A Call To The Humanities To Reclaim Its Concious Self
- Written by Shaun Johnston Shaun Johnston
- Published: December 7, 2011 December 7, 2011
Feeling infuriated on reading just the introduction, I don't think I can go on. l am aghast at the promotion of reductionism as a goal in itself, rather than as a utility in the service of the true meaning of life, which is for me almost the opposite. The business of science is reductionism, the business of the humanities is to take the output from reductionism and build it back up into--what?
The word I want would mean enrichment of conscious experience. What is the opposite of reductionism? Inductionism? No. The closest I have come up with so far is "transcendence." This has supernatural overtones though its root "transcend" is close to what l want.
Here's an example: Freud analyzed (reduced) unconscious motivations into such as denial, repression, projection and sublimation. We can transcend events, and that in ourselves likely to react predictably to those events, by incorporating awareness of these mechanisms into the resources available to consciousness. We enrich the experience of consciousness by incorporating into it the fruits of reductionism.
Thus, the role of science is reductionism (maybe). The role of the humanities is what I am labeling transcendence. Barbarism lies in favoring one over the other. For reductionism barbarism lies in denying that conscious experience is the ultimate goal of study. For more on consilience select "Humanities & Evolution" in menubar above.