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The Scientific Outlook by Bertrand Russell

The Scientific Outlook by Bertrand Russell



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Published by: leaves on Dec 03, 2008
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 THE SCIENTIFIC OUTLOOK PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BYUNWIN BROTHERS LTD., WOKINO AND LONDONPREFATORY NOTE TO THE SECONDEDITIONIN this edition I have made no important changes,but have corrected topical allusions which havebecome out of date. The material of the last fewchapters may seem now more familiar than at thetime of the first edition, since it has been popularizedin two widely read books, Huxley's Brave New Worldand Burnham's Managerial Revolution. I do notsuggest that my book had any influence on either of these, but the parallels are interesting, and will, Ihope, persuade the reader that my fears are morethan an individual phantasy.CONTENTSINTRODUCTION page QPART I. Scientific Knowledge-f I Examples of Scientific Method 1 5 JU-""Criaracteristics of Scientific Method 58 JJJ Limitations of Scientific Method 73i3 Scientific Metaphysics '"$8
V Science and Religipn ,105^f ^^^^a .1 m .PART II. Scientific TechniqueVI Beginnings of Scientific Tprhniqu.^ j^jVII Technique in Inanimate Nature 150III Technique in Biology 158IX Technique in Physiology 170X Technique in Psychology 178XI Technique in Society 191PART III. The Scientific SocietyXII Artificially Created Societies 209XIJI The Individual and the \Vholpr 223XIV Scientific Government f 235XV Education in a Scientific Society 251XVI Scientific Reproduction 2592CVII -^firnrr and Vahws 269INDEX 281INTRODUCTION
 To say that we live in an age of science is a common-place, but like most commonplaces it is only partiallytrue. From the point of view of our predecessors, if they could view our society, we should, no doubt,appear to be very scientific, but from the point of view of our successors it is probable that the exactopposite would seem to be the case.Science as a factor in human life is exceedinglyrecent. Art was already well developed before thelast glacial epoch, as we know from the admirablepictures in caves ; of the antiquity of religion wecannot speak with equal confidence, but it is highlyprobable that it is coeval with art. At a guess onemight suppose that both have existed for someeighty thousand years. Science as an important forcebegins with Galileo, and has therefore existed forsome three hundred years. During the first half of that short period it remained a pursuit of the learned,which did not affect the thoughts or habits of ordinarymen. It is only during the last hundred and fiftyyears that science has become an important factorin determining the everyday life of everyday people.In that short time it has caused greater changes thanhad occurred since the days of the ancient Egyptians.One hundred and fifty years of science have provedmore explosive than five thousand years of pre-scientific culture. It would be absurd to suppose9 THE SCIENTIFIC OUT.LOOK that the explosive power of science is exhausted, orhas even reached its maximum. It is far more likelythat science will continue for centuries to come toproduce more and more rapid changes. One may

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