What kind of inquiry can best help us create a good world?

Nicholas Maxwell (1992) What kind of inquiry can best help us create a good world?, Science, Technology and Human Values, vol. 17, pp. 205-227.

In order to create a good world, we need to learn how to do it - how to resolve our appalling problems and conflicts in more cooperative ways than at present. And in order to do this, we need traditions and institutions of learning rationally devoted to this end. When viewed from this standpoint, what we have at present - academic inquiry devoted to the pursuit of knowledge and technological know-how - is an intellectual and human disaster. We urgently need a new, more rigorous kind of inquiry that gives intellectual priority to the tasks of articulating our problems of living and proposing and critically assessing possible cooperative solutions. This new kind of inquiry would have as its basic aim to improve, not just knowledge, but also personal and global wisdom - wisdom being understood to be the capacity to realize what is of value in life. To develop this new kind of inquiry we will need to change almost every branch and aspect of the academic enterprise.



(My publication)Posted:May 31 1992, 06:00 PM by NickMaxwell
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