Science Is Not Your Enemy
An impassioned plea to neglected novelists, embattled professors, and tenure-less historians
The great thinkers of the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment were scientists. Not only did many of them contribute to mathematics, physics, and physiology, but all of them were avid theorists in the sciences of human nature. They were cognitive neuroscientists, who tried to explain thought and emotion in terms of physical mechanisms of the nervous system. They were evolutionary psychologists, who speculated on life in a state of nature and on animal instincts that are “infused into our bosoms.” And they were social psychologists, who wrote of the moral sentiments that draw us together, the selfish passions that inflame us, and the foibles of shortsightedness that frustrate our best-laid plans.
The very fact he needs to plead tells us, we hope, that peiople are wising up.
Sorry, Steve, you lost us when you explained that our brains were shaped for fitness, not for truth. (Steven Pinker, How the Mind Works (W.W. Norton, 1997), p. 305.)
After that, even if what you say is true, like, why should we care?
But what you say is surely not true. An actual thinker would be revolted by the ridiculous tawdriness of evolutionary psychology, not drawn to it.
Nice try, but scientism will prove about as useful as Freudian psychology. Happier are they who have never heard of it.