25
Art and Science

Knowledge is indivisible. When people grow wise in one direction, they are sure to make it easier for themselves to grow wise in other directions as well. On the other hand, when they split up knowledge, concentrate on their own field, and scorn and ignore other fields, they grow less wise—even in their own field.

How often people speak of art and science as though they were two entirely different things, with no interconnection. An artist is emotional, they think, and uses only his intuition; he sees all at once and has no need of reason. A scientist is cold, they think, and uses only his reason; he argues carefully step by step, and needs no imagination.

That is all wrong. The true artist is quite rational as well as imaginative and knows what he is doing; if he does not, his art suffers. The true scientist is quite imaginative as well as rational, and sometimes leaps to solutions where reason can follow only slowly; if he does not, his science suffers.

If we go through the history of human advance, we find that there are many places where art and science intermingled and where an advance in one was impossible without an advance in the other.

In early modern times, for instance, artists tried to work out ways in which to make the scenes they drew look more like the world they were trying to imitate. They drew on a flat surface, but they wanted to make their scenes look as though they had depth and "perspective."

To do that, they had to make some things look smaller in a very careful way. An Italian artist named Leone Battista Alberti published a book in 1434 in which he showed artists how to work out perspective properly.To do so, however, they had to use mathematics. It turned out that Alberti, in

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