Philosophers of Science: the Gym Teachers of Academe? – Brainstorm – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Remember the term “Renaissance Man”? You know, the idea that educated people should be educated in multiple subjects and look for ways in which they’re complementary? You’d have people like Da Vinci who could actually come up with brilliant technological concepts … and draw them in exquisite detail.

Now the scientists, many of whom graduated from college after seeking out the easiest possible classes to get their humanities requirements out of the way (oh yes, it works both ways), have turned into the bullies of the ivory tower.

Just check the recent kerfuffle over race and academia because African Americans are apparently turning away from STEM (science, technology, engineering and math – and economists try to include themselves under that umbrella as well), all of which was predicated on the notion that humanities and social sciences couldn’t be more fulfilling. They’re just easier! That notion is brilliantly refuted here, and I’ve gotten my dander up about economists’ arrogance in the past. And see the comments on the race/STEM/economics case here for more “economics rules, English drools” nonsense.

Now we have this dispute of philosophy of science, in which scientists have no need for your philosophy, Horatio. 

Allow me to retort with a scene from Real Genius. Start around the 1:50 mark if you’re in a hurry.

Real Genius also has a terrific philosophical quote: “In the immortal words of Socrates: I drank what?” But let’s add an actual Socratic quote: “An unexamined life is not worth living.”

That’s something you don’t learn in gym class.

Philosophers of Science: the Gym Teachers of Academe? – Brainstorm – The Chronicle of Higher Education


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