Theory and History: An Interpretation of Social and Economic Evolution

Theory and History: An Interpretation of Social and Economic Evolution

Theory and History: An Interpretation of Social and Economic Evolution

Theory and History: An Interpretation of Social and Economic Evolution

Excerpt

Mortal man does not know how the universe and all that it contains may appear to a superhuman intelligence. Perhaps such an exalted mind is in a position to elaborate a coherent and comprehensive monistic interpretation of all phenomena. Man -- up to now, at least -- has always gone lamentably amiss in his attempts to bridge the gulf that he sees yawning between mind and matter, between the rider and the horse, between the mason and the stone. It would be preposterous to view this failure as a sufficient demonstration of the soundness of a dualistic philosophy. All that we can infer from it is that science -- at least for the time being -- must adopt a dualistic approach, less as a philosophical explanation than as a methodological device.

Methodological dualism refrains from any proposition concerning essences and metaphysical constructs. It merely takes into account the fact that we do not know how external events -- physical, chemical, and physiological -- affect human thoughts, ideas, and judgments of value. This ignorance splits the realm of knowledge into two separate fields, the realm of external events, commonly called nature, and the realm of human thought and action.

Older ages looked upon the issue from a moral or . . .

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