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canada goose uk black friday The final round: Pinker vs. Wieseltier on scientismYou should read it for yourself (in fact, the whole exchange will give you a good take on where is at), but here are a few points from this last piece. Pinker avers once again that he not calling for a takeover of the humanities by science merely a beneficial infusion of science into some of the humanities, including lit crit, art, and history (note the language, very strong for Pinker):The very possibility of a synthetic understanding of human affairs, in which knowledge from the sciences can contribute to the humanities without taking them over, is inconceivable toWieseltier. Beginning with its tasteless title, his article steadily escalates the paranoia, tilting at the position I explicitly disavow, namely that science is «all there is,» that it is «a sufficient approach to the human universe,» that the humanities must goose outlet canada «submit to the sciences, and be subsumed by them,» that they must be the «handmaiden of the sciences, and dependent upon the sciences for their advance and even their survival,» that a «a scientific explanation, will expose the underlying sameness» and «absorb all the canada goose jacket uk realms into a single realm, into their realm.» If you are a scholar in the humanities, and fear that my essay advocates any of these lunatic positions, I am canada goose outlet price here to tell you: relax. As I official canada goose outlet wrote, and firmly believe, «the promise of science is to enrich canada goose outlet los angeles and diversify the intellectual tools of humanistic scholarship, not to obliterate them.»Steve also gives examples from his own research of when the reverse has happened: sciences have been helped by ideas from humanities. (In my view, the benefit is, however, largely in the other direction.) The tone of Steve piece is stronger than canada goose shop uk I ever seen in anything he written; he clearly feels deeply about the issue of scientism.There more, but I wanted to note how Steve responds to Wieseltier previous claim about religion: a small minority of believers in any of the scriptural religions, for example, have ever taken scripture literally. or elsewhere, knows that this claim is ludicrous. Almost every believer takes some scriptural claims literally (for Christians, the non negotiables are the divinity and resurrection of Jesus), and many take large dollops seriously.In defending religion,Wieseltierwrites, «Only a small minority of believers in any of the scriptural religions, for example, have ever taken scripture literally.» Really? How does he know?Wieseltierwrites as if his say so canada goose outlet orlando is all we need to move on to the next step of his argument. Let’s put aside the astonishing «have ever» part of the claim, and confine ourselves to the present. Recent polls show that between 30 percent (Gallup) to 60 percent (Rasmussen) of Americans believe that the Bible canada goose coats uk is «the actual word of God to be taken literally, word for word» hardly «a small minority.» Figures for believers in the world’s other scriptural religions are even higher: According to a recent Pew survey, between 54 and 93 percent of Muslims in the countries surveyed believe that the Quran should be read «literally, word for word.» The point is not thatWieseltieris factually mistaken in this assertion. The point is that a canada goose outlet nyc more scientific mindset would recognize that an empirical proposition demands empirical verification. The era in which an essayist can get away with ex cathedra pronouncements on factual questions in social science canada goose outlet mississauga is coming to an end.Wieseltier response seems almost sheepish (for him), and I sense he knows he got the worst of this exchange. He calls for canada goose parka uk a magisteria solution, with science and humanities kept separate, but with boundaries. So Wieseltier mischaracterizes Pinker completely (and Steve doesn get to respond) when Leon says (with a bit of snark):But the belief that science is supreme in all the contexts, or that it has the last word on all the contexts, or that all the contexts await the attentions of science to be properly understood that is an idolatry of science, or scientism. Pinker is wrong: I am not censoring scientists. They can say anything they canada goose outlet montreal want. But everything they say may not be met with grateful jubilation. So let the scientists in they are already swarming in to the humanities, but not as saviors or as superiors. And those swaggering scientists about whose intentions Pinker wants humanists to «relax»: they had better prepare themselves for a mixed reception over here, because over here the gold they bring may be dross.As canada goose outlet seattle you can see above, Steve never argued that science is, or should be, supreme in all the contexts. Indeed, in his earlier piece he noted that canada goose victoria parka outlet art and literature, while they might be informed in some ways by science, nevertheless have benefits independent of science. To me, those benefits include affirming our common humanity, being moved by the plight of others, even if fictional, and luxuriating in the sheer beauty of music, words, or painting. (Note, though, that one day science might at least explain why we apprehend that beauty.)Finally, Leon, who hasn a leg canada goose outlet in usa to stand on with his religion claim, responds to that with obfuscation:And a word about religion: Pinker is right to point out that most religion is folk religion. Intellectually sophisticated religious views are not held by most of the people who hold religious views, just as intellectually sophisticated scientific views are not held by most of the people who hold scientific views. The reputation of science should not be held hostage to folk science. Of course Pinker denies that there can be intellectually sophisticated religious views: «a more scientific mindset would recognize that an empirical proposition demands empirical verification.» So it would but a less scientific, and more capacious, mindset would recognize that religious faith is not just a set of empirical propositions, and that it is not inconsistent, when intelligently interpreted, with empirical verifications. There remains the question of why one would wish to interpret intelligently texts that seem in some ways unintelligent but that is a much larger discussion and a much deeper disagreement, which Pinker and I can pursue when we meet at the Consilience Caf, where canada goose parka outlet uk I will insist that we split the check.Note here that Wieseltier backhandedly admits that his earlier canada goose outlet near me claim was wrong. But he manages to get in a dig at science as well, arguing that science (which I take to me the average person understanding of science) is not intellectually sophisticated, either. But this avoids the issue. Even sophisticated believers (the equivalent of professional scientists) hold fundamentalist and superstitious views. Francis Collins, for instance, accepts both the resurrection and the divinity of Jesus. And what about William Lane Craig and his divine command theory, or John Haught and his Argument From Hot Beverages?As I said repeatedly, nearly all believers are fundamentalist in some ways, and that fundamentalism involves a combination of faith and the acceptance of propositions that are both empirical and wrong so Wieseltier is wrong on that count, too. Let me note that the dangers of faith canada goose outlet vip come precisely from its empirical content, not from the weekly forgathering of believers to sing, quaff wine, and smell the incense. It the combination of absolutism as expressed canada goose outlet legit in faith, and the notion that you have a handle on what God wants, that causes all the evils of religion in this world.As for religious faith being inconsistent, when intelligently interpreted, with empirical verifications, well, that just wrong. If Leon has empirical evidence for God or his will, let him give it to us immediately. (By the way, the inconsistent usage simply expresses Wieseltier residual doubt. He could have said but that sounds too strong. It reminds me of Orwell advice to avoid the un and in usage, giving as an example, not unblack dog ran over the not ungreen grass. Painting is almost as much about the chemistry of pigments and the geometry of optics as it is about emotional expression, even if the language typically used to describe those scientific parts canada goose outlet factory of the art stems from an older, less precise tradition. canada goose outlet hong kong And photography? That perhaps more science than art.And then there music and acoustics, Rodin and anatomy, ballet and physiology, every art form and the psychology of perception and emotion this notion that science has no business in the arts can only come from somebody who knows less than nothing about the arts.I was amazed by Wiesteltier on this. Just to highlight it:Wieseltier: a small minority of believers in any of the scriptural religions, for example, have ever taken scripture literally. {Lots of evidence showing he is wrong.}Wieseltier: religion is folk religion. Intellectually sophisticated religious views are not held by most of the people who hold religious views. other words, only those with sophisticated views count! How come people like Wieseltier get away with sneering at the masses and their religion when atheists are not allowed to?And those swaggering scientists about whose intentions Pinker wants humanists to «relax»: they had better prepare themselves for a mixed reception over here, because over here the gold they bring may be dross.Wow. Just wow. Doesn that just scream invented here syndrome?Science offers new tools and techniques for collecting and analyzing data (and sometimes, its not even that new). That it. There no teeming hordes of greeks in this horse trying to burn down your city. If you hostile to even the idea of new tools, that bespeaks a very strong parochalism or conservativism (in the historical sense of rejecting anything new).He canada goose outlet eu the sort of purist who would sneer at listening to Bach on anything other than at least faithful replicas of canada goose outlet uk the exact same instruments Bach wrote for completely missing the point that Bach fascination with the organ was the novelty of the sounds it could create. Bach would have been thrilled and astounded to have heard what Stokowski and Wendy Carlos did with his music and his next reaction would have been, effin way let me try! And I can only imagine what his reaction to George Crumb or John Cage or the other Experimentalists would have beenThis comment does not demonstrate a clear understanding of music or musical instruments. The design and features of musical instruments go hand in hand with the style of music performed. If JSB were using instruments such canada goose outlet buffalo as electric guitars, synthesisers, drum machines, etc., aided canada goose outlet winnipeg address by computer software, it unlikely that JSB music would resemble his musical output in his era. Those who like JSB for his presently termed music, might canada goose outlet boston not like what he would decide to do when interacting with modern instruments, as their capabilities would influence his thinking entirely.There is a bunch of miscommunication going on with Pinker and Weiseltier which explains the quote you mention. I think their last exchange makes clear that they both agree there is useful interaction between science and the humanities and that their views are much closer than one would have thought. The main issue for me is that Pinker disavows any interpretation of science imperializing the humanities, which is what the worry was about ealier. I wish people here and elsewhere would pay careful attention to Pinker many references to humanities/philosophy ideas that have contributed to science and vice versa canada goose uk black friday.

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