“Rationality by itself does not solve any problems or answer any questions. Its efficaciousness depends on how we combine it with our drives, goals, and desires–and perhaps our less-linear-algorithm-based intuitions. This synthesis of the rational and a-rational occurs at the individual level of a person figuring out a problem or making a decision. It also is in play (at issue) when a larger social group or society debates, plans, …and votes”.
(From Berkeley’s Sense, Sensibility and Science course starting spring 2016)
The greatest scientists of all time based their scientific theories on much more than rational thinking.
Isaac Newton, Leonardo Da Vinci, Carl Gustav Jung, and Johannes Kepler started the road to the truth with prodigious desires ruled by internal stimuli. We don’t know much about their other, less popular work. They used methods and experimented with fields which are still held dubious by the mainstream modern science.
Modern medicine and mathematics are based on astrology, alchemy, and magic. Practical scientific solutions have often lost life battles when facing the intuitive power of the prayer word.
Yet, for a while now, “a-rational” (irrational) methods are being pushed into the background and ridiculed by sensible intellectuals as “devolutionary” (devolved).
In order to release the abuse of power and the grab of the dogma from medieval religious institutions, science has itself become dogmatic. It has transformed into scientism.
Self-critique disappears and scientists are making themselves the new priests. It seems like there is no other fundamental truth in life, but that of science.
Berkeley’s Big Ideas Courses program for spring 2016 is both curious and exciting. It has the punch to change the way empirical science loses by separating itself from humanities. To illustrate, the syllabus includes courses named Magic, Religion and Science; Time; and Sense, Sensibility, and Science.
The content of the spring courses is a baby born at student-teacher interactive creation meetings. Participants at these meetings talk with vigor about the importance of such meetings.
“…You can’t think on your own. Thinking is something that happens in dialogue.” – says Hannah Ginsborg, a professor of philosophy at Berkeley, when discussing Music and Meaning at one of these collaborations.
There is so much that we do not understand in the world and life.
We must do more. The true potency of science and scientific research is in the hunger and thirst for gut knowledge, and not simply in already established strict theoretical laws.
The human empathetic component of science which is set to improve our lives and make the world a better place is getting its righteous karma debt paid.
Featured Image Credit: Epsos via Foter
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