relationships between Science and the Humanities.” The plan for the meeting had been developed by Charles E. Odegaard, then Executive Director of the Council, in order to obtain suggestions towards a continuing program. As had been expected, the conference contemplated a broad variety of topics and questions, including the influences of science on society and of society on science, and...

  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Why This Book Was Written: An Introduction
    (pp. ix-xxviii)

    A student of the humanities may be pardoned for hesitating on the threshold of this book. He can neither escape the problem of values nor avoid the inevitable accusation of partisanship; the literature of the subject is already shot through with emotional overtones and sentimental associations. The intelligible content of such words as humanist and humanistic, scientist and scientific, is not neutralized with the passage of time; and the invention and use of phrases suggesting a reconciliation of the opposites,scientific humanist, humanistic sciences,do not quite silence the uneasy thought that we are here not dealing in truths of...

  5. I Scientific and Humanistic Knowledge in the Growth of Civilization
    (pp. 1-52)

    Lovers of letters and of life have looked upon the world but have found it hard to understand; scientists have tried to understand the universe, but have split it into fragments; how are these two viewpoints related to each other?

    What is the center of our attention when we are engaged in scientific work, and what is the chief object of our attention when we are looking upon life from the viewpoint of the humanities? Before we can try to answer this question, it may be useful to indicate the meaning which will be given to the words “science” or...

  6. II “Those Scattered Rays Convergent”: Science and Imagination in English Literature
    (pp. 53-88)

    The two great mental disciplines which we distinguish by the names scientific and humanistic are by nature not inevitably antagonistic; on the contrary, each is to a considerable extent impoverished by alienation from the other. The proper kind of harmonious and fruitful relation can be established between them only when there is a broad and sympathetic understanding of the nature of each discipline as an activity of the human mind, its aims, its methods, and the special qualities of its achievements. Further, there must be a recognition that both science and the humanistic pursuits are of fundamental importance as different,...

  7. III Tensions and Anxieties: Science and the Literary Culture of France
    (pp. 89-126)

    Karl Deutsch has pointed out in his essay that there are many areas in which the opposing claims of scientists and humanists have led to intellectual and emotional tensions, some of them acute. Thus the creative imagination of a Romantic poet or novelist may be criticized in the name of scientific objectivity and precision; the wayward emotionalism of an Alfred de Musset or the bombast of a Victor Hugo may be replaced by the documentary flatness of naturalism and the sharp and uncompromising impassivity of the Parnassian poets; and in turn, science, under the name of scientism, comes to be...

  8. IV The Creativity of Science
    (pp. 127-165)

    In the last few of man’s thousands of generations science has made possible a new society; new in organization, size, and technology, new in medicine, and new in its arts of war. In historical perspective, says the historian Herbert Butterfield, our world “is stranger than Nineveh and Tyre.” It is his judgment that no innovation in history is comparable to that of modern science in either the mass or the variety of its consequences.¹ Our world is strange, half familiar and half alien, even to us who inhabit it, as probably to their inhabitants Nineveh and Tyre were not. In...