Modern Science and Human Values: A Study in the History of Ideas

Modern Science and Human Values: A Study in the History of Ideas

Modern Science and Human Values: A Study in the History of Ideas

Modern Science and Human Values: A Study in the History of Ideas

Excerpt

The ensuing study is addressed primarily neither to scientists nor to historians. In writing it the author had in mind two groups of people. On the one hand, there are people like himself, inquisitive laymen in these fields, who, bewildered by the cross-currents of contemporary thought, wish to get some perspective by means of an historical approach. On the other, there are students, some looking ahead to careers in science, medicine or engineering, who desire a broader cultural framework for their subjects than their technical training promises; others in philosophy and the humanities who want an outlook on modern scientific method and its relations to human values other than that offered from the stony and narrow path of some actual scientific pursuit. The author has no special qualifications in the way of scholarship in the areas involved, and certainly puts forth no claim to having established any new theories. If he has made any contribution it is in the tracing out of certain clusters of ideas and their association with certain attitudes that have profoundly affected the modern mind. He hopes and believes that the insights which this sort of approach can give will be of help in gaining that kind of objectivity concerning itself which the present age so greatly needs.

Several people have helped to make this book in its present form possible. I hope they will not be condemned too severely for their parts in it; in any case, the author is deeply indebted to them.

First, there are those who have read the manuscript, at various stages, and encouraged its publication. They are Professor Ralph Ellsworth, Director of Libraries at the State University of Iowa, Professor Lewis Zerby of the Department of Philosophy at Michigan State College, Professor George Mosse of the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin, Doctor Nathan Womack, Head of the Department of Surgery in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina, Mr. Lambert Davis, Director of the University of North Carolina Press, and Professor Henry Margenau of the Sloane Physics Laboratory, Yale University, who, it should be added, expressed some disagreement with the author's general ac-

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