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The Language of Literature and Science

Aldous Huxley

Huxley says that the common language is inappropriate as a medium of both

the literary expressions as well as the scientific expressions. Although both
need the purity of language and sense but their requirements are different.
The scientist wants to use a language that conveys a limited, intended sense
and if he finds the common language inadequate, he coins new jargons to
express the clear and pure meaning and meet his purpose. He prefers a
language and words that has got only one meaning and communicates the
message or idea directly. The scientist aims at only one thing at a time but
the literary artist prefers a language that caters the experiences of different
people. He conveys a message at a private as well as at a public level.
He scientist explains a rose in the language of bio chemistry or
genetics. For him rose is the result of some chemical reactions. But for
a literary artist, it is an expression of some very soft expressions of
some private feelings. He generalizes its message and enjoys the
beauty of the nature.
J. Bronowski starts the essay with a question, Is man a machine or an

individual being? He believes that man is a part of nature and makes this
belief the starting point of his investigations, although this view point seems
to be quite simple as all educated persons all over the world accept this
theory in the latter half of the twentieth centaury. People believed that man is
a part of nature as a stone, as a cactus as a camel is. A part of the three broad
categories animal, vegetables and minerals .But this view point has hurt the
self esteem of the western man who believed that the man is unique of its
kind. When he is started to be categorized as animal, the western man is hurt
but he can not oppose this truth .Giordano Bruno was burnt at stake because
he refused to give up his theory what the neither our earth nor the man is the
unique and the chosen one. There is a hidden desire in man to declare,
himself greater than life and nature. He wanted to be seen and regarded as
unique and immortal, larger than anything else


There are some differences between the aims and methods of Science and
those of Humanities. This matter has become very important now-a-days as
people pay no attention to these differences.
One of the major differences is that humanities deals with emotional matters
and invoke the same response but this is not the case with the Science. It is
the same with the other arts also. Humanities concerns with the understanding
and the evaluation of human goals. Another difference is that the scientific
generalization concepts and theories are neutral to their moral and social
implications i.e. the scientific findings do not suggest any human uses to
which they may be put and how they can be used for human happiness and
self fulfillment. But, Humanities deals with the human experiences and their
meanings and observations. Both Science and Humanities share the delight
of creation and beauty. They bring together different elements to form
something pleasant and satisfying. But here, they differ also. Any product of
science can be defined without any reference, but with Humanities, it is not
possible. The creation of art cannot be adjudged without a reference or
context. Science generalizes to make accurate predictions which may be
useful in future course of system but humanistic works are concerned with
individual experiences and are unique. They maintain and point out their
uniqueness. Any particular incident may have a definite meaning in Science
but in humanistic approach, they invoke Afferent meanings and are seen
through individual experiences. Scientific products are impersonal but no
humanistic work can be separated from the impression of its creator.
The Mother of the Sciences - A. J. Bahm
Philosophy functions as a comprehensive science in three ways. First it criticizes the
sciences, secondly synthesizes the sciences and finally is the mother of the sciences. Each
science makes presuppositions of other science. Each science may appear to be in clash with the
conclusion of other science. The philosophy, thus, aims at comparing assumptions and
conclusions. Second function, performed by philosophy, is of synthesis. Philosophy, known
as a science of sciences or as a comprehensive science, aims at knowing the whole and reaching
to some general conclusions. The Bermese story of a lion also tells us that in order to
comprehend the total scheme, the function of synthesis is necessary. As the mother of the
sciences, philosophy has had a long and interesting history. Initially no distinction was made
between philosophy and science. Gradually, the particular sciences were born. Among the first

were mechanics, mathematics and astronomy. Among the latest were psychology and sociology no
wonder if in future more sciences will be born. In that state, the job of philosophy will be greater
because then it will be more difficult to synthesize the incoherent sciences, dealing with the
particular. The work of philosophy, the mother of sciences, will never be will serve three
main functions - first to give birth, secondly to set quarrels and finally to harmonize the
particular sciences.

Science and Survival - Barry Commoner

There is considerable scientific disagreement about the medical hazards
caused by the new pollutants such as DDT. Actually we have risked these hazards
before knowing about the harms they might do. In order to build atom bombs and
kill mosquitoes, we have been led to the pollutants like strontium - 90 and DDT
which will be harmful for the future generation. But science and technology cannot
make progress unless it takes some such risks. But with the advancement of
Science and Technology, one cannot risk to adopt a trial and error method to create
something new. The new hazards are neither local nor brief such as the air
pollution, synthetic chemicals and radioactive pollutants can cost a thousands of
lives, a very heavy price to pay. Excess of carbon dioxide from fuel combustion
might cause floods. A single explosion in a nuclear power plant might kill
thousands of people. Science has ignored its major duty of controlling human
intervention into nature.

Humanistic and Scientific Approaches to Human Activity -Moody

E. Prior
The humanistic and scientific approaches differ from each other. The effect of the
scientific ordering to a human activity is to produce detachment from the individual experience,
the effect of the humanistic ordering, on the other hand, is to encourage involvement. The incident
of March 1951 illustrates it. The prediction of the National Safety Council of America that the
one millionth traffic fatality since the first recorded automobile death in 1899 would occur on
December 22, 1951. The public response to this tragedy was lost where people were busy in
counting the dead bodies on the highway and paying tribute to human genius for accurate
measurement. Literature, on the contrary, is always concerned with the uniqueness of human
experience. Though like science it has the capacity to formulate new concepts which give us a
new outlook. The creations of science are always neutral or indifferent to their human meaning

whereas good works of literature involve us and rouse the feelings such as pity, fear, sorrow,
pleasure and so on. They extend our sympathies. The tragedy of Antigone which occurred in
classical Athens still touches us.
It is true that arts and science contribute in shaping the attitudes of those who remain in
touch with them for a long period of time. The humanities and science do well in their
respective field. Science Only can adopt the methodological product to reach to some
scientific generalization. Likewise only humanities can provide us human means of attaining
human goals.

The Effect of the Scientific Temper on Man - Bertrand Russell

The seventeenth century men who invented the modern scientific method are credited with
inventing a new mathematical technique and also known for abandoning the view that nature
conformed to human tastes and hopes and fears. The belief was that pestilence and earthquakes were
sent to punish sin as rains to reward virtue. The scientific temper abandoned this point of view. To
find out how nature works, we must be guided only by careful investigation of facts. This scientific
temper introduces men to the fact that Nature does what it does, nor what we should wish, nor what
we should fear. From this scientific attitude, the modern world has developed. The
embodiments of the western culture in the west who were, at first, in a tiny majority and now are the
main, are ignorant of this development. Their literary counterparts hated them and call them narrow,
cruel and rude. Whether for good or ill, it is scientific technique which is the main cause of the
changes that the world is undergoing. The Industrial Revolution contributed to the defeat of
Napolean, was hated in the country where it originated but later it spread to other western countries
and to Russia and Asia which it is changing rapidly. Whether the scientific technique, which
alone the East wants to learn, is boon or a disaster, it is an open question. But it is sure that it has
changed the face of the world.