Saturday, June 3, 2023


      It is not only in science that this attitude of critical reflection is maintained.  Matthew Arnold famously described culture as "a pursuit of our total perfection by means of getting to know, on all matters which most concern us, the best which has been thought and said in the world, and, through this knowledge, turning a stream of fresh and free thoughts upon our stock notions and habits."  Like so many people wedded to the nineteenth-century view of science, Dawkins overlooks the nineteenth-century reaction—which said, "Wait a minute: science is not the only way to pursue knowledge.  There is moral knowledge too, which is the province of practical reason; there is emotional knowledge, which is the province of art, literature, and music.  And just possibly there is a transcendental knowledge, which is the province of religion.  Why privilege science, just because it sets out to explain the world?  Why not give weight to the disciplines that interpret the world and so help us to be at home in it?"

-Roger Scruton, On Human Nature

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