Is Science Neurotic?

Nicholas Maxwell (2004) Is Science Neurotic? (First ed.). Imperial College Press: London.

In this book it is argued that science suffers from a damaging but rarely noticed methodological disease, called here rationalistic neurosis. Science fails to acknowledge explicitly problematic assumptions having to do with metaphysics, values and politics. These assumptions are repressed, with damaging consequences for science. But it is not just the natural sciences which suffer from this condition. The contagion has spread to the social sciences, to philosophy, to the humanities more generally, and to education. The whole academic enterprise, indeed, suffers from versions of the methodological disease. It has extraordinarily damaging long-term consequences. For it has the effect of preventing us from developing traditions and institutions of learning rationally devoted to helping us learn how to make progress towards a wiser, more civilized world. The book argues for a revolution in the aims and methods of science, and of academic inquiry more generally, so that the basic aim becomes to seek and promote wisdom, taken to be the capacity to realize what is of value in life for oneself and others – wisdom thus including knowledge and technological know-how, but much else besides.

(My publication)Posted:Jun 30 2004, 06:00 PM by NickMaxwell
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