Are arts and Sciences naturally antagonistic? There must be no future in liberal arts? Expert comments

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 Are arts and Sciences naturally antagonistic? There must be no future in liberal arts? Expert comments


Half a century ago, both mathematics and life sciences were quite different from those of the previous century - more detailed observations and more thorough theories. However, scientists still inherit the optimism of the last century and hold a positive attitude towards the future of modern science, believing that absolute truth is still within reach. As far as science is concerned, the world just emerged from the disaster of World War II 50 years ago. All kinds of wartime, including prejudice, discrimination and cruelty between people, are like a nightmare! In the post-war world, there was no more disturbance and no one could live in peace. Most scholars of Humanities and creators of literature and art can no longer have optimistic ideas about the human world and human nature, and they are more often skeptical about the future of mankind. Many people even hold a serious pessimism about the world, believing that the world is actually an absurd existence, and many values that were taken for granted in the past are not absolute. As a result, humanities and science can not communicate with each other. Moreover, they are content with isolation and even do not seek communication.

Today, the diaphragm seems to have thinned. With the development of science and technology has gradually penetrated into the world of ordinary people, science is no longer the advanced research of some scholars in the laboratory. Ordinary people have also deeply felt that the knowledge of basic research in the past has a profound and profound impact on the lives of ordinary people. For example, once advanced physics research is transferred to the technology of using nuclear energy, it can cause nuclear disaster. However, properly controlled nuclear energy can provide almost infinite energy for human beings. Another example: a large number of chemical products into agriculture can increase agricultural production, reduce diseases and insect pests, and bring benefits to mankind. However, the so-called good news of the green revolution is criticized for its destruction of the ecological environment. The humanities are more sensitive to these issues, so they began to examine the role of mathematics and life in the human world from the perspectives of philosophy, literature and history.

Picassos Guernica

Does scientific research have its pure rational autonomy?

There are also some scientists who are equally sensitive to whether scientific research fully has its pure rational autonomy? From the perspective of Sociology of knowledge, some people examine scientists works and their ideological origins. Therefore, seemingly purely independent scientific research, in fact, can not avoid its changes and social constraints. For example, Newtons concept of absolute truth and natural law is the main source of modern science. However, Newtons view of the universe is closely related to the true God and divine law of Christian theology. Another example is: Darwins theory of evolution is of course an important cornerstone of modern life science. However, social evolutionists have transformed the theory of biological evolution into the theoretical basis of capitalist market economy; countries and people have all experienced the cannibalism competition. Even, Hitler used scientific theory to carry out his crime of extermination and extermination!

In the last half century, scientists have developed a considerable degree of self reflection in their research. Kuhns paradigm theory, from the study of the history of scientific development, points out that generations of scientific research are often constrained by some themes at that time. When the theme changes, the way of thinking in scientific research and even the language of thinking also changes. At the same time, the change of the theme has its corresponding relationship with the social and cultural environment. Therefore, scientific research is not fully autonomous.

The same reflection can be found in the field of social sciences. In the last half century, social and humanities, including philosophy and history, have been greatly influenced by Max Weber, Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim. These people have developed different theories from different perspectives; however, what they have in common is that human beings understanding and interpretation of themselves and human society are often influenced by their respective cultural backgrounds and social status. For example, Weber thinks that humans economic behavior is restricted by his religious idea; Marx thinks that humans thought and behavior are restricted by his social status, productivity and production relations. This concept weakened the belief of rationality in the age of European cultural enlightenment. If reason is no longer absolute, how can relative rationality be eternal?

This serious doubt was accompanied by the cultural system theory which gradually appeared after the Second World War. The modern world developed by European history is based on the belief of rationality since its era. After the World War II, contacts were more frequent around the world. Many cultures outside Europe and America, such as Confucianism and Taoism in China, Hinduism in India and Buddhism originated from India, are different from the monotheistic belief of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The contact and impact of various cultures make the cosmology of Judaism, chigurism and Islam no longer taken for granted. Today, modernization is no longer as convincing as it was 30 years ago. The various concepts and theories of postmodernism are actually criticisms and rhetorical questions about the meaning of the word modern. The impact force of this wave is very huge, not only in the creation of literature and art, but also in the humanities and social sciences research, which makes a deep reflection on the past theory and research methods. Relativism has been in full swing, crushing down the rationalism of the time 50 years ago.

There are also important changes in the field of psychology and biological science. Einsteins theory of relativity put forward another way of thinking for Newtons mechanical world. Matter and energy are constantly changing, and there is no longer a real physical universe. W. Heisenbergs uncertainty theory, considering the factors caused by observation and measurement, can we do it

To the true inspection? Recently, chaos theory has pointed out that fractal is infinite. How can we deduce the meaning of infinity with limited insight? In the project of information science gradually developed, scientists try to build artificial intelligence, while the emergence of fuzzy logic points to the irrational part of human thinking.

All these developments have seriously weakened some assumptions that people take for granted. In fact, rationality and objectivity have their limitations. Since the Enlightenment era in Western Europe, modern science has had a long-term development. Scientists have been quite confident that if they master the key, they will open up the great secret of the universe. Todays scientists are much more humble than they were 50 years ago. They have come to realize that the laboratory well can not be isolated from the outside world and independent, and rationality, like a bluebird, seems to be elusive.

The methodology of mathematical science has entered the field of humanities research. Many humanities and social disciplines are using quantitative methods to offset individual differences, and pay attention to the common characteristics of groups (that is, the group characteristics caused by the aggregation of individuals, as Professor Chen Tianji said). Quantitative methods have been widely used in content analysis of sociology, economics, anthropology and even literature. Many of the macro theories on the study of human society are based on the linear development of groups. Quantitative methods bring mathematics into the study of human activities, and also build a bridge between the gap between science and humanities.

Stills of the big bang

The barriers between Humanities and science must be removed

Comparatively speaking, the fence between Humanities and science must be removed in the field of Humanities and social studies. We must try to understand the inside story of science and culture, so that this huge force that has dominated our lives will no longer create unknown disasters for us. In the future world, culture is pluralistic, and there will be more interdependence and entanglement between cultural system and social system. Human life is rich in content, but individuals can not help but feel powerless. Everyone is suffering from the influence of the development of scientific and technological civilization. Everyone can no longer be outside the scientific and technological civilization, and can not but seek to understand the scientific and technological civilization.

Some scholars try to cross the gap between Humanities and Science in order to understand the language concepts of different disciplines. For example, Lester Thurow, a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of technology, recently discussed the future of capitalism. On the one hand, he proposed that artificial intelligence, which combines knowledge with technology, would be an important force in the next development of human civilization. On the other hand, he borrowed the tectonic concept of plate in geology to describe the interaction between five kinds of quantities (or factors). One of the five plates is the above-mentioned artificial intelligence! At the same time, he uses the biological balance after fracture to describe the new world after all the recombination. Just like the world dominated by dinosaurs, it became another equilibrium system dominated by mammals after almost complete pounding.

On the other hand, scientists are trying to explain the content of Mathematical Science from the perspective of humanity. Yang Zhenning published a monograph on beauty and physics last year (21st century, April 1997). He compared the research styles of two physicists P. Dirac and Heisenberg, comparing the simplicity and clarity of the former to the articles in autumn water do not stain the dust. Moreover, he described Di with the words out and spirit in Gao Shis poem of Tang Dynasty Lacker pointed to the mystery of inspiration. Mr. Yangs article is similar to the metaphor in the traditional Chinese literary criticism, which really introduces the appreciation of literature to science. Yang also pointed out that Diracs inspiration came from his intuitive appreciation of mathematical beauty, while Heisenbergs inspiration came from his understanding of experimental results and phenomenological theory. He also pointed out that the relationship between mathematics and physics is the overlapping of two leaves at the stem. The overlapping place is the root and source of the two. Finally, Mr. Yang borrowed the poem of W. Baker (translated by Mr. Chen Zhifan) for the concentration and all embracing characteristics of physics

There is a world in a grain of sand

There is a paradise in a flower

Hold infinity in the palm of your hand

Eternity is better than a moment.

We pay attention to the dialogue among various departments of science, and we are also trying to compare some concepts that have been developed in different disciplines with each other, and find out some concepts that cross disciplines. Our purpose is only to remind students that the boundaries of disciplines are temporary. The process of seeking knowledge is only trying to understand ourselves and observe the world around us. Many academic terms are just the perspectives designed by us to facilitate observation.

(function(){( window.slotbydup=window .slotbydup||[]).push({id:u5811557,container:ssp_ 5811557, async:true }Source: observer.com editor in charge: Lin Qihui_ NB13068