Foundations > Reason and Scientific Endeavor

Index  
 
 
To analyse causal connection, which belongs to the world of time, thought and logic, we use reason, thinking. Acausal connection, by contrast, is apprehended through the intuition. In our western culture, we have come to contrast reason with irrationality, science with superstition. In so doing, we came close to denying the validity of any insight arising from the subjective nature of intuition, claiming that only validation by repeatable experiment could provide authentic credentials for any proposition about the nature of reality. Although the tide is already receding from this extreme position, we still need, it seems to me, both to clarify what we mean by intuitive apprehension, and to justify its claim to be able to enrich our knowledge of ourselves and the world, just as do the findings of scientific researchers.

We take reason to be the cornerstone of ‘the scientific method’. The Scientist is one of the priests or gurus of contemporary society. He (she at a pinch) embodies the disinterested, dispassionate search for truth. In fact, even the famous ‘scientific method’ turns out to be a modern myth. Accounts of it do not include any consideration of where theories come from. The scientist, in effect, begins from a puzzle, mystery or surprising event and then hunts for an explanation – like a young child, perhaps.

The difference between the scientist and the artist, between reasoning and intuiting, may be no more than a matter of character type. The scientist has a penchant for thought, sensation and the outer world, whilst the artist leans towards emotion, intuition and the inner world. Science has been particularly interested in the material world out there, in attempting to quantify the elements of its composition, and in discovering the laws governing its behaviour. This endeavour has created a society where the technologies resulting from the Scientific Project produce a kind of permanent revolution in our lives. From the petrol engine to the atom bomb and the computer, the matrix of our existence is formed and continually modified, re-formed by the products of science.
 
 
The Standby: half of the card called The Bystander, which was the very last reject from the final pack
The Standby: half of the card called The Bystander, which was the very last reject from the final pack
The Bystander: twinned with The Standby
The Bystander: twinned with The Standby
<< Prev|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|Next >>