Can Humanity Learn to Become Civilized? The Crisis of Science without Civilization

Journal of Applied Philosophy 17 (1):29-44 (2000)

Authors
Nicholas Maxwell
University College London
Abstract
Two great problems of learning confront humanity: learning about the nature of the universe and our place in it, and learning how to become civilized. The first problem was solved, in essence, in the 17th century, with the creation of modern science. But the second problem has not yet been solved. Solving the first problem without also solving the second puts us in a situation of great danger. All our current global problems have arisen as a result. What we need to do, in response to this unprecedented crisis, is learn from our solution to the first problem how to solve the second. This was the basic idea of the 18th century Enlightenment. Unfortunately, in carrying out this programme, the Enlightenment made three blunders, and it is this defective version of the Enlightenment programme that we have institutionalized in 20th century academic inquiry. In order to solve the second great problem of learning we need to correct the three blunders of the traditional Enlightenment. This involves changing the nature of social inquiry, so that social science becomes social methodology or social philosophy, concerned to help us build into social life the progress-achieving methods of aim-oriented rationality, arrived at by generalizing the progress-achieving methods of science. It also involves, more generally, bringing about a revolution in the nature of academic inquiry as a whole, so that it takes up its proper task of helping humanity learn how to become wiser by increasingly cooperatively rational means. The scientific task of improving knowledge and understanding of nature becomes a part of the broader task of improving global wisdom.
Keywords Climate crisis  Global problems  Civilization  Science  Academic revolution  Wisdom  Social progress  Reason
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/japp.2000.17.issue-1
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Muller’s Critique of the Argument for Aim-Oriented Empiricism.Nicholas Maxwell - 2009 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 40 (1):103-114.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

From Knowledge to Wisdom.Nicholas Maxwell - 2009 - In David Cayley (ed.), Ideas on the Nature of Science. New Brunswick, Canada: Goose Lane Editions. pp. 360-378.
Science and the Environment: A New Enlightenment.Nicholas Maxwell - 1997 - Science and Public Affairs (Spring 1997):50-56.
The Life between Science, Technology and Humanism.Yun Zhang - 2005 - Philosophy and Culture 32 (6):19-33.
How Universities Can Help Create a Wiser World.Nicholas Maxwell - 2014 - Times Higher Education , No. 21 P. 30 (2136):30.
Two Great Problems of Learning.Nicholas Maxwell - 2003 - Teaching in Higher Education, 8 (January):129-134.
Can The World Learn Wisdom?Nicholas Maxwell - 2015 - Philosophy Now (108):32-35.
Humanity Civilizational Catastrophe And Its Basic Categories.Alexandr Zakharov - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 24:63-70.
The Philosophy of the Wolf State.W. R. Inge - 1943 - Philosophy 18 (69):6 - 16.
Primal Tao and Civilized Ethos.Walter Robinson - 1993 - Dissertation, California Institute of Integral Studies

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-02-20

Total views
43 ( #207,706 of 2,285,894 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
40 ( #23,321 of 2,285,894 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature