The World Explored, the World Suffered Education Issue Nr. 25 December 2019 - Page 10

was the major thinker dominating the university syllabus. The work of Darwin obviously surfed on the wave of Hobbesian anti-Aristotelianism in spite of the respect that Darwin had for the biological works of Aristotle. Darwin was probably aware of Aristotle's ethical and political works and famously manifested his modern ambivalence to some of these ideas by refusing to defend his work from ecclesiastical attack, leaving that task to Thomas Huxley. The same ambivalence was probably behind his initial reluctance to publish his work during his lifetime. Darwin was not an Imperialist, he did not want to conquer the world with his ideas. The mentality of conquerors shared the mindset of the technological innovators. Both conquerors and innovators, argues the author, admit their ignorance but not in a Socratic manner where one knows what one does not know, but nevertheless knows for example that the kind of instrumental reasoning manifested by conquerors and tyrannical rulers is not the kind of reasoning that will reveal the essence of justice or the good. Rulers who rule instrumentally in their own interest do not possess the kind of normative knowledge needed to justify just actions. Instrumental reasoning is not only used by imperialists, but it is also the mindset of technological innovators, Heidegger, for example, has argued. Technological reasoning for Heidegger will never reveal the real concern of our curiosity which seeks a metaphysical understanding of the nature of being in general and our own being in particular: a variation on an old Aristotelian theme. It is possible that the continuity of this kind of metaphysical curiosity is that which accounts for the power of scientific and Historical Explanation. Given the ethical orientation of the metaphysics of action this historical continuity of variations on a theme is also responsible for the stability of our political and legal systems that the author claims lie behind the way in which our European societies functioned. Historical knowledge is also informed by this metaphysical spirit in which categorical assumptions and explanations provide the framework for the having of new experiences and discovery of new events and knowledge that has always been a part of the British and European mentality. It is this spirit which it is necessary to understand if one is to correctly interpret the following observations: "When the Muslims conquered India, they did not bring along archeologists to systematically study Indian history, anthropologists to study Indian cultures, geologists to study Indian soils, or zoologists to study Indian fauna. When the British conquered India, they did all of these things. On 10th April 1802, the Great Survey of India was launched. It lasted 60 years. With the help of tens of thousands of native labourers, scholars, and guides, the British carefully mapped the whole of India, marking borders, measuring distances, and even calculating for the first time the height of Mount Everest and the other Himalayan peaks. The British explored the military resources of Indian provinces and the location of their gold mines, but they also took the trouble to collect information about