The World Explored, the World Suffered Education Issue Nr. 25 December 2019 - Page 4

Editorial: 25th Issue December 1st 2019 Blog: http://michaelrdjames.org/ https://joom.ag/X5Ee The first lecture is about essay number 7 in Harari’s work “Sapiens”. Essay Number 7 is entitled “The Mariage of Science and Empire” and is intended to highlight the interesting relation that exists between Science and Politics in History and in Contemporary Society. The essay opens as follows: The section entitled "the Marriage of Science and Empire" raises immediate normative issues for the philosopher searching for an analysis of the anomalies of the modernism and post- modernism eras of our History. This work certainly falls into one of these two categories. Having said this it must be added that this is one of the most interesting chapters of the book and it provides a great deal of empirical explanation relating to the material and efficient causes of the phenomena of these periods. The author begins by pointing out that British exploratory expeditions beginning with Captain Cook's in 1768, were in the habit of transporting scientists of various kinds to conduct both inductive scientific investigations in new and strange environments and to verify more deductively structured theories which predict the existence of events, objects etc that have not yet been observed. Harari does not in this discussion make the traditional philosophical distinction between Science in the context of Discovery and Science in the context of Explanation. Indeed his talk in the last chapter of "new knowledge" appears to highlight the observational activity of the scientist at the expense of the theoretical activities of thought and reason. The kinds of explanations required by Science in its context of Explanation/Justification is very different to the kind of explanation we demand in the Social Sciences and Politics. This issue is particularly relevant in relation to the discussion over whether the Colonization of India occurred with evil intent, ambiguous intent or with the best interests of the Indians in mind. The interesting question to answer here is of course whether the motivations of scholars and administrators were self interested or not. The second lecture analyses essay number 9 in Harari’s work “Sapiens, a brief history of humankind” . The essay is entitled “The meaning of life: Harari argues that The Industrial Revolution was an era in which large-scale experimentation and social engineering led to a radically different form of life to that we experienced during the Agricultural revolution. Precise timetables and schedules were substituted for a form of life determined by the natural movement of heavenly bodies, growth cycles and the weather conditions. As a consequence, there were few timepieces or scientific concern for the precise measurement of things in this ancient world.